Live in Harmony
Live in Harmony is a STEM experience where children explore all the aspects of identity by discussing issues related to equality, gender, education and skills, mathematics, geography, culture and different languages: an experience to be lived with the class.
printables + colouring pencils, paper, scissors, glue sticks
8-12 years old, in the classroom or at home
Understanding the concept of identity: through Live in Harmony, children will discover the multiple facets of the concept of identity. We all have our own individual identity, which is based on several different constructs: the self-image we have developed, the character traits and qualities we attribute to ourselves, as well as the perceptions of the people around us. Collective identities (in a community that can be diverse: our school, our place of life, our family...) can also be an important element. The construction of our individual identity may also be the result of historical, geographical, cultural or economic factors reflecting distinct cultural practices. For example, our sense of belonging to a nation is shared in many countries by citizens and can create a sense of unity. The different identities that make us up are therefore central to our personal construction and are rooted in concepts of solidarity and common values. With the European Union, we are also, as European citizens, constructed through a pan-national identity that transcends national identities and allows people to find common ground across borders. Peace is the essence of European construction. After two devastating world wars, Europe intends to transform the plurality and rivalry of states into a sometimes difficult but fruitful coexistence in the service of the common good.
Children in this activity will hence learn to discern between national and European identity through hands-on activities and a playful experiment matching national flags to their respective countries. Pedagogical play methods will be applied to address potentially sensitive topics and discuss prejudice in the perception of the other.
Simple pedagogical techniques such as discussion will be applied to introduce complex concepts such as identity.
Understanding the concept and challenges of equality: children explore equality issues in terms of different co-existing identities. Cultural prejudices and ethnic stereotypes can be an obstacle when it comes to implementing policies that address inequalities. Belonging to two or more identity categories can amplify the discrimination they are subjected to, so inequality is linked to the ability to address deeply rooted institutional practices, reflecting the philosophy of members of politically dominant groups.
In the Live in Harmony experience, topics such as gender equality and the right and access to education regardless of identity differences will be addressed. Pedagogical methods, e.g. role-playing, will be used to personalise abstract concepts for children such as gender equality and access to education.
Open discussion on identity and equality: children play in associations. Each group has to present their ideas on the images provided in the box of activity 1.
In addition to Live in Harmony, you can complement the activities with the "Equal" game, which will enable you to continue working on questions of equity and equality, particularly with regard to professions, for example. Our identity can be about how we see ourselves (as individuals), but also how we see a particular community to which we belong. Does this have an impact on our aspirations and rights in society? For example, on the profession we wish to pursue?
Preparation: TTeachers explore the materials and printables in addition to this activity script. They may arrange the classroom in a way suitable for:
a discussion; or
a group project ( 5 to 6 kids in a group)
Warm-up activity: Let the students remain seated and ask them if they know what the word “identity” means.
Game implementation step-by-step
Culture & Identity: divide the students into groups (as mixed as possible). Distribute photos of people dressed in such a way that it is obvious which professions they work in and pictures of people wearing traditional costumes among the groups. (Distribute appropriate objects - clothing, objects, etc.) Give the children the opportunity to play in associations and reflect on people, of different professions and nationalities (you can use the visuals proposed in the Equal game to play this round). Each group presents its own ideas. Further development of the topic: Ask the children if everyone can be a police officer, a doctor or a teacher (a man, a woman; level of education to get this job? Open a discussion on equality as well as identity and once the discussion is over, summarise: our identity can be about how we think of ourselves (being individuals), but also how we look at a particular collective community (something bigger) to which we belong. identity is various symbols (flags, badges, and as you have already seen also the clothes we wear).
Geography: For this activity, you can use this interactive map: https://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools- databases/regprof/index.cfm?action=map#close. From a geographical point of view, our own state is part of a larger physical space or continental mass, namely the European continent. Our country occupies a relatively small/large area of this continent (depending on your country), and you will now use the power of mathematics to expand your knowledge when it comes to the geographical features of Europe.
Flags: the most famous rivers and mountains criss-cross the territories of many countries. Although these natural landmarks are very recognisable, perhaps the most distinctive national symbol is the flag. Ask the children to list the countries whose flag has the colour red on it. Show them the flags of some European countries. It should come as no surprise that Europe is not only a geographical area, but also a cultural entity.
Traditions and ties between nations: Ask the students if they can think of anything that traditionally unites European nations. Start the video on the Colosseum (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVvci49fPoE) and briefly explain what the children see at that moment. Another cue can be the culture of ancient Rome: it laid the foundation for European culture, helping to shape laws and government structures. There are many Roman monuments on our land, but of course we have also developed our own cultural traditions and customs over the centuries.
Names & identity: Show the children a slide/paper with the name 'Alexander' written in 10 different Indo-European languages. Ask them to recognise and name these languages. It is also worth asking the children whether they feel they belong to Europe and self-identify as Europeans.
Art: Divide the children into 6 groups. Each group should receive a printed political map of Europe, printed flags, toothpicks and modelling paste, scissors and glue sticks. Introduce the activity by asking them to cut out the flags and glue them to the toothpicks. Once they are ready, ask them to match the flag to the country by fixing it with modelling dough.
Discovering the map: As a next step, after allowing them to consult the map to find out exactly where the respective country is located, provide them with sheets of paper and pencils to colour in and ask them to draw a known landmark of each country (e.g. the Eiffel Tower in the case of France). Finally, ask them if they have already had the opportunity to travel to Europe and let them reflect on the similarities between European countries in terms of mentality and culture.
Additional activity with the help of technology: thanks to https://www.storyboardthat.com/storyboard-creator, children can create a presentation to describe their adventures abroad in a colourful way.
Teacher's role and organisation of the game: at the beginning, the teacher initiates the discussion on the notion of identity and goes on to support the class in carrying out the game.
Round 1 - Open discussion
To start the game, let the children sit down and ask them if they know what the word "identity" means for them to take part in a discussion about their culture. Looking at pictures of typical dishes, the children discuss the different gastronomic cultures, ingredients, geography and history of Italian cities, reflecting on how national culinary traditions are the result of many local stories and traditions. You can also open a discussion about what they know about the European Union and what it means to them in terms of identity, in terms of community. Had they ever defined themselves as European citizens? What could it mean for them in terms of opening up to the world? You can give them more information now about the history of the European Union or lead this discussion at the end of the activity
Examples of questions for the geography activity
The area of Slovakia is 49 035 km² and that of Moldova is 33 846 km². The total area of the above two countries is smaller (in square kilometres) than Bulgaria, which is 110 994 km²?
The population of Italy is 60 317 116. It exceeds that of Spain by 12 885 860 persons. The population of Germany is equivalent to 35 735 455 plus the number of citizens of the country, which is part of the Iberian Peninsula. How many people in total live in these three countries?
The Rhine is 1230 km long. The length of the Seine is 775 km. The sum of the lengths of the Bulgarian rivers Yantra (285, 5 km), Iskar (368 km) and Osam (314 km) (here you can replace them with rivers important to your country) is closer to the length of which of the first two European rivers?
The highest peak on the Balkan Peninsula, Mount Musala, stands at 2925 m. The highest peak in the Julian Alps and symbol of Slovenia, Triglav, stands at 2864 m above sea level. If Musala and Triglav were somehow placed one above the other, what would be their superiority (in metres) to Mount Elbrus (5642 m) in Russia?
Round 2 - Let's play
The children are involved in the diverse hands-on activities proposed in this game sheet e.g. identify national flags and match them to countries or recognise and write the name 'Alexander' in different European languages. This game can be played with any proper or common name. After each activity, we encourage you to launch a new round of open discussion to complete the round 1 by additional feelings and new considerations that might have arised with the implementation of the game.
To finalise the game, use the different maps and flags combined by the children to decorate your classroom or organise an exhibition around the European Union!
In addition to Live in Harmony, you can use the activity sheet to implement new activities in your classroom during the year. For example, you may decide to make easy cooking recipes from each Member State every month. Resources such as https://www.tasteatlas.com/ can help. You can also use the country data in mathematical calculation activities using the statistical data provided in the sheets. You can also organise thematic challenges: find as many national dishes as possible as quickly as possible thanks to the photos, divide the landscapes according to the countries, etc.
You can also complement this activity with the "Equal" game, which will allow you to continue working on questions of equity and equality, particularly with regard to professions, for example. Our identity can be about how we see ourselves (as individuals), but also how we see a particular community to which we belong. Does this have an impact on our aspirations and rights in society? For example, on the profession we wish to pursue?
submit your work
Live in Harmony
Feel free to share you work with the unplugged partners and even with the European teacher's community! This will enable us to follow your achievements and reward you with game materials and other surprises to thank you for your participation in raising children's critical thinking! You rock!
Topic 1 - Identity
The topic of identity is introduced at the start. Children will think about their identity and those of others.
You may wish to refer to the link to present items of identity: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkpc2ysSd2U&feature=youtu.be
Topic 2 - Equality
The topic of equality will be introduced in relation to identity and we will get children to think about how we need to respect and treat equally all different perceptions of self. To find out how to teach inclusivity and equality in class you may wish to refer to:
Other Unplugged quests, e.g. Form Factor, Equal, Cookies and Peace, Clay and Sculpture
Have a look at the Equal game of the Unplugged universe.
Topic 3 - National and European Identity
The topic of what makes nations unique will be discussed in relation to personal identity and treating nations with respect will be related to inter-personal relations.