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20 October 2014
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    Online lesson plan

    Students will learn about ethnic and cultural diversity in the United Kingdom, and about the meaning of 'identity'.

    National Curriculum

    Covers the QCA schemes of work: Unit 0.4 Britain - a diverse society?

    Resources Required

    Computers, a selection of 'cultural artefacts' e.g. British food.

    Teaching Activities

    Recap on any learning about ethnic diversity in the United Kingdom, e.g. using Census definitions of ethnic groups or knowledge of histories of major immigration movements to the country.


    1. Working with computers: Make a self portrait and label all the things you think makes you different from anyone else. These could be printed off and displayed at this stage.

    2. Introduce the activities in this area of the site: the photostory 'Who's taking over our planet?' the animation 'Create a pop group', and The Lowdown information section.

    3. It may be best to access the pop group animation first, as this is a fun way to start students thinking about issues of identity and diversity.

      Using the photostory next relates this more specifically to discussing what makes British identity. The lowdown and the quiz can be introduced between sessions to reinforce learning or as final summary activities.

    4. Ask students to discuss in pairs or small groups how important they think language is for a person's identity. Students develop this to explore how much they think the English language defines English (or Scottish, Welsh, Irish) nationality. To extend the discussion, ask about countries where the official or most widely used language is not the same as the name of the country. Do Africans speak African? Do Americans speak American?

    5. Exploration of identity should follow to areas the students want to explore. A good learning area is local and national food, asking questions like: "How much is food a part of a national culture? What is typical British - or English, or Scottish, or Welsh, or Northern Irish - food?" Students could be asked to design a poster, using computer graphics, to advertise a 'British' restaurant.

    6. After the activities, students can get involved in active citizenship for diversity by doing their own project, as Downlands Community College did through a link with Ghana (see Get Involved). Or they can read, watch or listen to other BBC material for this age group e.g. a CBBC Newsround report by using the 'Go off on a tangent!'area on the right hand side of a content page.

    Suggested Homework

    1. Ask students to use the internet to find out about settlement in the United Kingdom.

    2. Ask students to imagine going to an international youth conference where they have been asked to bring five objects as good examples of their national culture. What will they bring and why.

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