This learning sequence provides teachers with the opportunity to discuss with the students the location of the countries of Asia and to explore the concept of 'special places' in China, Japan, India and Indonesia.
Activity 1: The countries of Asia
Before starting this learning sequence, create a display table where items from China, Japan, India and Indonesia can be viewed by your students. Involve the students by asking them to bring any interesting items they may have at home. This will generate interest and stimulate discussion during the activity. Make laminated copies of the map of Asia found in Activity 1. Cut the maps into jigsaw pieces for students to assemble. When assembled, the maps will be used to discuss with students where Australia is located.
Ask students to look at the image of Australia on the map and describe any interesting features, for example, size, shape or which countries it is nearest to. This process can then be repeated when discussing the focus countries of China, Japan, India and Indonesia.
Activity 2: Special places
Places are special for different people for different reasons, and sometimes only special or qualified people are allowed to take care of special equipment, clean rooms or do any work on the special place.
Art materials will be needed during this activity. Before exploring the images of special places in the Asia region, ask students to share and draw their own special places. This will assist them to understand why places are special in cultures other than their own. My Place Asia Australia is an Arts resource that showcases student artworks from around the Asia region, including Australia, with a focus on special places. It can be used to stimulate conversation prior to starting this activity.
Use the images in this activity to explore the reasons why places in China and Japan are special. Create cards to illustrate these ideas. Display these on the wall of the classroom so students can look at them. You may wish to conclude this activity by bringing in guest speakers to talk about their special places or by reading stories about some of the religions that are mentioned during the activity.
Activity 3: Why are some places special?
In this activity the students are going to look at beliefs as a possible reason for calling a place special in India and Indonesia, and to think about why some places are particularly special. India will be used as a case study with a particular emphasis on the Ganges River.
Once you have established that a person's beliefs are one of the reasons for calling a place special, ask students to look at the labels they created in Activity 2 and use them to predict other reasons. The labels can then be sorted under each of the categories. Finish the activity by exploring how people look after special places in Australia and the Asia region.
Activity 4: Reflection
This activity provides an opportunity for students to reflect on what they have learned and to consolidate some of the key concepts discussed during the module.