As part of the Mifamily project, the partnership is currently developing training content for teachers, educators and volunteers working or supporting education for migrant children, to help strengthen the integration of students from migrant backgrounds in to the host country’s school settings and to support children’s success in education by providing training, coaching and guidance to their parents by using family learning methods and resources to overcome language and cultural barriers and foster active involvement of migrant parents in their children’s schooling.
To fully support this, the project is developing additional supporting material designed to provide a template training programme for the delivery of Family Learning activities with migrant families to start the process of using Family Learning as an effective way of supporting migrant parents with the acquisition of language skills and school-specific knowledge to support their children’s education. This training programme is intended to introduce some to Family Learning methods including: learning through play; the importance of communication skills (speaking, listening and positive praise); story-telling including making props, games and activities; sharing books, rhymes and songs; making books and reading with children.
One such activity is based on guidelines provided by the web site www.everyobjecttellsastory.org.uk
The approach to be used with this activity is to::
- Bring in an object from home which has a story associated with it which can be communicated to the families (e.g. a photograph, a memento, etc.).
- Outline to the families why the item is important and why it has a special meaning behind it.
- Pass the object around to the families if possible (alternatively in the case of e.g. a photograph, you could create copies of the photograph and pass this around).
- Have the group guess the importance of the object.
- Alternatively, you could show or pass around the object with the group and have them try to guess why it is important to you.
- You could also create 3 cards with 3 different reasons on these for why the object is special (1 answer should be true, the other 2 false) and have the families guess which is the correct answer
After the activities are completed (about 20 mins), have the learners recap the adjectives used to describe the importance of the family object. If families have drawn or written about why their object is important, or the story behind it, have them present this and discuss as a group. Have families discuss (as appropriate) the any stories behind the objects in question.
In this activity, members of the group are expanding and reinforcing their vocabulary related to objects and importance. They are also sharing with their family members objects which may potentially be important from a cultural or historical POV. This can be an important opportunity for families to learn about shared history and heritage – both their own and others.
The full set of family learning activities template will be made available for the piloting phase of the Mifamily project and afterwards for any and all interested parties.