Viewing Multiculturalism in Early Childhood EnvironmentsThere are a so many ways to display multiculturalism in an early childhood curriculum consistently
1.Photos of Families: When families become apart of a preschool or daycare, ask the parents to bring in a photo of the family, then place the photo in a presentation format for everyone to view, such as a large tree titled The Family Tree or into a quilt like display with the title, Our Family Blanket. Make sure the photos are positioned in the room for everyone to see, yet low enough for young children to view.
2. Pictures of children placed up on the walls of the preschool classroom or daycare space representing diversity and inclusiveness.
Drama Area and Multiculturalism
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Preschool Lesson Plans Featuring MulticulturalismSometimes, one of the best ways to discuss different nationalities, cultural diversity and inclusiveness is to simply set out a lesson plan or theme topic. For instance a travel lesson plan would be a great way to discuss other places visited by the children and families themselves. A theme, All About Me, is also conducive to introducing learning lessons to preschool ages about how we are all different, and yet all the same.
Preschool Songs, Music and DancingMusic is a wonderful way to introduce cultural diversity to preschool children. Allow children to dance with color scarves to various styles of music from around the world. Moreover, try inviting family members or community groups to dance for the children. Following are some preschool song suggestions:
- He's(We've ) Got the Whole World in Our Hands
- I am special, I am special, You will see, you will see, someone very special, someone very special, yes it's me, yes it's me! (sung to the tune of Frere Jacques)
- Singing hello and good-bye in different languages
Preschool Activities to Teach Diversity and Inclusiveness
- Three Apples: find a green, red and yellow apple and ask the children how the apples are the same and how are they different. Then peel (optional) and cut the apples sideways to display the star. Ask the children if they see any differences or if the apples are all the same inside. The apples can then be sliced and enjoyed by the children. The discussion of differences and similarities can still be continued with the taste and texture of the apple slices.
- "I like...": in a circle, have each child turn to the child on their right or left and say, I like your (body feature) , such as eyes, hair or freckles. Encourage the children to say why they like the body feature chosen. Move around the circle. This exercise illustrates to children how we are all special in our own way.
- Make a Book: ask each child, I am special because? Or I am beautiful because? Record the answers, and then make a book for the classroom or group to read. The children can decorate their page with artwork of their choice.
Cooking Activities to Represent Cultural DifferencesCooking from around the world is a great way to teach children about multiculturalism. The snacks could be made and enjoyed by the preschool children and teacher(s) or be brought in by the parents for a special party. The parents could be invited to stay. Another idea to expand on this one is to place recipes donated by families and make a cookbook for all to have.
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Visual Communication for FamiliesIf families have arrived into the preschool facility and have english as a second language, it is crucial for the teacher to be mindful that the english language (or whatever language is being spoken at the early childhood facility) is being learnt. Communication through newsletters is not the only way to send messages of upcoming events.
The teacher must remember to use visual aids in her communication, such as putting the preschool schedule into picture forms to view. When talking to parents, use the clock to discuss time and any other visual representation accessible. Similarly, with ESL children, using visual aides at circle time, such as felts on flannel boards helps with communication.