I recently borrowed some elementary general studies textbooks from the library so that I could be more familiar with the HK curriculum (in preparation for the interview I had last week). General studies includes subjects like science, social studies, and technology, but as you'll see, also includes a lot of generic "life education." The books I borrowed were mainly within the science theme. Here are some highlights. There really are some gems here -- you might want to click on some of the pictures to enlarge them.
Primary 1: "I Am Getting Older"
In this activity, students are instructed to "help the children to put on their swimsuits. Paste the swimsuit stickers onto their bodies." This is the teacher's book... the students' books would actually have naked children, but apparently teachers need help to know which body parts swimsuits should cover. The red notes to the teacher are worth reading.
And on the following page, students have to choose the behavior which makes them feel uncomfortable. I definitely think it's important for kids to understand what kinds of behaviors (especially from adults) are appropriate, but I think the second picture might give me nightmares if I was a child...
Students learn what kind of sleeping posture is the best.
And here's an important section on "working and resting." The first set of pictures makes me wonder what kind of homework a first-grader has that she would have to work 5 hours straight to finish. But the teacher answers are pretty good here... "The girl works without resting. She is very tired and cannot keep her posture. She may have round-shoulders and become short-sighted."
The caption for the second picture is: "The boy watches TV for a very long time. This will badly affect his eyes, bones and health."
Primary 3: "My Health"
Here's some serious social education. The pictures have the following captions:
1. "Ben does not like sports. His is weak and has no friends."
2. "He meets a sports lover, Joe."
3. "He likes to play basketball with Joe."
4. "He likes other sports too. He has many friends."
5. "He takes part in the school's sports day."
6. "He has stronger muscles and is happier."
Primary 5: "Living Healthily"
Students are introduced to the dangers of alcohol, and have to identify how drunk (i.e. slightly/ moderately/ seriously) the man in the picture is. And the follow-up question below is interesting too. "Have you ever seen any drunk?"
This section of the book is about helping students to develop a meaningful life... not to mention a strong work ethic (i.e. note the boy with kamikaze-style "work hard" bandanna).
Here's a worksheet entitled "I like myself." The instructions read: "If you were usually unhappy with yourself, you would not like yourself and would even hate yourself. From now on, learn to like yourself. Every day, find out one thing that you do well and write below." Maybe I'm too cynical, but I have a hard time believing that this would actually be of much help to a student with low self-esteem... but at least they're trying..?
That's all I have to share for now, and will be returning the books later today. I hope you've enjoyed them as much as I have!