Where is my family from, originally? What customs or traditions do I practice at home? What things are important to my culture? These are questions that you should ask yourself before asking your students when you decide to explore the cultural heritages of your students.

When exploring the backgrounds of your students, it is most valuable that you share your background with them as well. Model for them what kind of information you are looking for them to discover and share.   For example:

  • Bring in artifacts from your cultural; heritage.
  • Tell a story well-known to your family, but not so known to others..
  • Talk about your childhood and your family..
  • Show pictures of your ancestors or a map highlighting your country of origin..
  • Share the kinds of jobs completed by family members of years past – what did they do?.
  • Explain what daily life was like for your family then, and what your life is like today..
  • Allow students to experience a custom, tradition, ritual, etc. of your heritage..
  • Bring in a family member to share a story or celebration of your heritage with your students..

Once you have established the guidelines of exploring cultural heritages, provide students with a framework of things to identify about themselves and their family. Make it a checklist or a webquest (an online scavenger hunt for information). Below are a few other ideas to get you started on discovering the cultural backgrounds of your students:

  • Interview a relative.
  • Find a song that is relevant to your culture – students can play/sing it to the class or find a recording of it to play for the class
  • Make a family tree.
  • Record a recipe handed down in your family.
  • Share a folktale from your family, culture, or country of origin.

Follow these links for great ideas and activities that focus on exploring cultural heritages in your classroom:

 

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Heritage and family histories are the subjects of many

of our RaceBridges Studio Lesson Plans, videos and resources.

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