Harmony Day 2017 - Easy ways to be involved
Published on Tuesday, 14 March 2017
Last updated on Wednesday, 08 December 2021
Diversity, tolerance and acceptance are qualities which makes Australia a great and safe place to live.
Every year we celebrate Australia's cultural diversity, and reaffirm the importance of respect for all, through Harmony Day, which happens on 21 March, the same day as the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Since 1999 more than 70,000 Harmony Day events have been held in child care centres, schools and community organisations across Australia and this month we thought we'd offer some inspiration for early childhood education and care providers keen on participating this year.
Ideas for circle/group time
Indigenous welcome: Invite an elder from the local Indigenous people come to your service to do a 'Welcome to Country' ceremony and/or visit your classroom.
What is diversity? Talk about some of the ways that people can be different from each other and what make us the same.
What is Harmony Day? Talk about the meaning of harmony and some examples of harmony in nature/the world.
Family diversity: Talk about families, who is in a family and how are families different and the same.
Diverse stories: Read and listen to stories depicting a variety of people, cultures and lifestyles.
My groups: Talk about the groups children belong to e.g. team, family, friendship group, what helps create a sense of belonging?
Painting to music: Listen to a diversity of music styles and paint what you hear with different colours and brushstrokes.
Diverse dancing: Have members of the class demonstrate a dance they have learned.
Movement to music: Listen to a diversity of music styles and show what you hear through movement.
Class collage: Make a collage about the diversity of your class. Be open to the many different ways of doing this.
Self-portrait: Offer children the chance to mix paint to match the colour of their skin, hair and eyes and then paint a self-portrait.
Multilingual songs: Find a traditional song that is sung in a range of languages e.g. ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star'. Learn the song in another language.
Family treasures: Ask the children to bring in an object that is special to their family and talk about it.
Colour and make: Colour and create figures and locations to celebrate that everyone belongs.
These ideas and plenty more are available on the Australian Government's Harmony Day website.
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