The world is a big place filled with many countries, cultures, and types of people. Everyone should be celebrated regardless of where they come from or what their background is. Teaching children from an early age about different cultures and how much diversity exists is essential. This post highlights easy and creative ways to host a multicultural event for students, and how to travel the world in one night while staying in the same room!
Create an open dialogue where students can ask questions to learn more about cultures they are not already familiar with. It is imperative to celebrate diversity and be mindful that every student’s culture impacts them in a variety of ways.
Reinforcing respect amongst the students is essential for this event and their future. Make sure to be sensitive to cultural values and have accurate information about what is being discussed. Educate students on traditions of cultures and help them develop an appreciation of others. Be sure not to create an environment of acceptance. Do NOT generalize or stereotype about cultures.
During a class before the event, have the students decorate their own passport to use when traveling through the different countries. When they go from station to station, they can put a sticker from the country to show that they traveled there. This is a fun, interactive, and memorable way to encourage the students to be excited about traveling around the world.
In order to make this event a success, generate community participation. Getting both the students AND parents involved will excite all those planning on attending. Send out an e-mail blast to all the parents of the school, inviting them to help plan for this event. Create committees to make the planning process run smoothly. Give them the opportunity to volunteer to work at a station of a culture they identify with or are interested in.
For the event
Elements of culture
Be sure to include traditional music that will give students insight into how music varies across the world. Another fun way to engage the students is to have them try different types of food native to a country or popular dishes so they can taste flavors from all regions. Lastly, teach the students how to write and pronounce common phrases of languages spoken in the countries featured at your event.
Activity for everyone
Hire a multicultural dancer (you can view different options here) that will be able to teach the students a coordinated dance that they will be able to perform together in the future. Make sure to encourage the parents to dance along as well!
…of food allergies! While food is a backbone of culture, having an allergic reaction would be detrimental to the success of the event. If you are serving or making food at a station, have a sign handy that lists all ingredients that are in the food to avoid any confusion or allergic reactions.
After the event
Take a couple minutes and have the students reflect on what they learned. Have an activity ready in which they can talk about something they did not know before, and what they would like to learn more about.