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Project Students L.E.A.D.: The Mosaic School - Project Children L.E.A.D. - Learning Early to Appreciate Diversity

Teacher: Dr. Connie Craven
Project Children L.E.A.D. Director: Dr. Vincenne Revilla Beltran
Subject Area: Multicultural Instruction, Integrated Themes in Language Arts, Social Studies, Art, Music
Grade level: Elementary to Middle School (Grades 3-6)
Length of Lesson: 20 hours, (1200 minutes) over a period of five weeks.

Download a printable version of the Lesson: The Mosaic School in PDF format (requires Adobe Reader)

Schools are true "melting pots" of nationalities and culture. The challenge of education is to develop a climate of respect for all cultures and thereby all individuals while preserving the differences that make each person unique.

It is important to keep stages of development in mind when addressing issues of diversity. What is in a child's environment (as well as what is not) provides children with important information about who and what is important. Consequently, every effort should be made to create a setting that is rich in possibilities for exploring cultural and nationality diversity and creating an environment rich in possibilities for learning about cultural diversity. This integrated unit will:

· Help children develop ideas about themselves and others that are positive and draw on cultural contributions,
· Create conditions under which children learn about their families and heritage to
develop a better understanding of themselves and others,
· Provide a forum for introducing various international customs, traditions, and foods from the diverse backgrounds of students.

Academic Standards:
This lesson incorporates the Pennsylvania Standards in Reading, Writing, and Speaking as follows:
1.1 Learning to read independently
Vocabulary development
Comprehension and interpretation
1.4 Informational writing
1.5 Speaking, listening, presentation and discussion skills
1.8 Research selection, location of information, organization of information
This lesson incorporates the Pennsylvania Proposed Standards in Civics and Government as follows:
5.4 International relations and organization: the existence and co-existence of
nation states in the world, the importance of diplomacy

Incorporated in this lesson are the "Thematic Topics" developed at the Laboratory School of Point Park University to teach Diversity: Getting to Know You, I am Special You are Special, Families and Neighborhoods, and Foods and Languages of the World

Also included in the lesson are the standards of art that involve the use of varied media and materials, research, and creative production.

1. Develop the understandings of multicultural heritage.
2. Develop an oral history, writing skills, including note-taking
3. Read for detail
4. Use real world examples for writing and reporting
5. Compare and contrast
6. Use technology to research information
7. Use a variety of media and materials to create multicultural art
8. Practice communication skills in writing, speaking, listening, and through dance, music, and art
9. Develop interviewing skills and map skills
10. Cooperate in learning and researching endeavors

Computer Web resources to research the flag of the country of origin of each student in the class, white construction paper, magic markers, crayons, paints, a white 8 inch cardboard backed square, a large wall map of the world, different colors of yarn, small photograph or drawing of each student, sign up sheet for cooking demonstrations for teachers, aides, parents.

Scope and Sequence/Activities:
1. The vocabulary of diversity and culture will be established and earned. The word, "mosaic" will be defined. (Language Arts)
2. Each child will research his/her family's country(ies) of origin, and write a report indicating the location, population, brief history, products, music, art, etc. (Social Studies, Language Arts)
3. Each child will find the flag of his/her family's country of origin on the Web and draw it(them) on uniform pieces of paper. (Social Studies, Art)
4. On the large wall map, each child will locate his/her family's country of origin, draw an outline, label major cities, rivers, and interesting sites or artifacts (ie. London Bridge.) (Geography)
5. Photographs or drawings of each student will be displayed around the large wall map. Then with different colors of yarn, connections with pins will be made between pictures/photographs and country of origin. (Geography)
6. The students will be instructed that they are to draw the most important or outstanding characteristic(s) of their country of origin or heritage on the square.
7. The teachers will gather squares and with a small punch make holes around the squares so that yarn can be woven to hold all squares together. This will form the Mosaic Heritage Quilt. A nice border should be made to outline this outstanding piece of work. (Art, Consumer Arts)
8. The end of each week of the cultural activity will be celebrated with a cooking and tasting demonstration dedicated to one of the cultures represented in the class (teachers included). Teachers, aides, parents, and motivated students can take turns with simple, but interesting recipes. Make sure that demonstrations for making the treats are arranged rather than just handing out the treats. Students must be prepared to be adventurous and open-minded in trying nutritious, but different foods. (Take every precaution for sanitary preparation and storing of foodstuffs.)
9. Students will be given the opportunity to report to their classmates what they have found out about their culture, show and explain the map or the country of origin, show where the country is on the large room map, and demonstrate either a piece of music, poetry, or dance common to their heritage.
10. At the end of the unit a book fair can be arranged, (MULTICULTURAL BOOK FAIR) to display and sell books throughout the building that will highlight cultural literature, art, music, dance, etc. Students and teachers can begin building their own multicultural libraries.

Adaptations for Learning Support Students could be made by having students build word walls Also, it would be helpful to give students word banks, outlines of the flag, along with books and pictures representing their country of origin.

Adaptations for Gifted Students should involve: presenting demonstrations of the language of their culture, words with the pictures they represent, reports on ethnic/cultural collections that may be in the families (ie. Coins, stamps, pictures, pottery, clothing, etc.), demonstrations of dance, or performances of music (choral or instrumental.)

Enduring Understandings:
Demonstrate appreciation and understanding of :
· Cultural heritage and diversity
· Historical and geographical information and differences
· Similarities of forms, customs, foods, dance, folk costumes.

This thematic unit can be flexible, involving individual students or students working in groups. It also spans developmental ages and grades 3-6 and can be placed in the curriculum according to activities so that the time can be increased or decreased.

The best way to assess this unit is to devise a rubric devoted to apportionment of points and descriptions for proficient and distinguished categories for each activity of the lesson. The rubric can be combined as a project rubric to include all activities if desired.

©2003 Project Children L.E.A.D.

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