Today’s guest post looks at possible lesson plans concerning cultural differences showing consideration of a range of subjects, from food to clothing.  Enjoy! ~EMP

Image by USAG-Humphreys

When children learn about different cultures, it helps them to build a broader understanding and enables them to engage with the world around them. From food to music, our society is constantly being influenced by other cultures and so, it’s important that our children get a positive introduction to some of the most influential cultures around today. However keeping your lessons fun and educational can prove quite a challenge. How is this overcome? By five simple yet effective methods that will get any child on their feet and their mind, switched on.  Anytime is an ideal time to immerse your class into some culture and spice up those lesson plans!

Food

Food is such a huge part of culture. And we love nothing more than to sample other foods, whether it be a Chinese takeaway on a Friday night or something a little more exotic. One way to get your class engaged is to spark their curiosity. With tasting sessions your children can get a hands-on experience. Make it into a game by adding an element of mystery to the session, asking the children to guess where the food is from. Of course, it’s important to keep in mind any food allergies children in your class may have before going ahead with this one.

Spare Time

An alternate way to get children thinking about culture is to ask them about how children in other parts of the world spend their free time. Do they participate in similar games and activities? If not, you and your class could explore what they do instead. In some cultures children spend the majority of their time with their family as opposed to their peers – you could ask the class why this is. By looking into the way other children spend their time, a great insight can be given into what values a certain culture has. Moreover by looking at children of a similar age group in different cultures, your own class will be able to relate to them more.

Clothing

From a colourful sari to an embroidered headscarf, there are various items that can act as illustrative examples of certain cultures. These can introduce your class to a different culture by allowing them to wear and examine clothing worn by members of different cultures. Following which you can explain why these items are used. For instance, a headscarf could be used to abide by the religious teaching that states females should not show their hair in public. This in turn would help children to feel more involved in what is being taught, allowing them to actively learn by tapping in to their curious natures with a dress-up session.

Music

Music holds a great influence over the younger generations. So when trying to think up ways of making your lessons fun, it is important that you try and incorporate elements that relate to their personal interests. With music being a global phenomenon accessible to all through websites such as YouTube, you can encourage children to research music from certain cultures before the lesson that they can bring to class either on their iPod (should they have one) or a memory stick. Using these, you can play the music through either your own speakers or an interactive whiteboard so that all children may listen and appreciate each other’s contributions. They could even have a little dance themselves!

Learning about different cultures is pivotal to a child’s education. By presenting them in a fun and engaging way, you can ensure your class will be learning about culture in a positive and light-hearted manner, increasing the children’s enjoyment of the subject as well as their understanding of it. So if you’re looking for things to do with your pupils in spring looking at culture, especially those that have festivals coming up, can be a great way of getting your kids up and moving, and their education, continuously flourishing.

Do you have any additional tips to add to the mix? Have you given any of these lesson ideas a go yourself? Do comment below about how it went down with your class!

Bio:  Grace is a student who is studying Childhood, Youth and Education. She loves working with children of all ages and enjoys volunteering for schools and youth groups.

 

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