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Cultural Awareness/festivals /equal Opps


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HI

 

Im working in a pre-school room, but am very concerned that we aren't doing a whole lot to develop the children's awareness of:

 

* The culture of themselves and others

* equality of opprotunity /exloring roles/ disability

* wider cultures/ ways of living /communities (ie india, china etc etc)

 

we have some multicultural jigsaws and that's about all.... i really would like some ideas for age appropriate activities/displays/discussions/resources for children aged 3 years - nearly 5 years.

 

i would be most grateful for any input/suggestions.

 

I must hold my hands up and say i am not the most knowledgeable person in this area and feel that my ignorance/lack of understanding is in some part hindering my thinking in this area.

 

Dawn

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We have a name board, picture of child and parent info as to why they chose child's name. This promotes discussion as it introduces the idea that all families have thier own equally valuable 'norms' and we have several children who were named for religious reasons. (My all time favourite remains the child named after four famous footballers-parents were separated and I wonder how much part football played in their relationship!)

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Hi Dawn,

we've printed 'welcome' signs in lots of different languages making sure we had ones we knew some of our children spoke at home.

Parents are often the best 'resources' during a cultural theme you could ask parents to come in and show children how to cook simple recipes , how they dress their children for special celebrations or even how they do their childrens hair.

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We celebrate 3 festivals each year, from different faiths. Last year during Chinese new year we asked some Chinese parents to come in and show us how to write Chinese new year messages and eat with chopsticks (yum :o ). It is worth remembering that 'our' culture is not going to be the same for many children unless you live in a very monocultural area. We also do one off events - at the moment we are doing a whole school arts project based on a Nigerian folk tale.

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Hi

WE celebrate chinese new year, this year we made a dragon with a long pice of material at the back, we put on some chinese music and the children all danced using the dragon, we also do divali by making candles and talking about the festivals at circle time. We also have the welcome posters in different languages, i also have posters saying what all the activities are in different languages as well.

We have a chinese restaurant in the home corner with chopsticks etc, books in the book corner some in different languages. plus posters all around the room with pictures of children from different cultures etc.

We are working on developing our dressing up clothes but they are so expensive..

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how about having a food tasting week, we have done foods from one country ie Indian food or you could do as we have resently done different breads or friuts etc from around the world. much fun was had by all.

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Your book area is another good place to start - check that you have a good range of books depicting people, of different genders, with a range of disabilities and from a variety of cultures and/or races. Neither the images or the characters role should be tokenistic or stereotypical. If you don't have the funds to buy new books try your local library. The library in our area allows groups to borrow upto 20 books at a time for an extended period and our librarians are really helpful when you need to track down a particular book. I often borrow dual language books - although I work in a rather monocultural area I feel it I feel it is good for the children to see other writing forms.

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My school is situated in a small village and the children all have very similar 'cultural' backgrounds. We have a broad 'socioeconomic' mix but in general the children do not have experience of other 'cultures' outside of school.

We celebrate all major festivals from all cultures Food is always a good way for young children to gain interest in other peoples life styles so we do food associated with festivals(St Patricks Day we had soda bread irish butter and irish stew Chinese New Year we had a Chinese banquet 4th of July we plan a BBQ with burgers and fries) and also look at different types of everyday food such as bread.

We use stories and things like Comic relief web site to raise awareness of how life might be in different countries. Later this month we have a charity day for Send a Cow and will look at the life of Maria and her cow in Africa. We invite storytellers from different cultures into school and are having an African Drum workshop this term. Our LA is offering a 'Small World Big Dream' program where people from different cultures can work in school sharing creative arts.

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Hi Dawn

 

If you look through resource catalogues you can find a variety of dolls and small world toys of children and families from different cultures on traditional dress and also dolls with disabilities.

 

Jenny

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