Our Cultural Classroom
Instructor: Deborah Libengood
Workshop: The Cross-Cultural Classroom
Targeted Grade Level: 2nd Grade
Content Area(s) Covered: Social Studies, Geography
Anticipated Duration: About 1 week
Rationale: Introduce the children to the cultural diversity within their own classroom and relate
this diversity to community, country and the world.
1. Students will understand how they are alike and different from their classmates.
2. Students will create a visual family culture poster containing different aspects of their personal
3. Each student will present their poster to the class.
4. Using individual world maps, globes and wall maps students will represent our "class
culture" as a global visual.
Sunshine State Standards:
LAE 211: Students use personal perspective to respond to works of literature
LAD 213: Students recognize that the use of more than one medium influences how they think
LAD 211: Students' work choices shape ideas, feelings and actions.
LAC 314: Students use eye contact and gestures to enhance oral presentations.
LAC 311: Students speak clearly and with volume.
LAB 112: Students draft and revise simple passages.
Books & Websites
1. HARCOURT SOCIAL STUDIES Textbook:
a) "A Family History" (pgs. 246-257)
b) "Life in Different Places" (pgs. 56-59)
c) "One for All, All for One" (pgs. 258-261).
2. Don't Gross Out the World Website
3. Moehn, Heather. (2000). World Holidays: A Watts Guide for Children. NY: Franklin Watts.
4. Onyefula, Ifeoma. (1996). Objo: Sharing Life in an African Village. San Diego, California:
5. Prez, Amanda Irma. (2000). My Diary From Here To There. San Francisco, CA: Children's
6. Sheth, Kashmira. (2004). Blue Jasmine. NY: Hyperion Books for Children.
7. Helmer, Diana Star, (2003). The Cat Who Came For Tacos. Morton Grove, Illinois: Albert
Whitman & Co.
8. International Children's Digital Library website: http://www.icdlbooks.org/
9. Reading Basal: Harcourt Reading Trophies, second grade
10. Books from classroom library that apply
photocopied picture frames
1. Gather children into an informal discussion of how we are alike and different within our
2. Make a chart or an overhead of the things they talk about. Label one side, ALIKE, and
one side, DIFFERENT.
3. Give children an 8 12 xl in. piece of paper, have them fold it in 12 and label it like the
4. Review the list and discuss differences as, "good" or "bad", leading, hopefully, to the
conclusion that it is just "different." Children will copy down 3 things from each side on
5. Children will make a folder for themselves out of large, colored construction paper to
keep their chart in.
1. Spend the next few days reading stories, fiction and non-fiction, about children from
2. Conclude each lesson, story, using a Venn diagram to compare the child in the story to
themselves. You can use the following stories in the Trophies basal: Abuela, China
Town and Anthony Renoso, if desired.
1. Prepare ahead of time a "My Culture" poster about yourself (teacher). Use drawings or
photographs to depict yourself in the middle. Around this picture put pictures or
drawings, from the attached back-line master, that depict: Family, relative, pets, food,
fun, media, hobbies, ancestors, dress, community, religion, peers, sports, school, or
holidays. Use 6-8 of these topics.
2. Model a presentation to the class explaining your "Culture".
3. Explain to children that they too are going to make a poster about their "Culture".
Supply each child with a posterboard, 6-8 photocopied picture frames and a list of topics
they can use to complete their poster. Have children pick 6-8 topics from their list they
would like to put on their poster. Color and cut out frames and label with topics.
4. Classroom pictures may be taken for each child and than printed to place in the center of
their poster. At this point the unfinished posters can be sent home or put away until the
next date you plan to work on them in class.
If this is going to be done in class allow the children a few days to collect pictures
and information from home. A letter to parents, explaining the project and what
the children need and when it needs to be returned should be written and sent
home. An example is provided at the end of this lesson plan.
If this is going to be a "homework" project, a letter of explanation should be sent
home with clear directions and due dates. A sample letter is provided at the end of
this lesson plan.
1. Spend this time in class working on posters. Use photos or let the children draw in each
picture frame an example of the topic that it is supposed to illustrate. If the project is
done at home, this time could be used to help children complete posters who did not
complete it at home having classmates help.
1. Children present their posters to classmates. Presenter may ask for "Questions and
2. Display children's posters in the classroom or maybe around the school.
Revisit our ALIKE and DIFFERENT chart. Can we add to it? Can we take some things off it?
What part of each child's culture might be related to cultures in other parts of the world? Use a
large wall map, a globe, and individual maps to mark places where our personal culture and
other countries cultures connect.
I plan on using these activities at the beginning of the year as a way to get the children to know
one another better and as in introduction to more cross-cultural activities. Such activities would
include, cooking, art projects, speakers, and literature.
Welcome to our 2nd grade classroom. An exciting year of learning and discovery is planned
for you child over the next one hundred and eighty days.
Our first activity is about getting to know one another. This project is important in our
classroom where we will be expected to work together and respect each other each day.
We are going to be making a poster that will illustrate six to eight things that influence your
child's life. The topics they may choose from are: family, relatives, ancestors, pets, food, fun,
media, hobbies, dress, community, religion, peers, sports, school, holidays, friends, books.
The poster will have their pictures in the center and picture frames around it that are labeled
with their chosen topics. We will be making these posters at school, but we need your help.
Attached you will find an envelope. On the front there is a list of the topics your child has
picked to illustrate what topics have the most influence on him/her.
Please help your child find any photographs that would go with any of these topics. We will
be using your child's pictures and drawings to finish their posters in class. All pictures and
illustrations will be returned to you with your child's poster. If you would like, I can make
copies of your child's photos for their poster and return the originals to you.
We have discussed this project in class and your child should be able to explain it to you. If
you have any questions please call me at school after 2:00.
Please fill in and return the bottom of this note, with the envelope by 200
I have read and am sending pictures for my child's poster
I am sending pictures and would like them returned. Please make copies.
I am unable to send pictures at this time, but am aware my child will be working on this
project at school.