Childhood

Creating Children’s Book

Reminiscing Childhood

Mansi Bajaj

Educational Setting: This module is designed for Hindi heritage language learners in university setting but module can be modified to use for heritage learners of any language at varying proficiency levels from grade 6 to undergraduate-level students.

Thematic Keywords: Heritage language teaching, identity, reflection, acceptance, South Asian culture, collaboration, creativity, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)

Heritage Language Learning Principles: Project-Based Language Learning (PBLL), translanguaging, differentiated learning, active learning, 21st century skills (creativity , collaboration, curiosity, self-direction, information literacy and social skills)

Language Levels: Mid to high- Intermediate

General Description: It is established that the pedagogy of heritage language teaching should be rooted in community building and appreciation for their cultural and linguistic variety. In Project-Based Language Learning (PBLL), students explore an issue for an extended period and create a product which is connected to their own concerns, interests, and identity. This innovation was designed to instill an appreciation in students for their identity and learn more about growing-up experiences in South-Asian households from each other. These goals were achieved while the students were working on their books and improving their language skills.

This project gives students an opportunity to reminisce about their childhood, seek reasoning for South Asian cultural practices to develop an appreciation for their culture and identity. It further gives the students to collaborate with their peers and use their creativity to write a story.

Rationale: The aim of this activity is to build a strong sense of belonging, community building among the students in the class, appreciation for their culture and families. This project helps the class to become a stronger cohort and students seem to value pair/ group work in the class. Embracing and appreciation for culture is seen to have a positive correlation with language learning. It is therefore valuable to introduce projects in language classes which help students hold their identities and heritage in high regard. It is also a great opportunity for the students to showcase their creativity in language, art and imagination with this project.

Objectives: Students will

  • get an opportunity to use 21st century skills like creativity (story-writing), collaboration (working in pairs), curiosity (asking AI for reasoning behind cultural practices and norms), self-direction (PBLL and active learning), information literacy (using AI) and social skills;
  • develop a sense of understanding and appreciation towards their culture, and upbringing; and
  • engage in active language use (reading, writing) as they employ critical thinking skills through project activities

Accessibility and DEIB: This project is an effort to help students embrace and celebrate their heritage and culture- South Asian or otherwise. Writing children’s book will be reminiscent of their growing up years and help them make lifelong friends while working together. The students get a lot of voice and choice in this project as each pair works according to their speed, creativity, imagination, and they can decide the level of complexity. Moreover, the book is in both written as well as oral so each pair can split the work between themselves according to their strengths.

Task and Activities

Suggested Materials

Artificial Intelligence Tools

Student Voices

 

Creating Children’s Book © 2024 by Mansi Bajaj is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0