Celebrating Heritage & History as a Classroom Routine
If you’ve found your way to this blog post, then you know that incorporating different heritages and history into your classroom is important.
If you’re a teacher, you probably also realize that not only is diversity not a main focus in our curriculum, but there are so many other things in the pacing and curricuclum requirments of our states and districts that we have no time for extra things.
How can I squeeze it all in?
That was my thought. Then I realized that I had 5 minutes in the morning while my students were eating breakfast in the classroom, after all the buses had arrived. I decided I was going to use those 5 minutes.
I first created a set of biography necklace cards (which you can read more about here) (and find in my store here) for Black History Month in February of 2018. Long story short, each necklace had a mini biography of an influential person. The students would come in, select a necklace for the day and read about their person. Throughout the day, whenever I had a minute or so during transitions, I would have a student share out or turn and talk to a neighbor to answer a discussion question about their person. We did this every day for Black History Month and the students not only enjoyed it, but ended the month having learned about so many important people. As you can imagine, I went on to create this for Women’s History Month in March and many other months after that.
After using the biography necklaces for a few years, I had learned some tips. I knew my students were going to ask me more about certain people, so I would have books already checked out and video links ready to go. Finally I realized, I should just turn this into a digital resource!
So I did.
I created a set of slides for each set of biography necklaces I had created. The slides brought more color and interest to our person-of-the-day discussions. It allowed for follow-ups through links and online resources. Plus, it simplified the process. Instead of students having a different person from everyone else, we all had the same person. I would pull up the slides in the morning and we would discuss the person all day long. Sometimes I even used it as an early finishers activity by sharing the slide with my students and having them log-on to read and follow the links on their own.
As of right now I currently have slides to celebrate…
- Black History Month in February
- Women’s History Month in March
- Asian-Pacific Heritage Month in May
- Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15-October 15
- Native American Heritage Month in November
- with a bonus of a daily resource for Poetry Month in April
I know that I don’t have every celebration month covered yet, but I am continuing to create and work my way through in between teaching.
This resource has not only provided my classroom with a new meaningful routine, but has introduced my students to so many influential people and broadened their view of the world.
You can take a closer look at all of my digital A-Person-A-Day resources by clicking the link above or check out the bundle by clicking here.
Talk to you soon,
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