Implementation of “Easter is here! Let’s decorate some eggs!” (SOI-RO-269)

Author: Alina Marilena Buduleanu, Primary School Teacher

School/Organization: Scoala Gimnaziala Nr. 29

Story of implementation overview

The Easter celebration was the perfect context for me to enhance my students’ curiosity about culture, customs and traditions shared by people all over Europe. The learning scenario `Easter is here! Let’s decorate some eggs!` created by Aikaterini Spitza from Greece, strengthened my belief that the European teachers face similar needs and goals in their path to develop students’ cultural awareness. The learning scenario facilitated my teaching process by showing a clear method to encourage my young students to discover and analyse Easter decorations from all over Europe and use them to draw Easter eggs. I started from the author’s goal, and, during the activity, my students used Europeana to design their own creative products and understand the importance of preserving our common European cultural heritage.

The implementation context

Why teaching with Europeana?

The permanent development of our society brings a major impact on education, and it has never been clearer that we need a strong strategy to teach students about our common European values, customs, and traditions. My 7 years old students are curious, creative and they love to play on gadgets. The Europeana platform allowed me to link my students’ preferences with the educational context and achieve my main goal: to make them aware of the common European cultural heritage. For my students, Europeana looks like a digitalized data bank, a large online museum with hands-on resources. On the week before Easter, I invited my students to take part in three STEM lessons inspired by Aikaterini Spitza’s learning scenario `Easter is here! Let’s decorate some eggs!`.

The narrative

Unity in diversity

I started the learning session according to the scenario made by Aikaterini Spitza and I asked the students to watch the video Easter Traditions which depicts 10 unique Easter customs in different European countries. I encouraged the students to think of their families’ Easter traditions and find similar customs with those presented in the video. The students had the chance to observe how unique each nation is and, at the same time, our common cultural roots as Christian Europeans. The students chose the Easter egg decoration as their favorite tradition, and they watched the Full History of Easter Eggs video to learn more interesting facts about this custom. 

Hide and seek with Europeana

I introduced to the students the Europeana platform and they searched for Easter eggs decorations which were used many years ago all over Europe. As Aikaterini Spitza did in her learning scenario, I encouraged my students to watch photos of Easter eggs from Europeana and describe the different methods and decoration patterns. 

Adaptation to the learning scenario: To make sure that my students understand the importance of the copyright law when they search photos online, I organized a `hide and seek` game. I prepared cards with the symbols related to the copyright law. The students learned the meaning of the symbols by mixing the cards, hiding, and finding them. They continued the game on Europeana and searched for `free to use` Easter eggs photos, ready to be downloaded and displayed in a presentation. 

Europeana Easter eggs collection

The students worked in peers to decorate eggs according to the designs they have seen in the Europeana photos.

Adaptation to the learning scenario: I challenged the students to develop an online gallery on ThingLink and present only the `free to use` Europeana Easter eggs photos. The students worked in 9 teams, each team found a photo and they gathered the images in their own Europeana Easter Eggs Collection.

Learning outcomes

What have we achieved with Europena?

By the end of the learning activity, my students developed a willingness to participate in cultural experiences and a strong knowledge about Easter customs and traditions all over Europe. They had the chance to work with Europeana and the platform facilitated multiple connections between digital technologies and the learning process. They learned to locate, manage, and organize digital data about Easter. Moreover, they learned to pay attention to copyright and download only `free to use` images to compile them in a new collection. My students became more confident in the learning process, because using Europeana in the classroom simulates real life habits and makes learning purposeful. In time, the students who are actively involved in Europeana learning activities develop cultural and social skills and become more creative. This increases the parents’ confidence in educational practices shaped by the European standard.

Outcomes for the educator

Europeana connects students and teachers.

Many would think that the Europeana resources can be used exclusively in History or Social and Civic Education classes. In fact, the Europeana resources can be integrated in almost every important topic. Teaching with Europeana framework help the students to learn where do humans come from and where will they be in a sustainable future based on respect, tolerance, and acceptance. During the learning activity, the Europeana resources inspired my students in art, storytelling and digital products based on works of art, such as Easter eggs decorations. Europeana gets teachers the chance to access fellow colleagues’ learning scenarios which depict multiple cultural-educational environments form Europe. This is a great opportunity to re-shape the personal teaching design by becoming more interested in promoting multiculturalism and diversity in the school community.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario?  Easter is here! Let’s decorate some eggs!  created by Aikaterini Spitsa

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Public Domain Mark 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Bohuslän Museum.

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