Language and Literacy; Expressive Arts; People, past events and societies; Social wellbeing Primary and Lower Secondary

These activities use Dorrith Sim’s testimony and her book ‘In my Pocket’ to develop language skills and cultural awareness.

Dorrith Sim- listen to her testimony- ‘Before the War’.

If available, read her book.

Look for any other testimonies describing coming to a new country.

Task 1

Language Differences – Idioms, Body Language, Cultural nuances


1. When in Rome, do as the Romans.

2. No man is an island.

3. The early bird catches the worm.

4. Saying Hello - formal Bow (European); Handshake (British).

What else? Pupils should provide other examples from their cultures

Task 2

Different cultures -

Meeting someone new; not English speaking

Activities for Drama; Cartoon Strips, Writing

1. Challenges facing a new pupil / refugee / asylum seeker / immigrant coming into school for the first day

  • Differences in lifestyle
  • Language challenges
  • Differences between schools
  • Correct behaviour

Further Activities

1. Pupils explain how to make a sandwich

2. How to go to the playground from their classroom.

3. Food – pupils explain what Haggis, tablet, shortbread is. They can share their knowledge of typical foods.

4. Acting a scene out: - First day at Nursery; Primary 1; new school; new town; new country.

Please note - We can put you in touch with German schools so that your pupils could become Pen Pals


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