Shannon E. Oneto
The United States is now a place where hundreds of different cultures, religions, and races are represented, and we see that everyday. Unfortunately, we all too often see and feel the repercussions from people who have not been taught to appreciate and embrace the things that make us unique. Children then, must be taught at a very early age to accept all people, learn more about other cultures, and share their own culture as well.
This unit, created for a mixed group of second language learners, will strive to begin to do just that. Latino students will be given opportunities to examine their own culture closely by discussing the holidays and celebrations that they participate in. They will also be working with their families to discover what it is that makes their family unique, and also, what similarities they share with other classmates. Students will become more familiar with Latino holidays (Day of the Dead, Christmas, Three Kings' Day, Easter, Cinco de Mayo, and Puerto Rican Day) through literature, food, crafts, singing, and dancing. Although this unit has students taking a closer look at themselves, there will be several opportunities for sharing, comparing, and recognizing the ties that connect many of us together. Students will also practice their English oral language skills and increase their confidence when speaking the language.
(Developed for ESL/Social Studies, grade 1; recommended for ESL/Social Studies, grades K-2)