Home Sweet Home: a Journey of Empathy (LS-GR-546)

Europe is a mosaic of people from all over the world. We all have everyday exchanges with them. But have we ever got into their skin? Have we ever thought about the difficulties migrants have? And if yes, have we been active in showing empathy?

The Rationale

Considering the learners’ profile and taking into account the books’ inadequacies, the teacher designs an authentic project-based scenario. The Learning Scenario exploits Europeana Resources through a WebQuest to reinforce critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and digital literacy.

Learning to participate is better achieved by participation itself. Therefore, the active participation of every single student in the Home Sweet Home WebQuest ensures future active participation and a positive attitude towards inclusion and diversity. The Task WebQuest Page offers an outline of the missions students have to accomplish. Tasks fall into three categories: before, during, and after the project.

Image1: WebQuest Welcome Page

Outline

Within the framework of the forthcoming International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on the 20th of March students follow five different people throughout their wanderings in Europeana Migration Stories: to Italy, the U.K., Ireland, Belgium, and the Netherlands. They get into the people’s skin to find out the difficulties that arise when somebody finds himself in a new country. To begin with, they reflect on a mindmap. Then, they show empathy and decide to get active by helping migrants cope in the new environment. After that, they vote for the story they prefer and form teams according to their story of preference.

Image 2: Students brainstorming migration difficulties in Popplet after they have read
Europeana Migration Stories

In this context, the WebQuest journey begins. Students become editors. They work in teams to create Emotional Survival Guides, which act as Handbooks. They find all resources in the Process WebQuest Page. Each Handbook focuses on a particular country. The Guides will be part of a booklet. This booklet will serve as a survival kit for people who moved or are about to move to a new country. The booklet’s director, that is the teacher, provides everything they need for the research in the Home Sweet Home WebQuest.

Last, students present their final products in the class. The teacher evaluates students according to the preset criteria in the Evaluation WebQuest Page. Peers vote for the best Handbook in SurveyMonkey. Then, students use Canva to create cover pages for the booklet and posters to promote their guides. In the end, students upload everything in an interactive ThingLink map and leave their feedback in a self-reflection JotForm.  

In the extension of the Learning Scenario, students become radio producers. First, they use Audacity to record their Handbooks’ presentations. Then, they schedule to broadcast them on a radio show on the European School Radio.

Image 3: Netherlands’ Handbook Poster.
Designed by students & based on Girl with a Pearl Earring, Johannes Vermeer, 1665,
Mauritshuis, Netherlands, PD.
Image 4: Booklet’s cover page.
Designed by students & based on
The Ha’Penny Bridge Dublin, Samuel Frederick Brocas, 1818,
National Library of Ireland, Ireland, PD.
Image 5: Students display their creativity in an interactive Thinglink map, where they
upload WebQuest’s final products.

Outcomes

All in all, the project’s implementation has been a meaningful and fruitful experience for both learners and the teacher. Clearly, Europeana resources impressed the majority of the students. Some students took even the initiative to sign up in Europeana, so as to curate their own art galleries.

At the same time, all were eager to work in groups throughout the WebQuest, despite the distant mode due to Covid-19 restrictions. Regarding the final products, the Handbooks of Italy, the U.K., Ireland, Belgium, and the Netherlands are also proof of their hard work and enthusiasm.

Besides, the Learning Scenario initiated all into a journey of empathy. Most of the students identified themselves with the people in the Europeana Migration Stories, as they resemble their family stories.  This identification triggered their interest in the project and urged them to participate actively.

I chose to follow the Europeana migration story from India to Belgium, because it reminds me of my own family. It’s been almost a decade, since we moved from India to Greece and I can really understand what it feels like being a fish out of water…

Student, 14, Schimatari, Greece

Therefore, their Let’s Bridge the Gap Booklet is not only addressed to them, but to everyone in the same situation; their parents and relatives. In this way, all handbooks stand as a window to intercultural dialogue. Students raise their cultural awareness. Without a doubt, as it is obvious in the Conclusion WebQuest Page, they become agents of change. Last, they learn to respect and accept diversity.

Conclusion

Taking into consideration all the above, the Language Scenario tackled successfully the needs of the specific target group. Unequivocally, it aspires to be a challenge for teachers around the world to exploit Europeana resources for the promotion of active citizenship. It may be time-consuming for the teacher to organise project-based sessions. However, their systematic incorporation to the curriculum is bound to reinforce all four Cs of 21st Century Learning and yield promising results.

Would you like to know more about this learning scenario? You can download it below:

Did you find this learning scenario interesting? You might also like:

CC BY-SA 4.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Europeana Foundation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial
Font Resize