Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Multicultural Day Event

Well, we did it...Multicultural Day was a huge success!  The students did an amazing job on their Multicultural Day celebration.  We used the theme, "Embrace Diversity, Embrace Our World!"  I found that great slogan at NationalDiversityDay (a website celebrating Diversity that will take place on October 4, 2013)  which seemed to apply perfectly to the work my students did.  During this unit the students learned about their cultural heritage, exploring the countries that their ancestors came from.  This was completed through a six week unit in the student's Take Home Book Bags, which parents were asked to be involved answering questions.  They helped by sharing heritage questions, family traditions and holidays, family recipes, and ancestor immigration stories.  These were pieces that were woven into the country book my students wrote.  When I started planning the work, I looked at all the Common Core Writing Standards.  I wanted to include pieces from each standard.  I also looked at the Reading, Speaking and Listening Standards as I was planning this book.  The book was broken into several sections.  The first section of the book was informative text which shared about the country's physical location, government, food, traditions, holidays and flag to name a few.  They completed this research through both books and online text.  They made sure to include a Table of Contents, Glossary, and Bibliography to share components and cite research.  The second section of the book included a country opinion piece, which the students wrote their reviews of why you should visit.  They also included their favorite recipe from their family in this section.  They wrote a review of why you should try the recipe.  The recipe was included in the classroom cookbook also, which each child recieved a copy of.  The last section included a Multicultural Fairy Tale which the students wrote.  They chose their favorite fairy tale which they changed to take place in their country and included elements from this country.  The completed selection was a masterpiece.  On the day of the event, we did a combination of activities.  We started with the song Hello to All the Children of the World shared by Wee Sing.  Several students then shared the back of their books, enticing the audience to want to read their book.  Then the students collectively sang Like Me and You by Raffi.  After reading a few more book backings the student created, we shared a Shel Silverstein poem title Children, Children Everywhere.  After the final group of students read the back of the book we ended the program with It's a Small World from Disney.  Our special event lasted about 30 minutes.  It was so wonderful to have representation from ALL of my students families!  The event day was a wonderful experience for both my students and their families.

Backdrop of Multicultural Day with a stage set up in the classroom and all the students' books ready to be shared with the audience.
Stars were placed on the maps of all the countries we studied.

A view of the front of our classroom including the special touches for families to see.

The backdrop I created using a $1.99 Goodwill sheet and flags and letters created by my students at my school. This was done inexpensively, but students felt very special.
Our welcome table with a sign in sheet, programs, and an evaluation for visitors to fill out.

Definitions discussed during our special morings activities.

With our backdrop discussing diversity, we spent a lot of time discussing what the word diversity means.  Students then each put a definition on this chart paper to display. 

A sample of student created text, along with a unique item that represents the country which was proudly displayed on their desk during the celebration.

A few more examples of completed student work which each child had a chance to share with the class and all the families involved in our celebration.

I loved teaching the multicultural unit and incorporate many strategies into my students instruction.  It was great being able to sing songs, share poetry, and create back covers to convince our audience to read their wonderful created work.  My students completely feel like authors during this occasion and are able to justify the work they complete and share with the classroom and the community!

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