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Vermilion Parish Schools

Activity 3:  Diversity (GLEs: 51, 52)

Materials List: Children Just Like Me: Celebrations, Celebrate!, chart paper

The teacher will write the term diversity on the board.  Ask students what they think it means.  Discuss with students that diversity means being different.  Have students look around the room and tell how they are different from the person sitting next to them and how they are alike.  Tell the students that people are alike and different in many ways.  Review the term culture and discuss how Louisiana has a very rich culture.  Share with students crafts, music, folklore, and customs that are found throughout Louisiana.

Then focus on the cultural elements of the local community.  Invite grandparents and older members of the community to the class to share cultural elements (e.g., crafts, music, folklore, and customs) and what life was like in the local community long ago.  

Next, discuss how culture and customs are specific to areas both in Louisiana and around the world.  Have students name holidays and different events that are celebrated in their local community and how they are celebrated with their families.    Discuss how these celebrations have changed over the past fifty years.  Have grandparents and older community members share how they celebrated holidays when they were little.

Then read to the students a book about celebrations around the world (e.g., Children Just Like Me: Celebrations by Anabel Kindersley, Celebrate! by Jan Reynolds, Holiday!:  Celebration Days Around the World by Deborah Chancellor).

Before reading the book, have students generate questions they have about the topic based on an SQPL prompt. (view literacy strategy descriptions)  State the following:  “Children around the world celebrate in many different ways”Write it on the chalkboard or on a piece of chart paper when saying it.  Next, ask students to turn to a partner and think of one good question they have about the book based on the above statement.  As students respond, write their questions on chart paper or the board.  Questions that are asked more than once should be marked with a smiley face to signify that they are important questions.  When students finish asking questions, the teacher should contribute additional questions to the list. Tell students to listen carefully for the answers to their questions as the book is read aloud.  After reading the book, discuss with students ways in which people are alike and different. 

Pause periodically to have students check which of their SQPL questions have been answered and to discuss briefly the answers.  When the reading aloud concludes, ask students to return to the list of SPQL questions and check which ones may still need to be answered.  Use the book or personal knowledge to supply answers. 

Make a list of the different places and celebrations discussed in the book.  Use internet or library resources to help students find information on how children around the world celebrate various holidays and special events. Tell students that these celebrations are part of their culture and customs.  Discuss how different places have different customs and ways of celebrating and how these have changed over time.

Then have the children compare their cultural life to that of children around the world.  “What things do they have in common and what things are different?”  Focus on how these cultural elements have changed over time and reasons why they have changed. 

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