If I had children from different cultures in my classroom, I would make sure that I would include the learning of their culture in the lesson plans. One way to explore all cultures with students is to give them each a “passport.” Not a real passport, but one that the children can hold onto as they explore the different cultures throughout the school year.
You start by explaining to the children that a passport is a little book that people bring with them when they go to a different country. When they arrive in that country the people at the airport stamp it for them so that the country knows when you have arrived. You then explain to the children that throughout the school year they will learn about different cultures and have a chance to explore the way people in a certain cultural live.
The first countries you pick to explore should have something to with the children in your classroom. For example if you have a Chinese child, explore the Chinese culture first. If you have a child in your class who is part Asian and part German, explore the Asian and German cultures. When you begin to explore the cultures you should talk about the different foods the people from that culture may eat and the different ways they may dress. In order to best explain the process of a passport, I am going to do a play by play of how you would encompass it in your lesson plans.
The first country you decide to explore is China. You begin by telling your students that two of their classmates are from China. You explain the different foods people in China eat and they different holidays they celebrate. Then you set up a little section of your classroom with pictures and items from China. You are giving the children hands on experience to learn about China. Since you have students in your classroom who from China, you can ask their parents if they or anyone in their family would like to come in and talk about China. If the parents can’t come in and talk try to find someone from the community who knows a little about China to come and speak to the children.
If you want to get the community and other parents involved with this project you can have an activity set up on a night that works for most of the parents of your students. You can different games set up that you have showed the