Celebrating Who We Are Through Cultural Show & Tell

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 9:01pm

 

Building relationships, authentically knowing our students and where they are from or know what is important to them, helps us to better reach them. The Cultural Show & Tell is a way to ensure that our students feel connected to the school. One of the most wonderful aspects about Fulton Elementary School is our rich diversity. It is essential that every student feels that they belong at Fulton Elementary School and understands that their culture is valued. We want to celebrate each student in our school community!

Merriam-Webster defines culture as:

  •  : the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations
  •  : the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also : the characteristic features of everyday existence (such as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time popular culture Southern culture
  •  : the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization a corporate culture focused on the bottom line
  • : the set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic studying the effect of computers on print culture

This year all students will take part in sharing an item, photograph, memorabilia, etc. about their cultural background, traditions, interests or celebrations with their classmates. This activity will give the students a chance to gain a better understanding of their classmates, appreciate each other’s interests along with similarities and differences. This activity will help to build classroom community.

Some examples that students may share are:
If you are a family that loves football like my family, you can share this during your assigned time as part of your culture. I would share that every Sunday my family gets together to watch football, we love to wear our spirit wear all day long. We gather around the TV and we always eat nachos during half time. This is part of my culture and it is a special time that my family shares together.

Another example that I would share is that I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is customary that we eat french fries and coleslaw on ham sandwiches. My son loves pizza and he eats pizza at least once a week. This is part of our culture. Families that have lived in Maryland may love to pick and eat crabs. All of these foods may be part of our culture.

Finally, if you are a family that loves soccer and it plays a big role in your life, soccer may be part of your culture. If you are on a soccer team, then you are part of a group and this is part of your culture. This might be something that you share on your assigned Show & Tell day.

The students will participate in this sharing a few minutes a week and it will be done during community/classroom meetings or social studies content time. This activity is aligned to our social studies curriculum and our language arts/reading curriculum and standards. Essentially, students are sharing about themselves and what is important to them. Note: Please do not send in food, delicate or breakable items. If your child would like to share these items, please send in a photograph of the item or a recipe for the food.

This school wide activity is a way for each teacher to build a classroom community in which each person is valued for who they are, and it enables us to teach our students that we need to value similarities and differences. We need to accept one another for our thoughts, opinions and beliefs as they may be different. We are not all the same and it is important to lift up, celebrate and learn about each other.

We look forward to learning more about our students and we want each of our students to feel proud of who they are!

Please remember that culture does not need to be tied to a certain country or religious affiliation. Culture is many things. It includes your ‘way of life’ – how your family celebrates, things you routinely do and values you hold. Below please find some examples of possible Cultural Show and Tell ideas.

Traditions/Holidays:

  • Photos from family vacation each summer
  • Brochure from church every Sunday
  • Kwanzaa candles
  • T-shirt from a race routinely run on Thanksgiving Day
  • Picture of laying wreaths on Memorial Day

Food (please send in the recipe or a photo rather than the actual food):

  • Special birthday cake
  • Kugel
  • Christmas cookies
  • Pizza and movie every Friday night
  • Dumplings
  • Favorite Thanksgiving food
  • Empanada

Dancing:

  • The Hora
  • Irish Step Dancing
  • Bollywood
  • Line Dancing
  • Hip-hop

Photos:

  • Relatives in country of origin/background
  • Photos of old antiques or jewelry passed down from generation to generation
  • Relative/person you are named after

Clothing:

  • Sari
  • Hijab
  • Baseball uniform (family tradition to play baseball)
  • Outfit worn to a special celebration
  • Hula skirt

Art & Crafts:

  • Chinese lantern
  • Dreamcatchers
  • Basket weaving
  • Knitting
  • Needlepoint
  • Henna
  • Pottery