Wednesday, November 19, 2014

World Wisdom With Weaver - Multicultural Activities for the Classroom!

I know from years of teaching that this time in the school year is such fun - class holiday parties, assemblies, decorations throughout the halls. But these next few weeks can also be frustrating when trying to maintain focus, discipline and the drive to continue with the curriculum when the students have turkeys, cornucopias, sugarplums and holiday breaks on their mind.  I also know it's frustrating when family vacations coincide with these weeks and take students out of class for long periods of time.

My challenge to you is to see this time as a chance to broaden student minds. Take advantage of those days of "holiday ennui" when the students are antsy and you are just waiting for that bell to ring. I am supplying you in this blog with some activities you can use in class to promote multicultural learning and help students with cultural perspective. Most are lighthearted on the surface, and can help to get excess energy out, but they lead to good and deep discussions. 

Keep these in your toolkit to pull out when necessary. And hey, add one that I may have missed (just comment below - I'll even send you a little something if you do! Well, I mean as long as you email me your address!)
  • BARNGA - We played this game at the Global Learning in Agriculture Conference (#GLAG14) that was held November 7-8. It was a blast! It's a basic card game that has a great deal of teachable moments and discussion starting points. Most kids will get wrapped up in the game, but will then will have their minds blown when you start to point out some of the inner workings of what is happening. I have linked a few resources on the Global Agriculture Space on NAAE Communities of Practice. Check it out! 

  • Penn State Resources - the College of Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Research and Cooperative Extension has developed (from what I could find) these two online resources that includes over 20 different activities. Not all are gold, but there are some good nuggets in there. Most are generalized, but can be tweaked to be more "global" and agricultural with some slight changes. Here are some of my favorites.
    1. Diversity Activities - My favorite from this one is Proverbs. It's a neat activity that could potentially lead to some other discussions or lessons. As an extension, it might be cool to research some of these sayings and find their origin in the culture.
    2. More Diversity Activities for Youth and Adults - From this one I liked Unequal Resources. It's made to fit economic diversity as I interpreted it, but easily you could change this to different "resources" that are unequal. 

  • Global Education Activities - This WEBSITE has links to all kinds of activities. These ones are more agriculturally minded, but have some great messages. Not all are for High School level, but there are several that are and can be used effectively in an Ag. classroom.
Enjoy the time leading up to these next two holiday breaks!

Agriculturally Yours,

Nicole Weaver
PSU Global Teach Ag! Fellow

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