For the KOINOS project, certain classroom activities are carried out on languages and cultures (these are presented in the virtual travelling carpets) tab. In creating these carpets, there are times when families and other people in the school circle play an active role. However, family carpets are different tools which are vital for helping coordination between classrooms and families. The (physical) family carpets are similar to the “travelling suitcases” that many schools and libraries use to make reading more interesting. Their purpose is to get children to travel with their imagination by reading the material they contain together.
These suitcases or folders contain a variety of materials (books, CD-ROMs and virtual documents) so that all the family can take part in reading them together. There are also others kept at home that deal with this subject and which can be shared with the other families in the class. In addition to an instruction sheet for the activities, there is also a notebook in the suitcase-carpets so that each family can describe what happened during the reading, something which might be useful for other families and may also become a useful tool for families to communicate with each other.
We suggest that each family tries to find some quiet moments so that, while they read the chosen material, they can speak and get their children to speak about the pictures and stories, by asking them questions and making comments to help them explain what they are thinking and what they felt during the joint reading.
When the reading and verbal comments with the children have finished, we suggest that families write about what happened during the reading: what most caught their attention: which activities they did; what they liked most; what they talked about based on the reading, and so on. They can also make suggestions that might help other families. They can write these notes in whatever language they like. They can also draw, stick on photos or other plastic elements, or include what they think is most appropriate or interesting.
Then, when the family carpet reaches other families, the contributions of each one will help the others on their imaginative journey through the world of linguistic and cultural diversity.