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Social Studies - 1st Grade
Standard 1 Objective 1
Engaging in games played around the world, students will learn about other cultures.
Invitation to Learn
Games People Play
People, by Peter Spier; ISBN 038513181X
Whoever You Are, by Mem Fox; ISBN 0152007873
The Colors of Us, by Karen Katz; ISBN 978-0805071634
Count on Your Fingers African Style, by Claudia Zaslavsky; ISBN 0863162509
This Is The Way We Eat our Lunch: A Book About Children Around the World; by Edith Baer; ISBN 978-0590468879
Count Your Way Through Africa, by James Haskins; ISBN 0876143478
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 students 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. 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. It would be wisest to teach this lesson sometime after the first few months of school. Students will be more responsive to learning about other cultures if they are secure in who they are individually. The beginning of the year you could start out by doing lots of writing and sharing activities that focus on what each student as an individual likes and dislikes, what kind of families they come from, what they look like and other things that make them unique. This activity focuses on the people, traditions and specifically the games unique to different countries.
5. Demonstrate responsible emotional and cognitive behaviors.
Invitation to Learn
Invite your students to look at the cover of the book People. Discuss and brainstorm with the class why there are so many people on the cover of this book. Ask what they think this book might be about. Read the book aloud to the class, ensuring that they can all see the pictures (Note: this could also be done as a power- point presentation with the pictures scanned in so that they are more accessible to the students).
Games People Play
Number Games From Around the World
Skills practiced: counting, making sets
From the Mbundu tribe in Angola, West Africa, this number game is played by children as soon as they are old enough to count. The game is noncompetitive and encourages cooperation among the children. The numbers one, two, three, four, and five are called out in the Mbundu language as mosi, vali, tatu, swala, and talu. The children in East Africa, would use the language of Swahili to call the numbers as moja (MO-jah), mbili (mm-BEE-lee) tatu (TAH-too), nne (NN-nay), and tano (TAH-no.)
It is best to play this game with the whole class. One student is designated as the Caller.
Odd Or Even: Greece
Skill practiced: one to one correspondence, even and odd
From ancient Greece, the idea for this game is simple: correctly guess whether a player holds an odd or even number of beans in their hand.
Each player needs one partner.
Each player needs 5 or 6 dried beans.
The object of the game is to guess correctly whether a player holds an odd or even number of beans.
Jan Ken Po: Japan
Skill practiced: probability, cooperation
Known as Paper, Rock, Scissors, in the United States, Jan Ken Po has been played in Japan for centuries. Many times it has been used to settle disputes or to decide who goes first. The outcome is almost always accepted without question!
Each player needs at least one partner.
The object of the game is to win the match with a superior hand. The combinations and the winners are shown below:
Going To Boston: United States
Skill practiced: counting, addition, comparing more than and less than.
Dice games exist all over the world in many different cultures. Dice have been designed in many different styles: the two-sided dice used by the Native Americans, the four-sided dice used by the Egyptians, and the pyramid-shaped dice of other cultures. Going To Boston, history tells us, started in the United States on a train ride to Boston. It uses six-sided dice. (If you dont have six sided dice a four sided dice can be used.)
Each group consists of two or more players. Using three dice and a cup to shake and spill the dice, and a set of Unifix cubes or paper and pencil for keeping score.
The object of the game is to score the highest total after five rolls.
Curriculum Extensions/Adaptations/ Integration
Cornett, C.E. (3rd ed.). (2007). Creating Meaning Through Literature and the Arts: An Integration Resource for Classroom Teachers. New Jersey: Pearson Education.
This book outlines the growing trend toward arts integration in the curriculum. With an emphasis on differentiation and integrating multiple disciplines into classroom instruction this book provides hands on ideas for each of the different art disciplines. Content across five art disciplines is included literature, visual arts, drama, dance and music.
Livingston, N., Kurkjian, C. (2005). Circles and celebrations: Learning about other cultures through literature. The Reading Teacher. 58(5) 696-703.
This research article outlines how we can appropriately develop cultural awareness through literature in our classrooms. It discusses how teachers can utilize literature, not just for what the text says, but also to explore the artwork and underlying themes. It proposes that there are two types of culture. One of them is culture as we traditionally see it music, fine arts, and philosophy and the other is culture including social issues and beliefs of people. The article shows that both types of culture are important to discuss and that through literature this can easily be accomplished.