Dear Friends and Readers,
Reasons I care about teaching our kids about other cultures:
- I work in the rural midwest. Many of my kids are not even tolerant of different American subcultures. Cultures beyond our borders? Its safe to say that most are lacking in knowledge and understanding.
- I don’t think you can function in our world today without being at least somewhat culturally aware and tolerant.
- We have so much to learn from people who are different from us! An interest and appreciation for unfamiliar customs and cultures is the first step in sharing our knowledge and learning from other people or groups of people.
- I firmly believe that most of America’s international relations issues are due to a general lack of awareness and compassion among the masses.
- Learning to appreciate people different from you is an incredible asset for children who are about to enter the most exclusionary time of their lives: middle school.
- We are all God’s children and his precious creation. Acknowledging and learning about one another is the first step to loving one another as we are called to do.
Each summer, we have at least one week that will integrate learning other cultures into camp games and activities. Last summer, we had a “Around the World” themed week.
Here is what we did:
- Paper Mache Globes: Learning that there is more to the world than the US is the first step. Plus, who doesn’t love to get messy?!
- Global Dances: My kids LOVE getting their grove on… now they can do so to salsa music too!
- Soccer: Kids got to experience something familiar and learn about countries that love non-American football at the same time!
- Dramatizing Folk Tales: Kids read a folk tale from another country (that counselors selected) and acted them out in front of one another.
- “Around the World“: Kids went from station to station playing games from other countries and getting their “passports” (a world map) colored.
- Games included: Mrs Wolf What Time Is It? (Australia), Statues (Greece), Pilolo (Ghana), Ant/Man/Elephant (Sumatra), Writing Names in Chinese (China), Making Corn Tortillas (Mexico), and Scargot (France).
- See linked PDF for instructions for each game.
What “around the world” activities have you used?