How Do You Teach About Diversity? - A Guest Post

I wanted to share with you an interesting article by Dan Gilbert, of Primrose Schools. I find it comes at a pertinent time of year as we approach the holiday season. Plus, I have been taking an ELL endorsement class and our topic for these 10 weeks is diversity and culture. I'd love to know your thoughts and how some of you teach diversity. 

Teach Children to Celebrate Diversity
Submitted by Dan Gilbert

Older children and adults naturally realize the world is a big complicated place. We experience cultural differences in practically every aspect of our lives from school, to work, to patronizing businesses throughout the United States. The concept of diversity across the population of the world is becoming more and more important to understand and accept. Explaining this concept to your preschooler may seem like a complex lesson, but Primrose Schools suggestions will help make the lesson natural and fun.

A preschool aged child’s perception of the world is often limited to his or her own little corner of the world. The world as seen through the eyes of a young child is basically encompassed within their home, their school, their neighborhood and maybe their town or city. If families experience and welcome cultural differences, the young children will learn to embrace and appreciate the diversity of humankind.
 You will help spark your child’s understanding of the vast size and rich texture of our global community.

“We live in a diverse world. By teaching children to appreciate other cultures from an early age, you will help them develop compassion and seek out shared values,” said Dr. Mary Zurn, vice president of education for Primrose Schools. It is important for parents to teach young children a core set of family values because doing so emphatically builds lifelong character qualities. Young children learn best when having fun and the lesson is taught in a positive manner. A real appreciation of different cultures and other people is one very significant lesson for a child to acquire.

How to Teach a Child to Respect and Celebrate Cultural Diversity:

· Start by sharing family stories. A preschooler enjoys photographs and hearing tales about when Mommy and Daddy were little people. Talk to your children about the extended family members they see in photos, and share favorite memories. Show and tell children about family traditions. These activities help to make a child mindful of their own family history.

· Preschool aged children enjoy music, and they especially like songs. If you have a particular musical background, play music and sing with your children. Explain the origin of favorite instruments, and share distinctive music that is meaningful. You can also explore music from various cultures or music venues to help children learn to appreciate diversity.

· Reading to children is a delightful way to familiarize them with the diversity found in people around the world. Find books to enjoy together that bring to life different cultures, customs, artwork, or life adventures. Young children can identify with other children they learn about from books. Free to Be...You and Me is a wonderful old favorite that was a collaborative effort led by actress, author, and activist, Marlo Thomas.

· Find fun cultural events to attend with your children, such as special holiday festivals or parades. Take children to museums and cultural centers to explore different lifestyles. As a family, visit ethnic restaurants to sample the variety in cultural foods and recipes. If you seek opportunities to know families with a background unlike your own, the children will naturally learn to appreciate a friend’s distinct life and cultural differences.

Teaching children to celebrate diversity among their friends, schools, neighborhoods, and the world is a good thing. It may one day help create an ultimate society that better tolerates and embraces all the unique aspects of the cultures around the world. Another old favorite that started as an advertising jingle is the song recorded by The Seekers in 1971, ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing’ (in Perfect Harmony). It has as much meaning today as it did then and is a fun song to teach the children.

“Encourage a celebration of cultures near and far, including your own, to help your child grow to be an accepting, compassionate adult, who values the differences in others.”- Dr. Zurn


Few FREEBIES for ya!

Hey guys! Just a quickie tonight...I said a guest post today, but it may get up tomorrow.

I am sure you have seen variations of these all over the place, with the original being these adorable ones over at The Teacher Wife's Blog:

But for the last week or so I have really been needing my kiddies to be able to practice it on their own, not just look at it. I needed them to be doing the manipulating with the words. Enter a cut and paste activity of their own. I whipped these up last night. A few of the teachers I work with liked them as well and asked for copies. If you think of words you would like to see on here let me know. 
Add or Subtract Cut and Paste

 Also, since we are into November already I wanted to let you have one of my all-time favorite activities to do each year - How to Bake a Turkey. This ties in perfectly with How To writing. What the Teacher Wants happens to have posted some very similar templates as well just today, but mine is written in recipe form (it's a slightly older version, maybe I will update in the next week or so). Each year I compile a class cookbook. I will have to find last year's and the others and show you some, they are hilarious, especially when you allow the kids to spell phonetically. Enjoy!
How to Bake a Turkey

They Found ME and some Place Value (Printable)

 I hope everyone has been having lots of fun with all of the Fall and Halloween activities that have been posted everywhere. I know I have. My math friends have been loving all the little games and centers we have been doing. In fact, I think I got the best compliment last week when someone (an adult) told me I should do EIP full-time (remember, that technically this is just a long-term sub position for me, but I have just been extremely fortunate to be able to do it at the same school where I taught last year and all the kids who I serve are mainly first-graders, which means I get to work with my same teammates from last year). She said I am so patient with the kids and I never just hand them a worksheet but that I always have something creative for them. That compliment meant so much. I can only hope that the students are getting as much out of it. Some days I think they are and some days I am not so sure. One thing we have been working on a lot is Place Value. I made some place value folders. At the moment, I do not have a picture of my cute little ones I made (but I think they are adorable!). I learned about them originally from my friend over here.

I met this amazing teacher the year after I student taught when I was doing another long-term sub gig at that same school in 3rd grade. She is awesome. I have seen similar items on other blogs, but for me this is the original! ;) I will try to post a picture of mine tomorrow, but again because my kiddies are first-graders I just used two sides for tens and ones. The possibilities are endless. I did make this little cutie to go on the front like a label. Use it if you would like. 
Place Value Folder Label Oh and for giggles, here's me as Waldo yesterday for "Story Book Character Day." I seriously could not find a red and white striped shirt anywhere and then Sunday morning I found the one I had on at Target for $9.99 which seemed a lot easier than painting stripes on a white one. Ha. (Man, I looked nerdy!)

Stay tuned tomorrow for a guest post. 

Back to Top