A Nation of Many Cultures
Grade Level: Elementary (K-5)
Estimated Time: Three 1/2-hour classroom sessions; one homework assignment
Invite students to create a visual representation of themselves to include
their family, heritage, and interests.
Use these creations to compare and contrast similarities and differences.
Create a display of the art work in the form of a U.S. Flag
Related National Standards from McREL:
- Understands that people are alike in many ways and
different in many ways
- Understands that people might feel uncomfortable
around other people who dress, talk, or act very
differently from themselves
- Understands that various factors (e.g., interests,
capabilities, values) contribute to the shaping of a
- Knows that human beings have different interests,
motivations, skills, and talents
- Paper: Plain or notebook; red, and white construction
- Venn Diagram
- Blue poster board
- Art supplies
- Magazines, newspapers, and/or photographs
Begin by addressing the fact that the United States of America is made up of people
from many different cultures and nations. Include a conversation that defines the factors
of culture to include race, religion, etc. Discuss some of the different cultures
represented in the classroom and school. Brainstorm images or ideas that accurately
represent these cultures.
- Homework: Ask students to prepare either a poem or collage that represents
themselves. Be sure to include family, home, nationality, and interests.
Poems or collages should fit on an 8 1/2" by 11" or smaller piece of paper.
Teacher may choose to have all poems, all collages, or a mix.
- Create a Venn Diagram on a standard piece of blue poster board. (approximately 18" X 27")
Use the collages and poems to compare and contrast the similarities and differences
of the students.
The middle of the diagram should represent the similarities in the class. The outer rings
can be used collectively to represent differences.
- Discuss the similarities and differences of the
students. Do the students feel comfortable around everyone, or do they tend to
congregate with those most like them? Are these congregations based on culture,
interests, neighborhood, age, gender, or other factors?
- Post the Venn Diagram in the upper left hand corner of a bulletin board or wall.
Glue each collage or poem to red or white construction paper. Arrange the now backed
collages or poems to the right of and below the blue Venn Diagram to form the stripes
of the American Flag.
Student understanding should be assessed through:
- contribution to class discussion and activity
- successful completion of collage or poem