“I can relate the importance of cultural perspective to the discipline”
During my student teaching time, I was not placed in a classroom with an abundance of cultural diversity. While the school in which I was placed is considered to be diverse, all ELL students were placed in the same classroom, to be worked with away from those not facing cultural differences. My brief experiences observing the ELL aspects of my school were not notably diverse. It is for this reason that I took it upon myself to import some cultural perspective, teaching my students about it. In the following lesson plans, I had my students read a story called, “Cocoa Ice,” in which a little girl in Santo Domingo and a little girl in Maine send items back and forth to one another via a trade ship, and each shares her perspective on the other’s culture. In my class, we followed our discussion with an activity in which the students compared and contrasted the two cultures, both of which were previously unknown. We created a comparison picture – one side of the page the warm colors of “Cocoa,” (Santo Domingo as seen by the little girl from Maine) and the other side of the page drawn in the cool colors of “Ice,” (Maine as seen by the little girl from Santo Domingo).
Lesson Plan Excerpts:
Pause reading at the end of pg. 234 and discuss the warm, bright colors used and how they are fitting to the culture, location, and story. Give kids a piece of drawing paper. Have them fold it in half (hamburger) and draw on ONLY one half of the page, what they think is happening in the story, using warm colors. Have them write “COCOA” at the top of the page.
Return the pictures of the “cocoa” section from yesterday. Now, discuss the cooler climate and colors of Maine, vs. Santo Domingo. Have the kids draw what they think is happening in Maine, using cool colors, on the other half of the folded paper. Have them write “ICE” at the top of this sheet.