5 Tips on Celebrating Culture in the Classroom

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Every year, Americans celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month from 15th of September to 15th of October by acknowledging the cultures, contributions as well as the histories of American inhabitants whose forebears came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean and South and Central America. Teaching and comparing traditions can be an appropriate way to assist bilingual or dual language students to feel more comfortable and involved in a classroom setting. It is a great teaching technique to make them aware of the broader sense of the world. The overall intention of celebrating culture in the classroom should be to assist pupils appreciate both the similarities and diversity of our world traditions.

Here are some of the most appropriate tricks on how to celebrate culture in the classroom:

Tip #1: Assigning Books Related to the Cultures

Increasing in your classroom library the range of books written by different authors, which celebrate diversity is vital. There are many story books (both fiction and non- fiction ones) that directly or indirectly teach differences in cultural backgrounds. Use such written materials to make your dual immersion students become more knowledgeable and informed about different cultures being celebrated by different societies around the world

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Tip#2: Getting Parents Involved

Ask your students what holidays they often celebrate at home and if possible invite their parents to come and teach about them. Encourage your students and their parents to come with products from their cultural celebrations so that they can share with other parents and students who will be in attendance. This is appropriate since students and their parents can inform others how the different items are important to their celebrations. Encourage students and their parents to also bring their traditional foods and clothing which they use to highlight a given culture.

Continue reading to learn more about bringing culture into the classroom…

Tip #3: Personal Experience

It is important that teachers enlighten their dual language students that not every person celebrates a specific culture the same way. For instance, some families often celebrate National Hispanic Heritage by focusing on traditions and religious events, while others celebrate this type of holiday usually in a more secular way. It is important you create chances for your pupils to share about their differences in cultural celebrations and emphasize that those differences are the ones making those traditions unique and meaningful for every person.

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Tip #4: Community Involvement

Another wonderful way of making our cultural celebrations more meaningful and treasured is to get the society involved. This might involve inviting individuals from different societies so that they can share their views about the various holidays their communities treasure a lot and what they signify. Field trips to different cultural events are a great way to teach community involvement.

Tip #5: Having your Students Do Presentations

Having your students do presentations of the different cultural celebrations they recognize in their traditions is also important. Inform them to bring the different traditional tools and materials they use for any given celebration they acknowledge in their communities so that they can make the entire presentation process appear as the initial celebration.

Put these tips to the test during this National Hispanic Heritage Month in your dual language classroom and let us know how they go at info@duallanguageschools.org. We’d love to see photos of your classroom!

Patricia Griselda Pérez
Author: Patricia Griselda Pérez

Dr. Patricia Pérez holds an A.A. from Ohlone College: B.A. and M.S. degree from California State University, East Bay and an Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco. She serves as an educator, consultant and teacher coach, which provides professional development, curriculum development and multicultural awareness services to local and international educational institutions and corporations. Dr. Pérez is fluent in Spanish and began her career as an elementary school teacher in a bilingual classroom. In the past two decades, she has developed a wide range of experience working at every level of public education, providing support to educators and directly to students. Her interest focus on promoting educational excellence through equity in order to overcome institutional barriers that confront underserved students of diverse backgrounds. Dr. Pérez is also an accomplished writer and has published in the areas of multicultural education and organizational management and leadership. She is a contributing author to Multicultural Education in Practice: Transforming One Community at a Time and Collaboration and Peak Performance: A Multidisciplinary Perspective for Emerging Leaders.

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