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Source Reviewed:

Planting the Seeds. A Year-Round Activity Guide about Citizenship.

Audience:

Grades 4-6 Social Science and Social Studies teachers, ESL teachers, Community Leaders working with youth aged 9-12.

Topic:

School and Society Issues

Description:

The resource is authored by the Promotion Division of the Integration Branch, Citizenship and Immigration Canada. It is the first part of the trilogy Cultivate Your Commitment to Canada, which is designed to help teachers and community workers to organize classroom and extra-curriculum activities on the themes: Canadian Citizenship, Rights and Responsibilities, Commitment to Peace, Dealing with Conflict and others. The resource is organized as an activity guide, with detailed description of steps in implementing the activities and with ready to use handouts. Besides, it is supplied with helpful “Growing Tips”, the advice on teaching methodology, on strengthening ties with the community, and promoting good citizenship.



Strengths:

Though the resource is designed mainly for 4-6 grade students, it can be easily adjusted to meet the needs of adult learners in ESL classes. Another advantage of the resource is that it offers the activities to be held around the year, with such issues as freedom, respect, belonging and citizenship being of vital interest to ESL learners, especially recent immigrants.

Emphasis on interactive activities and cooperative learning add value to the resource activities.
The resource has some other benefits, like giving detailed description of activities, providing a list of materials needed, and elaborating guiding questions, which often tap students’ higher-order thinking. Novice teachers would especially appreciate tips on methodology and strategy use. Learners would obviously benefit from the resource so far as it promotes cooperation, empathy, fairness, respect and inclusiveness.



Weaknesses:

None

Comments:

Like other well-thought and thoroughly elaborated resources by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Planting the Seeds helps to put down roots of respect to such values as dignity and democracy, humanity and equality, personal self-esteem and respect to others. In a clear and understandable language, the authors help build students’ competence in societal values, make them aware of their rights and responsibilities as citizens of the country, as members of the community. The resource activities teach students how to deal with conflict and make weighted decisions. The resource handouts, especially Conflict Scenarios and Decision Maker tap students’ thinking abilities and promote collegial decision-making.
Given teachers’ creativity and imagination, the activities and handouts might be modified to apply to various tasks and to meet multiple objectives.



Your Recommendations:


The content of the resource would obviously meet the expectations of the addressed audience and of a wider range of educators. Therefore, I would insistently recommend it as a valuable supplementary material for discussing citizenship and multicultural issues, for exploring the topics of human rights and freedoms, for engaging students in the activities that develop their deeper understanding of the citizenship values.





Submitted by: Tatyana Ryaboshapko

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