Language and Diversity This module gives teachers and pupils tools to reflect about language and the language use.

Introduction

Background information and didactical perspective

Philosophy for Children (P4C) is an approach that was developed by Professor Matthew Lipman, who was influenced by educational psychologists and philosophers such as Vygotsky, Piaget and Dewey as well as by the tradition of Socratic dialogue. P4C builds on higher order thinking (critical, creative and caring thinking), inquiring, reasoning, listening and dialogical skills. Children are encouraged to create their own philosophical questions. The facilitator supports children in their own thinking, reasoning and inquiring, as well as in building on each other’s ideas in a dialogue. In P4C the facilitator fosters student-led discussions on philosophical questions. The role of the facilitator is crucial to ensuring quality dialogue and progress, as well as integration within the curriculum. It is well documented that P4C has an impact on children's cognitive, personal, social and emotional development. P4C encourages children as well as young adults to think for themselves and develop dialogical skills.

Learning outcomes

Competencies
critical thinking, creative thinking, reflective skills, inquiry skills, dialogical skills
Language and Diversity
  • Suitable age
    10-14
  • Time frame
    12 x 60 min.
  • Required materials
    board/flip chart;
  • Subjects / Topics
    Communication Dialogue Diversity Language Signs Symbols

Lesson plan

Abbreviations:

  • A = Activity
  • D = Discussion
  • GW = Group work
  • HW = Homework
  • PW = Partnerwork
  • PTS = Previous Teacher’s Study
  • PO = Pupils opinions
  • PP = Pupil’s presentations
  • TP = Teacher’s presentation

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Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea “Language” in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher hands out a copy of exercise Speaking - Language - Communication to each pupil and introduces the subject asking students to think about the questions contained in this exercise.
  • PTS
  • TP
M1
Leading idea “Language”
M2
Exercise “Speaking – language – communication”

Main section
(10 min.)

  • Students think individually about the questions and think also for giving reasons for each of them
  • PO

Discussion
(40 min.)

  • Teacher invites pupils to discuss with classmates the issues that they think are important, referring in particular to the questions of the exercises
  • D
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(15 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea The use of language – language game
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Prepare pieces of paper and markers
  • Prepare a blank target with two concentric circles and the word “language” in the middle of the inner circle
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher introduces subject of The use of language – language game and asks the pupils to reflect upon the concept of language. Teacher hands out a copy of exercise Exploring the concept of language and invites to think as many words they can which they associate with the target concept “language” and to decide to put it in the inner or outer circle
  • PTS
  • TP
M3
Leading idea “The use of language – the language-game”

Main section
(10 min.)

  • Students work individually writing their own list of words which they associate with the target concept “language”
  • PO
M4
Exercise “Exploring the concept of language”

Discussion
(35 min.)

  • Teacher invites pupils to discuss and explore the language game – use of language: they discuss with each other the list of words together and decide where the words belong - in the inner or outer circle. Pupils have to give reasons. Reasons can include examples, counterexamples, definition…
  • A
  • D
M4
Exercise “Exploring the concept of language”
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(15 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies the leading idea Language and diversity then lists the points of exercise Different languages on the flip chart
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Prepare a flip chart
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • The teacher asks students to choose one or more topics to reflect on. After choosing, the teacher divides students into groups and asks them to discuss on the topics arisen by the topics and to make notes about them. Finally, asks students to share each other their own conclusions
  • PTS
  • TP
M5
Leading idea “Language and diversity”
M6
Exercise “Different languages”

Main section
(20 min.)

  • Step 1 Students work in groups discussing on the topics and making notes about them
  • Step 2 Students think about the exercise Thought experiments and should be encouraged to think also about own thought experiments
  • Step 3 As homework students can make up a new language
  • D
  • A
  • HW
M6
Exercise “Different languages”
M7
Exercise “Thought experiments”
M8
Exercise “Make up a new language”

Discussion
(30 min.)

  • Students share each other their own thoughts and conclusions
  • Teacher invites students also to tell words in different languages so that they can listen to the different sounds
  • A
  • D
M6
Exercise “Different languages”
M7
Exercise “Thought experiments”
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher studies the leading idea Understanding asking pupils to reflect and become more specific in their understanding and use of language
  • TP
M9
Leading idea “Understanding”

Main section
(10 min.)

  • Students work individually reflecting on the concept of “understanding” and the different meanings – it is based on the aim of understanding basic concepts
  • PO
M10
Exercise “Understanding”
M11
Exercise “Thinking about understanding”

Discussion
(40 min.)

  • Teacher invites students to discuss how they use the word “understanding” and share with classmates how they express different ways of understanding and express what they mean by saying “understand”
  • D
M11
Exercise “Thinking about understanding”
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies the leading idea Signs and symbols and writes the questions of exercise Signs and symbols on the board
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher introduces subject and encourages pupils to list signs and symbols in everyday life
  • PTS
  • TP
M12
Leading idea “Signs and symbols”
M13
Exercise “Signs and symbols”

Main section
(15 min.)

  • Students work individually writing their own list and also filling in the form Sign or symbol
  • PO
M13
Exercise “Signs and symbols”
M14
Exercise “Sign or symbol?”

Discussion
(30 min.)

  • Teacher invites pupils to discuss with classmates and give good reasons for their decisions
  • Pupils explore their environment to find different signs and symbols – they create own symbols
  • A
  • D
  • HW
M15
Exercise “Signs”
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(10 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea “Diversity between cultures” in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher hands out a copy of exercise Culture and traditions to each pupil, then introduces the subject asking students to read the questions contained in the text
  • PTS
  • TP
M17
Leading idea “Diversity between cultures”
M18
Exercise “Culture and traditions”

Discussion
(40 min.)

  • Teacher stimulates the discussion among pupils about the questions contained in exercise Culture and traditions inviting them to discuss with classmates the issues that they think are more relevant. Students do not need to answer all of them. The questions should create a philosophical dialogue and the teacher should always ask for the reasoning behind students’ answers (not allowing “yes” or “no” answers) to facilitate a critical thinking about the meaning of culture and traditions
  • D
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(15 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea “Customs/Traditions/Habits” in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Step 1 Students are asked to interview their grandparents about the kind of things they did when they were their age. They could also ask if it was common for children to do things like this, and what the reasons were for doing them
  • Step 2 During the next class, the teacher asks the whole group to share the information about what activities were traditional when their grandparents were their age and to explain why they did those things
  • Step 3 Then the teacher asks pupils to investigate which of these traditions still exist and which do not. As a group, students must try to find out why some have disappeared, and if they have been replaced by other activities that are now beginning to be considered traditions (or have already become traditions)
  • PTS
  • TP
  • HW
  • PP
M19
Leading idea “Customs/Traditions/Habits”

Main section
(15 min.)

  • Then the teacher asks pupils to investigate which of these traditions still exist and which do not. As a group, students must try to find out why some have disappeared, and if they have been replaced by other activities that are now beginning to be considered traditions (or have already become traditions)
  • PO
M19
Leading idea “Customs/Traditions/Habits”

Discussion
(30 min.)

  • Once the previous task is finished, the class can discuss the questions contained in activity/inquiry Origin and diasappearance of traditions and explain their answers
  • D
M20
Activity “Origin and disappearance of traditions”
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea “Customs/Traditions/Habits” in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher hands out a copy of exercise Should everything be changed? to each pupil, and introduces the subject asking them to read the list of practices that have changed in the last fifty years, enumerated in the text. Then the teacher asks students to state which they think have been changes for the better, and why
  • PTS
  • TP
M19
Leading idea “Customs/Traditions/Habits”
M21
Exercise “Should everything be changed?”

Main section
(10 min.)

  • Students work into groups discussing on the topics and making notes about them
  • PO

Discussion
(40 min.)

  • Students mutually share their own conclusions, giving reasons for their outcome
  • D

Homework

  • Students are asking to look for examples of improvement and decline by talking to their elders
  • HW
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies the leading idea Language and diversity then lists the points of exercise Different languages on the flip chart
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher hands out a copy of exercise Tolerance and respect exercise to each pupil, and introduces the subject asking them to read the sentences listed in the text. Then the teacher divides students in groups and asks them to find outin which of the situations presented in the text the use of the term “tolerance” implies the existence of respect and in which it does not
  • PTS
  • TP
M22
Leading idea “Respect and tolerance”
M23
Exercise “Respect and tolerance”

Main section
(15 min.)

  • Students work into groups discussing on the topics and making notes about them
  • PO

Discussion
(30 min.)

  • Students mutually share their own conclusions, giving reasons for their outcome
  • D
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(15 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea “Respect and tolerance” in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher hands out a copy of exercise Tolerance to each pupil, then introduces subject asking students to read the questions contained in the text
  • PTS
  • TP
M22
Leading idea “Respect and tolerance”
M24
Exercise “Tolerance”

Discussion
(40 min.)

  • Teacher stimulates the discussion among students about the questions contained in exercise Tolerance remembering that they do not need to answer all of them. The questions should create a philosophical dialogue and the teacher should always ask for the reasoning behind students’ answers (not allowing “yes” or “no” answers) to facilitate a critical thinking about tolerance
  • D
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea “Respect and tolerance” in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Hand out a copy of each exercise to each student
Execution
  • Teacher hands out a copy of exercise Talk about yourself to each pupil, and asks them to do the exercise
  • PTS
  • TP
M22
Leading idea “Respect and tolerance”
M25
Exercise “Talk about yourself”

Main section
(15 min.)

  • Students work individually on the exercise making notes about their outcome
  • PO

Discussion
(30 min.)

  • After students share their outcomes, the teacher will invite them to reason about the meaning of ‘tolerance’ and ‘acceptance’, reflecting on the difference between the two terms
  • D
Phase Content Type of activity Media, Material

Introduction
(5 min.)

Previous activity
  • Teacher studies previously the leading idea “Pre-judgement/Prejudice” in order to have a guide to stimulate reflection in the students during the discussion raised by the exercise
Preparation
  • Prepare a circle of chairs
  • Prepare a flip chart
Execution
  • Teacher writes on the flip chart the list of sentences contained in exercise Prejudice and stereotype
  • PTS
  • TP
M26
Leading idea “Pre-judgement/Prejudice”
M27
Exercise “Prejudice and stereotype”

Main section
(15 min.)

  • Teacher asks pupils to read the list and to decide if every sentence expresses a stereotype or a prejudice, writing down how many pupils say yes and how many say not
  • PO

Discussion
(40 min.)

  • After the work phase, the teacher stimulates a discussion among students asking them what the difference is, if there is any, between prejudice and stereotype and to try to give a definition for the two terms
  • D