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Main Curriculum Tie:
Background For Teachers:
The different and varied cultures represented in each classroom provide an opportunity for students to learn about others and themselves. Targeting specific cultures represented in individual classrooms validates student’s backgrounds and gives them a chance to understand and appreciate one another. When teaching about cultures it is important to be sensitive and not to stereotype. Use your culture trunk to compile information and artifacts of the cultures you want to represent. Let the diversity of your class guide your decisions and discussions. It is important to integrate discussion about appreciating, valuing, and respecting differences of cultures.
During this lesson the teacher will need to have a bulletin board featuring continents of the world. Each continent will have a string connecting that part of the world to their community in North America. Students will be asked to place different cultural items/ pictures/words on the corresponding continents. Teachers may want to review the terms culture and community before beginning the lesson.
Intended Learning Outcomes:
Unpack your culture suitcase. Pull out items such as a pair of chopsticks, a tortilla, a pair of moccasins, an African drum, a woven poncho, a beret, a soccer ball, a menu from an ethnic restaurant, something written in another language, a CD of Irish music, candy treats from another country, a multicultural folktale, etc. Each time you pull an item out of the suitcase ask the students where they think it came from. Once everything is out of the case reveal that all of the items were collected from right there in their own community. Ask students to predict how so many different kinds of items arrived in their community?
Part 1: Languages
Part 2: Games/Sports
Wrap Up: Cultural Snapshots of my Community
Extensions: Family Connections
Singer, Judith. The potential of multicultural literature: changing understanding of self and others. Multicultural Perspectives, Volume 5.2, pp. 17-23.
Utilizing literature that is multi cultural helps to create a climate that welcomes diversity in the classroom, whatever the racial, gender, or cultural constituency of the class. Multicultural children’s literature provides self-affirmation for readers when it conveys that people like themselves have lives worth knowing about and worth sharing with others.
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