Whose lemon is that? Examine your lemon. Look, touch, and smell it. Roll it around. Collect lemons at your table. Now, try to find yours. Can you do it? Next, peel your lemon and collect all lemons again. Now can you find it? We are all have similarities and differences. We can look different on the outside, but be similar on the inside. List of classroom community and diversity building lessons. List of classroom community and diversity building lessons.
Reasons for multicultural education in elementary school It sets the building blocks for diversity early in life. It includes ALL students in the learning process, while gearing lessons and activities towards certain groups. Allows children to work together with various groups of people. Helps children see that everyone is different, and at times,we share similarities as well. Helps to open the lines of communication with parents, and make parents feel welcome in the classroom and school. The early years are the roots for forming identity and being confident with who they are. English Language learners understand the diversity in language.
Ways to incorporate diversity Use in all subjects, and part of the curriculum, rather than on its own. Use parent stories to help to get to know your families and their background (Edwards, 1999). Use books and real life experiences to help students hold higher meaning to diversity. Remember, this is elementary school and the teaching may be in the set up of the classroom and how situations are handled. Making sure students dont feel left out is key. Label the room in different languages.
Classroom set-up and ideas Include a wide variety of books, including books in different languages, cultures, and differences. Include maps and flags around the room from various countries. Include family bulletin boards, which includes information about each specific family, as a way to honor those differences. Center materials should reflect the needs and interests of students. For example, if a student has a disability, materials should be available for use for that student. If a child is from a low poverty home, in a preschool classroom, make sure toys in the house area reflect his/her life.
Classroom set-up and ideas cont… Vary roles of groups to include genders doing different activities, and different types of families. Use unbiased language, such as Okay, everyone. Compliment not on stereotypes, such as looks for girls and achievements for boys. Answer all questions directly and honestly. Keep parents informed on the types of questions and observations children have. Model different situations with students. Avoid a tourist approach Do not ignore racism or discriminatory behavior Include games played by families
Books to use Multicultural books to use in the classroom. Multicultural books to use in the classroom Check-list to make sure books cover a wide range of differences and diversities. Check-list to make sure books cover a wide range of differences and diversities Take a look at the book on your table. Use the check-list provided to see if your book would be a good multicultural choice to use in your classroom.
Multiculturalism within the subjects Multicultural education should not be separate from the curriculum. We want to incorporate it in what we are already teaching. Give students as many experiences as possible. Multicultural Promise
Math Counting in different languages. Teach how different cultures learn math. We all get the same answer in the end. How other cultures have contributed to math. Use manipulatives to appeal to students with different learning styles. Use manipulatives from other cultures, such as an abacus. Sample multicultural math lesson plan
Science Keep lessons and activities to reflect all genders. Dont single out a gender group. When teaching science, use ideas and terms from other cultures, such as myths, to help teach science concepts. This would also integrate contributions made by other cultures. Student interest surveys. Locate where ideas are emanating from on a map Sample Science lesson plan Rubric for multicultural science
Social Studies Teach using the events of lasting effects. Discoveries and inventions from a wide range of people. Foundations of organizations. Heroes because of their contributions to society. Include the hardships they went through and why they are heroes. Beliefs and traditions of others (can be in the form of the arts or teaching of the traditions. Ex. A parent coming in to teach the class about Hanukkah). Sample Social Studies lesson plan
Reading and Writing During reading, pick texts that will reflect those of other cultures. Include mini-lessons that help further explain concepts. Include books and writing styles that are from other countries. Included here is learning how to write using other languages. Creates bridges between real life experiences and academic learning. Identify cultural symbols in readings and writings. Respond to literature through art, writing, drama, or dance.
The Arts Use the arts as a way to teach and incorporate diversity in the classroom. Have families share art culture with the class. When learning about a specific culture, have students complete real art work from that country. Link to art activities from around the world. Incorporate songs as much as possible and talk about what they mean. Instead of always singing the same welcome song during calendar everyday, teach students a welcome song in another language. Teach about specific men and women and their contribution to the arts.
Challenges How to know what to tell students and how open to be with them. There are so many differences in one classroom, how to incorporate them all. Parents who are judgmental and how to deal with them. Teaching to one group and not another-power struggles between the groups.
Now its your turn…. For the next 30 minutes or so, you and the people at your table will receive a scenario, in which you need to figure out how you will handle the situation in your classroom and how you plan to incorporate the particular group of students in your everyday teaching. We will be discussing ideas with the rest of the groups.
Scenario #1 You have a six year old in your class who has lesbian mothers. During your welcome circle, she says that she has two mommies and they went to the park over the weekend. One little boy in your class questions this, and wonders why she has two mommies, and begins to make fun of her for not having a dad. How do you respond? What is a suggestion that you have for incorporating this group of students in your everyday teaching?
Scenario #2 You teach third grade in a low income school. A couple of your students dont have a steady home life. They move around a lot, and as of right now, are living in a homeless shelter. They sometimes dont get breakfast in the morning and sometimes they get a bath only once a week. How do you handle these circumstances in your classroom and how will you incorporate this group of students in your everyday teaching?
Scenario #3 You teach second grade and one of your students is severely autistic. He does not have a parapro, and in previous years, other students have made fun of him because of his outbursts. Even previous teachers say he is weird and have just let him slide by. How do you change this situation for this year and use his disability to help other students and accommodate teaching to help fit his needs and use his disability to help with your everyday teaching?
Scenario #4 A four year old in your class has noticed that the volunteers in the school are elderly. He asks the volunteer, Why are you old? The volunteer just laughs this off. How do you incorporate the teaching of age into your everyday curriculum?
Scenario #5 There is a fourth grader who has come into your class in the middle of the year. She just immigrated to the US from Iraq. She is the only Muslim student in your class. She is very ashamed of her religion and often says that people give her bad looks when she is out with her family. How do you help give her power in the classroom and make her feel important, while teaching the other students acceptance of this new student.
Scenario #6 Your kindergarten student comes from a family in which the dad is not home because he is in the Army. The student doesnt say much and hasnt since his dad left. He is often sad, and when other students ask him, he doesnt answer them. The other students begin to think he is a mean child and have stopped playing with him. How do you address this situation in your classroom and help him to feel better about his situation through your everyday teaching?
Questions? Concerns? How do you deal with parents and families who are against what you are teaching or are prejudice against certain groups or how you answer questions? How do you handle the questions children ask? With all the constraints in elementary school, how do we fit it in? Any other questions or concerns?
References Department of multicultural education: District of Palm Beach County, Florida. (2009). Multicultural curriculum: Kindergarten math/science lesson plan: Windmills from The Netherlands. Retrieved from http://www.palmbeach.k12.fl.us/Multicultural/MulticulturalNew/Science/MultiKinder.pdf http://www.palmbeach.k12.fl.us/Multicultural/MulticulturalNew/Science/MultiKinder.pdf Edwards, P. A., with Pleasants, H. M., and Franklin, S. H. (1999). A path to follow: Learning to listen to parents. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Freed, A. (1999). New Horizons for learning. Multicultural science education: myths, legends, and moon phases. Retrieved from http://www.newhorizons.org/strategies/multicultural/freed.htm http://www.newhorizons.org/strategies/multicultural/freed.htm Gorski, P. (2010). Multicultural Education Pavilion. EdChange. Retrieved from http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/activityarch.html.http://www.edchange.org/multicultural/activityarch.html KinderArt. (2007). Multicultural arts and crafts for kids. Retrieved from http://www.kinderart.com/multic/http://www.kinderart.com/multic/ Melendez, W., & Beck, V. (2010). Teaching young children in multicultural classrooms: Issues, concepts, and strategies, third edition. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. Petkus, T. (2009). Multicultural approaches to teaching math. Suite 101. Retrieved from http://curriculalessons.suite101.com/article.cfm/multicultural_approaches_to_teaching_math http://curriculalessons.suite101.com/article.cfm/multicultural_approaches_to_teaching_math Sanfeliz, M., & Stalzer, M. (March 2003). Science motivation in the multicultural classroom. The Science Teacher. Retrieved from http://science.nsta.org/enewsletter/2004-02/tst0303_64.pdf
References continued…. San Joaquin Delta College. (2010). African Mende Addition. Retrieved from http://www.deltacollege.edu/dept/basicmath/Mende.htm http://www.deltacollege.edu/dept/basicmath/Mende.htm Single-Group Studies lesson plans and Action Research (2010). Michigan State University TE 891. Retrieved from https://angel.msu.edu/section/default.asp?id=US10-TE891-730-912574-EL-14-815 Sleeter, C. E., & Grant, C. A. (eds). (2009). Making choices for multicultural education: Five approaches to race, class, and gender, sixth edition. John Wiley &Sons,Inc. Teachers.Net. (2010). Its okay to be different. Retrieved from http://teachers.net/lessons/posts/2898.html http://teachers.net/lessons/posts/2898.html Teachers.Net. (2010). What is prejudice? Retrieved from http://teachers.net/lessons/posts/1689.htmlhttp://teachers.net/lessons/posts/1689.html Understanding Prejudice. (2010). Understanding prejudice. Retrieved from http://www.understandingprejudice.org/teach/elemtips.htmhttp://www.understandingprejudice.org/teach/elemtips.htm You Tube. (2007). Multicultural education. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnJPJ2xMdG8&feature=relatedhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnJPJ2xMdG8&feature=related You Tube. (2009). Multicultural and diverse learners. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DefG6zMpWPc&feature=fvwhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DefG6zMpWPc&feature=fvw