#ToteChallenge: Young people investigate the problems caused by plastic shopping bags, then propose solutions they can take to address the problems. They brainstorm uses for plastic bags. This lesson gives guidelines to design a reusable shopping tote out of an old T-shirt using engineering, problem-solving, creativity, and communication. They take action for the common good by using and sharing their project and by educating the community about problems and solutions to the plastic bag crisis.
Youth reflect on the lessons they have learned through building cultural competence in this unit. They identify an adult they trust to have critical, or difficult, conversations.
Through the voices of an immigrant and refugee, youth gain empathy and understanding of the experience of leaving your home for a new place.
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.
In this lesson, we broaden our awareness of different cultures and how they celebrate holidays. An optional service project includes writing letters to request diverse holidays be added to the community calendar, if they aren't already observed.
In this lesson we learn the history of the Indigenous people who lived in our specific area. We learn that language matters, and there is a respectful way to talk about the heritage of a person who was first to live in an area.
This lesson explores the language of disability and importance of asking people about themselves with curiosity rather than treating disabilities as taboo. We learn to use people-first language.
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.