Implementation of “Protecting our endangered cultural heritage” (SOI-HR-319)

Author: Ksenija Žarković, English teacher

School/Organization: Bijaći Primary School

This is a story of implementation of the learning scenario “Protecting our endangered cultural
heritage” (EN-CUR-365). The scenario offers a comprehensive approach in cultural heritage
education, suitable for several lessons. It appeared to be fully complementary to our efforts in the
field of cultural heritage education, namely English CLIL teaching activities. We implemented parts
of it with two classes of 7 graders who became aware of the threats to the cultural heritage by the
means of this learning scenario and expressed themselves creatively by creating GIFs using
Europeana resources relative to the Croatian cultural heritage. Moreover, the students had the
opportunity to get acquainted to the Europeana resources which led to other ideas of its use in
regular teaching/learning activities.

This scenario builds upon our efforts to promote cultural heritage education by the means of an
Erasmus project under the title of Common Heritage from Tradition to Future. While the scenario
provides materials for several lessons, and rightly so as the topic is complex, we have adapted the
learning scenario to our needs. This is the last, third year of the implementation of our project on
cultural heritage and our lesson is specifically aimed at raising awareness on the need to protect
cultural heritage. So far, our students have admired cultural heritage both in our and partner
countries, but the threats to its existence remained unnoticed at their early age. Also, a systemic
digitalization approach in this field was unknown to the target group. Therefore, we chose this
learning scenario and involved two classes of 13-year-olds (42 students) in the creation of GIFs
relative to the topic with the aim of marking the forthcoming World Heritage Day, 18th April.

Students were tasked to prepare themselves for the lesson by revisiting the project materials we
have developed so far during the project implementation through for example the presentation on
cultural heritage in general terms ( or the
presentations that their peers did on the topic
This pre-asignment activity is a match to the TASK A from the learning scenario: What is cultural
heritage and examples of cultural heritage. But in the following sequence which involves student
creativity, we heavily relied on the learning scenario.
Once in class our students revised what they have learned about cultural heritage in general by themeans of a Kahoot quiz: Thereafter we implemented the TASK B from
the learning scenario: What are the threats to cultural heritage. Instead of a mind map as
proposed by the scenario, we brainstormed and came up with a wordcloud:

Phpto: mentimeter


Then the teacher introduced the importance of the digital aspect in storing information on cultural heritage and students were introduced to Europeana and its main features. In this part we  followed the LS and projected the image of burning Notre Dame, as available on Europeana exhibition Heritage at Risk and came to the section which summarizes the threats to cultural heritage which topped our previous activity. We concluded that we did admire our cultural heritage throughout the project implementation, as well as in our real lives, yet paid little attention to the threats imposed on it.

Creating GIFs

Then we turned towards production using Europeana resources. First students freely searched the materials relevant for our country and selected images they liked. While the learning scenario foresees the creation of a digital Toony Tool images, we used Canva in the creation of awareness raising GIF’s to be shared on the school web and project blog on the occasion of World Heritage Day, 18 April. Here is the link to our digital collection: 

Photo: Students creating GIFs

Photo: Students’ GIFs using Europeana resources

The tasks from the LS relative to the types of heritage are done as a pre-assignment to the lesson, and the learned was evaluated by a Kahoot, just like proposed by the learning scenario. However, a very important aspect of the learning scenario remained unfinished, due to the time limit we had, which is the part in which students themselves propose a course of action in terms of cultural heritage protection. This is task E from the learning scenario, and we are certain to do it at a later period of our project implementation and/or cultural heritage education.  

Photo: Students viewing Heritage at Risk Collection

For now, here are our photos:

The students became sensitised of the threats imposing on the cultural heritage. They used Europeana for the first time, widening their understanding of the digital application in the field of cultural heritage. We gamified in the lesson, produced GIFs, thus joining the student creativity with the affirmative messages of the need to protect cultural heritage. Students were also exposed to explict copyright demands, which gives us room for planning a comprehensive lesson on digital citizenry in near future.

Here is tangible outcome of our lesson:

As an educator, I was aware of Europeana, but this is the first time that I exposed learners to it. While admiting for the wealth of information available online, we noticed a lack of informaton relevant for some representative items for our area. We discussed what items students would like to see represented in the database and possible course of action. Copyright issues will certainly become the main topic of one of the future lessons.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? Protecting our Endangered Cultural Heritage (EN-CUR-365) created by Katalin Lorincz

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? You might also like: 

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

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