This week’s “En la Clase” is our second in a series of featured early elementary lesson plans on topics such as teaching about race, culture, difference, acceptance, and respect. If you missed it, be sure to check out last week’s post on “Everybody is Unique: Teaching Respect in a Racially Diverse Classroom.”
This week’s unit, “Multiculturalism: Learning About Different Cultures,” was written by Amanda Gonzales, a pre-service teacher in UNM’s Teacher Education Program. Her lessons were written primarily for second grade students, but could be easily adapted for k-3. Gonzales’ lessons would be great for the first part of the school year. They are a perfect way to introduce the subject of Social Studies with lessons on what culture is and how we study it. Gonzales integrates a variety of activities using vocabulary study, music, art, reading and writing. I have no doubt your young students would be quite engaged and captivated throughout the unit.
The unit begins using GLAD’s Cognitive Content Dictionary strategy to learn and define the word culture. This strategy is one of my favorites for teaching vocabulary to students. Next students watch a video of the song “It’s A Small World” and then analyze the lyrics to discuss different cultures. A number of literacy activities are related to the book Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw, including letter writing and peer reviewing. The unit closes with a quick study of art and folktales from around the world.
I hope you’ll check out her entire unit. As I mentioned earlier, I think they’re perfect for introducing the study of Social Studies to young students, as many of the topics covered here can be returned to and expanded upon throughout the year.
Check out the pdf of Gonzales’ complete unit here (correlated to appropriate Common Core Standards).
Feel free to share any of your own ideas or comments below! We’d love to hear them!