Critical Conversations

Grades: 
K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Author(s): 

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. 

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintOne 45-Minute Session
Objectives 

Youth reflect on culture and identify an adult with whom they can have a difficult conversation.

Materials 

index cards

Teacher Preparation 

Prepare a review slide of topics the group has covered. This could review important vocabulary and concepts related to cultural competence, as well as other critical discussions the group has had. Below are the lessons in the unit:

  • What is culture? - cultural traits of individuals and the group collectively
  • Understanding cultural competence - learning and being curious about cultures around the world
  • Race and ethnicity
  • Representation
  • Disability
  • Steps to inclusion
  • Cultural recognition months
  • Indigenous heritage appreciation
  • Celebrations around the world
  • World languages
  • Gender identity and LGBTQ+
  • Culture-based apparel
  • Immigrants an refugees
Home Connection 

Encourage youth to talk to their grownups about any of the previously taught concepts that they have more questions about.

Reflection 

In what ways do difficult conversations help grow our cultural competence? What does a world look like without difficult conversations?

Bibliography 

Talking Gets Us There” by Amanda Gorman https://youtu.be/oYAc3Zr7wFw

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set: Present the slide show you created of all they have learned and covered in this unit.

    Looking over the topics from this unit, invite the youth to share their understanding of cultural competence and identify which cultural competence topics were already familiar to them, and which were new and interesting. 

  2. Ask the group if any topics were challenging or confusing. Make sure to discuss these with the youth if any topics come up. 

  3. Show the video, “Talking Gets Us There.”

  4. Discuss with the group that cultural competence requires a willingness to learn, and learning sometimes requires difficult conversations. It is important to identify who in their lives can help them have difficult conversations.

  5. Ask each young person to identify, and write on an index card, who in their lives is a trusted adult with whom they can have difficult conversations.

  6. If able, the facilitator could reach out to the adults identified to let them know that a young person sees them as a trusted adult capable of leading them through tricky topics. This is also an opportunity to share with those adults the slideshow of topics covered by the group.

  7. Giving back to the community: Many young people don’t have a safe space or grownup to learn and talk about new ideas. Have the group brainstorm ways to create those safe spaces - or train trusted adults - so that every youth can learn new, difficult things.