For many classroom teachers, cultural celebrations are one of the easiest ways to address standards connected to cultural competence through introducing and studying different cultures and their traditions. Yet, just because we celebrate various multicultural holidays or heroes doesn’t mean we’re practicing authentic multicultural teaching. If our teaching never moves beyond what many refer to as multicultural tourism, we’re not providing our students the opportunity to think deeply or critically. I won’t go into more detail on the topic here, as we discussed the problems with multicultural tourism in greater depth in the post “Around the World in 180 Days Part IV: Holidays and Celebrations.” Continue reading
In our last En la Clase post, I wrote about how I’ve used a GLAD strategy called Pictorial Input Charts to teach content knowledge to my students. In this post, I’m going to share another GLAD strategy that builds on the Pictorial Input Chart: the Mind Map. I’d never heard of a Mind Map until I participated in an introductory workshop on GLAD. I was curious about how my students would respond to it, so I implemented it right away. I have to admit, I was a little surprised at how much they liked it. I used it numerous times throughout the year, often because they’d ask to do it. To help you visualize the activity, I’ve included a blank version of a Mind Map below.
Pictorial Input Charts are another activity adapted from GLAD teaching strategies (click here to be taken to the Project GLAD website). For more information on GLAD strategies there is a great free resource book in pdf format available here. I’ve had great success using these. I’ve found it a much more engaging and interesting way to present information to my students.
Often times it can be difficult to find a way to introduce a thematic unit, like one on Columbus, in a way that is new and exciting. More than likely, your students have learned about Columbus and exploration in previous years, so many may be tempted to tune out the entire unit because they believe it’s nothing new. The Observation and Inquiry Chart is an activity that I have used with great success in situations like this. There are two versions of this activity, and both are adaptations of Guided Language Acquisition Design (GLAD) Strategies. What’s great, is that they can be modified to work with almost any unit.