Learning and Pedagogy / Apr 19, 2020

7 Great Multicultural Classroom Activities To Involve Parents

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Students come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and cultures! Multicultural Classrooms should be celebrated and shared – diversity within groups adds multiple dimensions, varying interests, and unique perspectives to any setting.

One of the best ways to create a culturally supportive and sensitive atmosphere is by providing learning opportunities that embrace the variety of students represented. When different backgrounds are welcomed in the classroom, this strengthens all learners’ feelings of inclusion. When included in the activities, their family members can also teach and enrich others’ multicultural knowledge. 

To help educate your students about cultural diversity, here are 7 engaging activities for students, their families, and teachers.

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1. Create a Mini-Heritage Documentary

Your students can create a mini-documentary highlighting their cultural heritage through a blend of cell phone technology and good old-fashioned interviewing skills. 

Have each of them produce a film of up to five minutes filled with:

  • Images of relatives
  • Interviews from family members that include: traditional garb, music, dances, and customs
  • Background of the area of the world they came from

These mini-docs can teach your entire class about how each of their peers lives, how they relate to their own families, and how these things shape their perspectives and behaviors.

2. Have a Multicultural Classroom Celebration

Diversity ought to be celebrated, so why not make a day of it? You can take the idea of a traditional class party and mix it with students’ unique cultures, or even one they’d like to learn about personally!

Throw a multicultural classroom celebration where students can bring in three items (one of them being food – of course) representing their heritage to share with their classmates and teacher. 

Pro-tip: Coordinating Events with parents is easy with ClassTag. Create an event, add your list of needed items and ask parents to RSVP! Don’t worry – we even connect with Google Meet if you need to make that celebration a virtual one!

For each, students should prepare a description to share aloud to educate their audience about its connection to their heritage. For example, a student speaking on their Mexican culture might share a sugar skull as it’s one of the most well-known symbols representatives of Día de Los Muertos where families pay tribute to their loved ones who’ve passed away.  

As students take turns sharing out, the whole group can enjoy the smorgasbord of food each of them brought! 

3. Take a Virtual Multicultural Classroom Field-trip

Field trips are always an excellent way for students to experience multiculturalism. However, the chances of an entire classroom hopping on a plane to travel to a foreign country may not be realistic. So, a terrific alternative would be to take a virtual field trip. 

There are plenty of online resources where students can visit another country to learn about that nation’s culture, customs, and traditions. Each student can select a country of their choice and tour its museums, schools, places of worship, monuments, and so on.  After they’ve virtually visited and learned about the country, they can report their observations in the form of a slide presentation or oral report to the class.

4. Host Multicultural Classroom Guest Speakers

While it’s relatively common for schools to bring in speakers from various industries and careers to inspire students or share important messages, the same notion can be applied when educating about multiculturalism. 

Selecting a panel of speakers hailing from different cultures is a fun way for learners to gain insight into diverse ethnicities, customs, and traditions. 

For an even more personal touch, bringing in students’ family members to share has many benefits. First, everyone learns about new cultures; next, students can better understand their classmates; finally, families can become more involved in their student’s education!

Remote Icon (1) Remote Learning Tip: If you can’t all be together in the classroom, create a Google Meet and let speakers join from wherever they are. You can even use a meet for a panel of guests to discuss cultural differences!

5. Encourage Playful Participation

What child doesn’t love to play, no matter what their age? The language of play transcends across all nations, regardless of one’s native tongue. Therefore, another fantastic way to involve families in educating students about their traditions is by inviting them into your multicultural classroom to teach games in their home countries. 

For example, Kongki Noli is a popular Korean game that is like American “jacks”. At the same time, in the Philippines, Tinikling is similar to double-dutch jump roping, but with the use of bamboo poles instead. 

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While students play, they’re also learning about how children from other countries enjoy their playtime!

Remote Icon (1) Remote Learning Tip: Families can create a video that shows how to play their favorite game. Upload the videos to YouTube and share the playlist with the class!

6. Holidays Around the World

A festive way to educate students on multiculturalism is to observe the different traditional holidays from around the world. With this, each student can create a presentation that includes how their own home country celebrates a particular holiday. 

Naturally, a great way to share is by students detailing their own celebratory experiences they’ve had. If they haven’t had the opportunity to partake in one, they can interview their family members and conduct online research. Each student’s presentation can include things such as customary holiday decorations, games, songs, and special foods that their families enjoy during these special celebrations.

7. International Potluck

Something that we all know that brings people together, without fail, is food! So what better way to gather the masses than by hosting an international buffet-themed potluck dinner for students and their families? Each family can prepare a dish or two from their culture. Be sure to provide table tent cards for them where they can write down the meal name(s) and main ingredients. 

To enhance the multicultural classroom ambiance, ask each of your students for 2-3 songs or instrumentals from their family’s country, load them all on a playlist, and fill the air with sounds of home! What a tasty way to bring food, culture, and people together!

Teaching across cultures

It’s true; so many of our classrooms are multicultural in makeup and should be celebrated for such diversity. Considering this and the world in which we live, it’s vitally important to teach students about the numerous cultures, traditions, foods, games, and overall knowledge that they may otherwise not experience on their own. 

The best part is when you incorporate any of these ideas into your teaching repertoire, not only does it expand your students’ cultural awareness, but their families stand to benefit from the inclusion as well. It’s a win-win for all!

ClassTag is a FREE teacher-parent communication platform that makes coordinating events (like your next multicultural party) a breeze! Click below to learn more!

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