1. Teaching children to share
Games are practical activities that pupils can participate in, for fun and for learning. They can also teach pupils how to interact with each other to share ideas and objects. Sharing is important at school because:
- many schools have few resources, and pupils need to use resources in groups;
- pupils have different skills, and sharing encourages them to help each other;
- encouraging sharing and group work means that everyone is learning even if you can’t speak to all of your pupils individually;
- sharing is part of life and we all need to cooperate every day;
- by sharing, people learn how to give support to others and ask for it in return;
- sharing is one way people make friends with each other and it encourages good social interaction.
Here, we are going to look at ideas for sharing activities and how you can encourage sharing as part of your everyday teaching.
Case Study 1: Ways of sharing
Kembabasi is a teacher in a Grade 4 class at a primary school in northern Uganda. She has many children in her class and very few textbooks, exercise books and pencils. So for each reading or writing activity, she organises the pupils into groups to share the resources together.
She plans the activities like this:
- Each group has one textbook or storybook, one exercise book and one pen.
- In the group, one pupil has the textbook and reads it to the others, or they take it in turns and read a bit each.
- One pupil has the exercise book and writes down the answers.
- The other pupils all discuss the questions and answers.
- They all check what has been written down.
- They swap resources after every different kind of activity.
Before the class starts a reading and writing activity, Kembabasi asks each group who is reading and who is writing. This way, she checks that each pupil practises their reading, writing and discussion skills every day, if possible.
The pupils learn how to listen to each other and share ideas. They gain knowledge from each other and learn how to be friends.
Kembabasi changes the groups regularly, so pupils develop new skills and make new friends.
You can find further ideas in Key Resource: Being a resourceful teacher in challenging circumstances.
Activity 1: A sharing game
This is a game that practises language and sharing.
- Organise your class into three groups.
- Give each person in Group 1 a piece of card with a pronoun written on it (i.e. I, you, he, she, we, they).
- Give each person in Group 2 a piece of card with a verb written on it (e.g. like/likes, go/goes, eat/eats etc.).
- Give each person in Group 3 a piece of card with a noun written on it (e.g. football, home, mango etc.).
- Tell each pupil that they must make a sentence by finding other pupils and sharing their words (e.g. ‘She likes football’).
- Then ask the groups to check if each other’s sentences are correct.
How can you adapt this exercise to teach other topics and subjects, e.g. maths or science?
This flexible, sharing approach can be used with many different topics.