The classroom is a melting pot of diversity regarding languages and cultures, which is why dual language education programs exist. However, language is not the only aspect of cultural diversity; there are beliefs, values, traditions and holidays that make up different cultures. Getting children to learn other languages and cultures through dual immersion is the best way to cultivate respect and inclusivity. We can support that inclusivity by celebrating many different holidays to help create awareness and help bilingual children appreciate and interact with different cultures. Of course, during the holiday season it is easy to teach culture. However, doing it beyond the holidays shows students the importance of culture and morals beyond the season. Below are some of the activities you can have kids engage in past the holidays.
As an educator, you can come up with a research project for your students to work on after the holidays and present their findings in class. These projects may address values, beliefs, and practices that are significant in a specific culture. For example, many Swedish students often present the holiday tradition St. Lucia in their classrooms, complete with advent calendars, Kanelbullar (Swedish Cinammon rolls), and wreaths for the students. Have your students research about important holidays celebrated by the different cultures represented in your class. They can do this by interviewing their parents, and other knowledgeable people in their communities and present their findings in class. By hosting these projects after the holidays, the students can attest to their own experiences with them, fresh in their minds. Having students reflect on the holidays allows them to feel pride in their cultures, and share it with their peers.
2.Host a cultural day event
Hosting an event specifically in celebration of cultural diversity is a fun way to help your students interact with other cultures. The cultural day should have the students come to school wearing their cultural attires. This allows students to have a certain pride in their culture and gives other students the opportunity to be more accepting towards other cultures. Include cultural music, food, and skits from different cultures that can be performed by the students and even parents. You can then end the day by indulging in traditional dishes from different cultural backgrounds.
Continue reading to find out more about celebrating culture in your classroom…