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Teaching ideas: meeting and greeting

You can create a speakinglistening instrument with a rubber hose and two funnels at each end. Place children on either side of a screen or on chairs with their backs to each other so they cannot see the other child.

Give pupils some topics to talk about. For example, three things that make you happy or three things that make your partner a good friend. Emphasise that pupils must talk and then listen, or vice-versa.

An additional exercise is to ask children to shake hands without seeing each other. This can be done through holes in a screen, or the children could be blindfolded. Can they guess with whom they are shaking hands?

The aim is to encourage children to recognise that they are physically engaging with people when they shake hands.

You can also look at global greeting and how people use parts of their body to express greetings. Find pictures of different forms of greeting: for example, Hongi, the Maori greeting where breath of life is exchanged and shared; shaking hands; hugging; the Eskimo rubbing of noses; a bow; the Hindu namaste, where hands are held close together and near the heart as the head bows.

Practise the greetings and discuss the differences.

What do they think they mean? Who would use them, for example, friendsfamily or acquaintances. When? Ask pupils to make up some of their own greetings.

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