Tips and Ideas / May 19, 2016

5 Great Multicultural Classroom Activities To Involve Parents

America is often referred to as a “melting pot” and this is reflected in the multicultural nature of many of our schools. It’s therefore very important to create multicultural classroom activities that embrace the range of cultures represented; not only to help all students feel included but also to help the uninitiated explore your school’s rich diversity.

With that in mind, here are five easy activities that bring multiculturalism in your schools to life while also linking students, parents, and educators.

1. Encourage students to “show and tell” the class about their heritage

Start by choosing a topic relevant to the students’ country or culture. As a homework assignment, the student and the parents will write about this topic, whether it’s an aspect of their culture (such as festivals, holidays, etc.) or family photos relating to their own or their ancestors’ story of coming to America. Projects will be shared with the class as a speech or “show and tell.”

2. Extend the invitation to their wider family members

Invite parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles (always great to include other family members!) to personally share a 15-minute presentation on their culture. The family may dress in cultural dress, bring pictures, or even share online images about their culture. Allow some time for students’ questions and let the kids satisfy their curiosity!

3. Organize a “showcase” night and connect through food

Give each student a paper “doll” to take home. Students can decorate the dolls to represent their cultural heritage. Have the students bring in a recipe from their culture to go with this. Then, on a certain “showcase” night, the dolls are presented together complete with the recipe card. Students & parents are encouraged to bring a dish of the recipe to share for a potluck dinner. This can be done with just one or two grades at a time if the school is too large to arrange such a presentation in one night.

With the world enduring a pandemic, the landscape of education is changing. Read our post Flipped Upside Down: COVID-19 and e-Learning.

4. Make it real with field trips

Field trips are also a wonderful way to really see the fruits of multiculturalism. Visits to local workplaces, restaurants, museums, and government facilities allow students to witness diversity not only in the classroom but in the communities in which they live.  You can even go on a virtual field trip. (For those schools in large urban areas, this may be just a short walk away).

5. Encourage playful participation

Different cultures play different games – and which child doesn’t love games? Invite family members to describe and demonstrate cultural games with the students. Students can play and learn!

Teaching across cultures

American classrooms are multicultural and should be celebrated for their diversity. That’s why it’s so important to teach our students about a plethora of cultures, foods, games, and knowledge about others that they may otherwise not experience. These five ideas can expand the horizons not only for the students but for the whole school faculty.

Let’s stir the melting pot!

Deciding whether to record your online lessons or do them live? Read our article Should Online Teachers Use Live Or Recorded Lessons?

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