To enhance the learning curve of students, mere bookish knowledge is not sufficient. They need to be given a substantial exposure to a variety of topics. Introducing global culture or international culture to students is a must-know thing these days. As a globetrotter, your kids cannot afford to be the odd ones out. Even if they decide to stay in their own home country, they need to know how international domains operate. The students when they become confident adults may need to work for international clients or run internationally acclaimed hospitals or teach students where the international syllabus is being followed. This is where one must introduce the right kind of activities to teach culture in the classroom.
The robust knowledge includes
- Introducing at least one foreign language as a part of the school curriculum
- Know the countries and capitals of cities across the world
- Know about World art/culture
- A glimpse into world history
- Cuisines tried out at various places around the globe.
Now let us move to make the knowledge-base into an interesting set of activities. Introducing fun-filled activities to teach culture in the classroom:
Introducing One New Phrase a Month
Introducing at least one new phrase a month in a foreign language can stimulate the interest of students to learn a foreign language. When you introduce commonly used English based words or phrases in new languages, the students can get themselves acquainted with familiarity. In other words, they will know how to say
- a hello,
- This is my name——-,
- What is your name?
- Where are you from?
They will know how to use the phrases in another language. Let me give you a simple illustration to prove my point.
- Hello: Is Hello in English
- Bonjour in French
- G’Day Mate in Australian English (Great day or good day)
- God dag in Dutch
- Shalom in Hebrew
- Buenos Dias in Spanish and so on
Introduce Pretend Travel Games
Choosing the set of activities to teach culture in the classroom must be age-appropriate. You can have a World Atlas chart or a big golden Globe. You can ask your students to pick the city, country or continent of their choice. This way, you can plan a world trip to different places around the planet. You can make pretend play activity lively and interesting. This is a mind-boggling activity indeed. Students of your class are introduced to major cities, capitals, and continents of the globe, all at one go.
Jules Verne’s 80 days across the planet is a great book for teachers to have a glimpse into. They will know how to perform the pretend play activity with all the zest and enthusiasm that is typically called for. In case your kids are toddlers, you can ask the school’s librarian to suggest some interesting travel-related books that are age-appropriate ones.
Into the cuisine world
How many of you are foodies out here? You can allow the students to get a glimpse into how the global food industry works. To make things simple and interesting, you can start off by introducing different varieties of bread. This can kick-start the breakfast hour of the day. Introduce croissants, pitas, tortillas, matzo and dark bread. Discuss each country where the flavors originally came from!
You can also indulge in a power-packed pot lunch activity. Allow the parents to take charge of a globally-acclaimed menu. You can suggest the students bring fruit juices, food or desserts that represent their heritage. At the end of the session, take the recipes from each of them and compile them. You can create your very own version of a global culture cookbook. This can be sent to each child.
Time for some art and craft activities
Introducing handicraft activities that belong to varied cultures can again be a stimulating one, for you and for your students. The Greeks used to make worry beads to ease the tension off their minds. They used to place the worry beads behind their neck and count the beads two by two. This way their ease or tension relaxed. And they could resume their normal work sans the fringe or anger. You can make your students make their very own version of worry beads.
Plenty of YouTube tutorials give you the step by step method on how to do one all by yourself. Similarly, paper-tissue flowers introduce you to the Mexican culture. These paper flowers are used in an extensive manner to adorn churches, wedding reception halls, party halls, houses, and even streets. In other words, these are predominantly used during festive occasions. You can teach your students how to make paper flowers. Origami papercraft activities originated in Japan. The students can make their own version of Origami butterflies, paper boats and so on.
Assorted group activities
You can conduct interesting quiz programs based on specific holidays celebrated in cities or countries across the globe. You can pick a country or a city a week. Hangman games, crossword puzzles or dumb charades can be used to depict the same. Music, sports or dance forms that were originated in countries across the world can also be introduced to students. These are merry activities to teach culture in the classroom.
You can also ask your students to be dressed as Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Cinderella, Sofia Princess and so on. There is no hard and fast rule that you have to follow a particular dictum or routine. You can use your own creativity to include these activities for the children. You can talk to them about theater, film production houses, famous directors and apparently to which countries, cities or states they belong to.
The activities to teach culture in the classroom must definitely not emulate a boring History lesson. Students must enjoy what they do plus they will have to enhance their learning curve too. As a teacher, you should also introduce different countries of the world without offending the sentiments or culture of any particular student. Once a glass bowl is shredded, it is done. You can do nothing to undo the damage. So their minds are as fragile as glass miniatures.