Ask tamariki simply to ‘line up’ in a row, and let them do this as noisily as they like, asking questions etc.
If it gets out of hand though, just count them down from 5, saying that at 1 they should be in place in a line.
Ask how difficult this was for them? It should be fairly simple and your students may be a little confused by your question!
Ask what made lining up simple?
This time let them know you’re going to ask them to line up again in a different order. You may need to mark out the ‘line’ along the floor by indicating, or let them know to create the line the same as they’re standing now.
- Line up in the order of their birthday (not year!). Let tamariki (know and point to) one end of the line being the 1st of January and the other end is the 31st December . Go! You might want to place yourself in the line too!
Check everyone’s in the correct order, and if not, just get them to jump into the right place – it doesn’t matter.
If you like, let tamariki know that this is a continuum – a collection, progression or sequence of ‘anything’.
Ask them how easy it was to put themselves in birthday order? Why was it like this?
Say you’re now going to get them to create another continuum, but this time silently – without speaking.
- In the order of: the size of your shoes.
This is a great to get them comparing and communicating in another way and again you might want to join the continuum. You may have to do some playful ‘shushing’ as they go about their feet continuum, but that’s okay and part of the learning.
Once they’re satisfied they’re in the right order, ask them what it was like doing this silently. Why was it like this? And what did they need to rely on? Who found this hard and HAD to talk?
Continue by allocating one end A and the other Z, and asking them to line up again silently in:
- Alphabetical order of their middle names.
Playful shushing will be a normal part of your role here!
Once they're 'complete', do a quick check to see they’re in the right order, by asking tamariki to state their middle name. Anyone out of sequence can just jump into the right spot - it doesn't have to be perfect.
Ask tamariki again what was it like doing this silently. Why was it like this? And what did they need to rely on?
Let them know you’re really pleased with how they’re doing – the best you’ve seen a class complete these before (lie even if it’s your first time, it will build their confidence and it will set them up the next challenge!).
Tell them because they're so skilled at this, you're going to really challenge them.
This time and again silently create a continuum of:
- Where you were born – set the continuum up with Stewart Island at one end and Kaitaia at the other. Tamariki born in the same place can group together.
Bear in mind tamariki born overseas usually enjoy this as they generally associate positively with their birthplace. Our experience is that they will place themselves off the continuum, in the context of the rest of the world. Let them know this is ka pai!
If the group becomes muddled or is talking more than than they have with other continuums, ask them to freeze where they are and debrief about what’s proving tough – this discussion and activity is all about the learning, rather than getting it perfect.
If you need to help them distinguish some ‘signs’ for the places they were born you could ask them for some characteristics of ‘Christchurch’ for example – wobbling about like an earthquake might be one! Wellington might be blowing to indicate the wind, the UK might be sipping cups of tea.
Once (or if) they complete this it's great to debrief – what did you notice? – it will generally take longer and you could comment on this. Why did it take longer? Ask them what helped? Let your tamariki know what you noticed that they did really well.
We recommend to keep revisiting continuums and include some of the ideas below.