Diversity: Understanding and Teaching Diverse Students

In-Class Activities


McKay School of Education, Brigham Young University

Benefits of  Multicultural Education Activities

Activities allow students to experience new things and to express their feelings. Benefits include the following:

  • Help educators reach students who may benefit from more hands-on or practical learning experiences
  • Allow students to become actively involved in the learning process
  • Encourage students to critically think about and analyze information themselves, rather than passively receiving knowledge

Ways to Incorporate Multicultural Education Activities Into a Classroom

  • Revise teaching techniques to increase the success and effectiveness of the activity
  • Encourage all students to participate (especially during discussion)
  • Plan adequate time to process the activity
  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Foster a feeling of emotional safety in the classroom by respecting every student's opinion and encouraging all students to be respectful of one another

Lesson Plan Adaptation Activities

Adaptation activities are pedagogically sound activities that can be used to enhance any lesson by making the content more accessible to English language learners without excessive preparation or materials. These activities, which can be adapted to teach any content area, involve social learning as they involve students in working together to build and solidify their knowledge. In addition, they facilitate active student learning, and many address multiple learning styles so all learners can benefit.

All of the activities in this packet are similarly organized and include the following:

  • Learning objective, describing what the students will be able to do (TSWBAT) as a result of the learning activity
  • Standards for Effective Pedagogy, including at least one of the Standards for Effective Pedagogy that applies to the activity (with more information about the CREDE Standards for Effective Pedagogy available at http://gse.berkeley.edu/research/credearchive/standards/standards.html)
  • Materials required for the activity
  • Process description for setting up and conducting the activity
  • Looks Like, Sounds Like, and Feels Like section describing the behaviors students should perform while completing the activity--a strategy for modeling appropriate behavioral expectations
  • Rationale, including at least one reason why the activity is valid for all students and particularly helpful for ELLs
  • Brainstorm section which suggests  possible ways to adapt the activity for other content areas

The activities in this packet are not a comprehensive collection, but are rather just suggestions of possibilities. They have been adapted from many different sources  to meet our teaching needs and our students’ learning needs. You can feel free to make similar adjustments. As you think of your own teaching, you will probably find that you already use many similar types of activities. Add activities and share with your colleagues when you find ideas that meet your needs. Improving our teaching is about sharing our best ideas and our best teaching moments, as well as learning all we can from those we work with--both our colleagues and our students.

<<Download Lesson Plan Adaptation Activities>>

Links

Activities That Foster Cultural Sensitivity

The Iris Center Activities

This website provides downloadable PDF files of activities that teachers can use in their classroom to foster understanding of cultures and increase cultural sensitivity.

    Awareness Activities

    With readings, quizzes, facts sheets, data bases of relevant movies, and activities, this site provides educators with tools to foster dialogue among students.

      What is culture

      This website provides lesson plans that can be adapted for any age group. Topics of these lessons include definition of culture, patterns of culture, and application of cultural knowledge.

        Culture for Kids

        This site reviews and organizes cultural resources for children. Its library of information includes books, language textbooks, videos, audiocassettes, software, CD-ROMs, dolls, games, posters, crafts, t-shirts, and resource materials for parents and teachers.

          Multicultural Calendar

          With information divided up by month, holiday, and country, this site provides educators a searchable index of many of the major world holidays.

            Area and Regional Studies

            Organized by country, this site provides educators with many resources for researching cultures and regions.

              Guide to Online Schools

              This site is a resource of resources! It provides links to over 50 resources to help educators and administrators consider issues of diversity in classroom life.

                Activities That Foster Critical Thinking About Diversity

                Awareness Activities

                With readings, quizzes, facts sheets, databases of relevant movies, and activities, this site provides educators with tools to foster dialogue among their students.

                  Lesson Plans for Teaching Tolerance

                  This website provides many resources for teaching about tolerance. Topics of lesson plans include 911, respect for differences, and language diversity.

                    Lesson Plan for Teaching about Stereotypes

                    This website contains lesson plans, discussion topics, and other classroom activities about stereotyping.

                      General Multicultural Education Activities

                      Awesome Library

                      This website provides information, activities, lesson plans, and classroom resources about many topics in multicultural education.