Cultural Competence

Unit of 14 Lessons
Grade Levels: 
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Subjects: 
Language Arts
Philanthropy
Social Studies
Social-Emotional Learning
Arts Education
Mathematics
Issue Area: 
Civil society
Focus Question 

What are the many ways people contribute to their community through the values and practices of their family and culture?

Unit Overview 

This Cultural Competence Facilitator's Guide is made up of a set of discussions and activities to be used by a family, club, or classroom to examine what it means to be culturally competent in today's society. We provide materials and guidance for any adult working with youth from ages 5 to 15 to build their awareness of the richness of cultures in the world and respect for diverse people. With a vision of building a life of generosity and community engagement, these activities engage youth in taking personal responsibility for the good of all through words, intentions, and actions. These activities align with SEL.

Service Experience 
Each activity ends with a tip to "give to your community" that increase cultural awareness and generosity for the good of all. 
Lessons in This Unit 
Unit: 
Cultural Competence
Lesson 3 of 14
Grades: 
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

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.

Unit: 
Cultural Competence
Lesson 4 of 14
Grades: 
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

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.

Unit: 
Cultural Competence
Lesson 6 of 14
Grades: 
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

In this lesson, youth become aware and gain empathy for the discrimination people experience because of their race, age, gender, and other reasons. The group discusses ways to be inclusive. A Mix it Up Day changes our familiar boundaries and helps us connect to new people.

Unit: 
Cultural Competence
Lesson 7 of 14
Grades: 
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

Why do we have cultural recognition months? The U.S. calendar of holidays includes months like National Hispanic Heritage Month and National Women's History Month in recognition of groups that have been historically underrepresented in the U.S. This lesson explores why and how we put these spotlights on specific months. 

Unit: 
Cultural Competence
Lesson 11 of 14
Grades: 
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

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. 

Unit: 
Cultural Competence
Lesson 12 of 14
Grades: 
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

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.