Cultures are sometimes represented through clothing items like head wear or colors. These clothing items can be very meaningful and important, and it is respectful to learn about others and what their cultural expression means to them. It is never okay to mock someone for what they wear or to say they shouldn't wear it because it is different. This lesson raises awareness of the meaning of cultural expression and the danger of stereotypes.
One of the ways we identify ourselves is through the culture of our gender identity. This may include our gender and how we express ourselves through our clothing, hair, and what we like to do and who we like to spend time with. This lesson raises awareness of the variety of ways people express who they feel they are.
Our communities may have people from many cultures and there may be many different languages spoken. Sparked by a playful video of kids teaching other kids their languages, we explore the languages represented in our communities.
One of the keys to unlocking cultural competence is reading diverse books with characters and locations that represent a variety of cultures. In this activity, young people define and discuss the value of representation. They do an audit of a book collection to identify representation and gaps. As a goal, they seek to fill gaps in representation by adding books to the collection.
Looking around the room, we may see many skin colors and tones. These differences occur all over the world. In this lesson we use the terminology of race and ethnicity and look at data to identify the makeup of our community or state. Young people may take action to promote representation of the groups that are under-represented in the community.
The key to cultural competence is learning about cultures around the world. The book Children Like Me sparks curiosity about different cultures. Youth make a simple keychain to represent the different cultures they can learn about with the key that helps them open doors.
We define culture and explore the cultural traits of individuals and the group collectively.
This secondary lesson explains what the U.S. Census is and why it is important for everyone. Every ten years, we count everyone who is living in the U.S., from babies to the oldest people. This gives our government a clear idea of who is using services and where we have growth or decrease in population. If we know who lives where, we can make sure to provide services, such as education, health care, public services, and food/housing in the needed places.
In response to a read-aloud story about improving a community with individual gifts of time and talent, students explore talents and interests of their own and others. They practice listening and responding with respect. They raise awareness through volunteering of the benefit to communities of a variety of contributions. Everyone has something to give, and this lesson helps us respect and celebrate the contributions we all can make. Students internalize "I matter in my communities."
In response to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s challenge, we explore what it means to be the best with the talents you have. Students practice listening and responding with respect. They raise awareness through volunteering of the benefit to communities of a variety of contributions. Everyone has something to give, and this lesson helps us respect and celebrate the contributions we all can make to peaceful and inclusive communities. Students internalize "I matter in my communities."