These curriculum lesson plans are designed using the learning styles and cognitive type theory previously outlined to introduce the concepts of culture in all the areas of the curriculum to children at the elementary level. They are designed to be implemented through out the year in all the areas of the curriculum taking into account the individual child’s developmental stage.
To facilitate the discussion about diversity the classroom is physically set-up to allow for those learning preferences by providing the students with a comfortable setting where they can participate at will. Thus I have laid out the classroom following (Ingraham, 1997 p. 24) classroom layout. This physical layout will provide the students with opportunities for formal as well as informal activities, whole class and small group instruction; self-directed and teacher directed discovery lessons. It divides the classroom into five physical areas to meet the social-emotional, literacy, cognitive, creative and physical developmental needs of the children. Each of this general areas in its place is subdivided into specific centers in that developmental area. Thus, there would be two centers, one for art and another for an easel, in the creative development area. The curricular areas of geography, math and science would be the center focus of the cognitive development area. The literacy development area encompasses the classroom library, a writing center, an area to specifically work on journals and a language skills center. The skills performed at the centers would not be exclusive to the areas and would be integrated through out all the centers. Therefore, I would expect the children to do reading and writing in all the centers. Their social emotional growth would be monitored through cooperative learning groups and direct teaching of necessary social skills. The advantage of thinking of the physical lay out in this way, and by providing engaging activities at each of the centers, will guarantee that no developmental area is left out and that the learning styles and preferences of all the children can be better met.
Since it would almost be an impossible task to create lesson plans that would introduce each of the concepts towards each of the 16 different combinations of learning types, it is suggested that, in the process of teaching a given unit, each of the eight preferences would be explicitly targeted. This way, by systematically making sure that all preferences have been addressed, no types would be at a disadvantage.
This unit represents a sample lesson regarding the topic of diversity. Specific activities targeted towards each of the individual children’s learning styles are listed as extensions. These activities are rather general and serve the purpose of at least meeting some of the individual preferences of learning. Many of the strategies and structures used through out the unit are based on cooperative learning techniques. For an extensive discussion on the methods and structures see (Kagan, 1992).
The overall goal of targeting as many of these individual types in a given lesson can be achieved by making use of some simple strategies outlined here.
To begin each lesson, the major objectives will be written on the board and stated orally so as to let the students know what it is important that we are about to learn.
Prompting through out the lesson will give structure to those students that require it. Samples of this would be: “This is important . . . . . . ”
Writing down in the board or overhead projector a sentence that summarizes the most important information of the lesson so that the visual learner can see it and others have a chance to copy it down
Use graphic organizers, charts, drawings as you talk about the concept of diversity or any other topic of discussion.
By providing the students with small group as well as whole class instruction.
Making use of different color chalk and markers when writing.