This unit is intended to serve as a magnet for attracting teachers and students to explore America's culture through its ethnic literature. Generally, it is an invitation to use its content as a tool for learning about the customs of dress, food, language, religion and other social behaviors of America's ethnic cultures. Specifically, it asks for open communication among multi-ethnic classroom populations, to promote better understanding of some of the differences that exist among us, as a people. Moreover, it is a call to action to become a society who more than tolerates, but understands, accepts and celebrates the differences among its diverse ethnic population.
It invites teachers whose student populations include any combination of Americans ( i.e. Asian, African, European, Jewish, Latino, Native American and/or other ethnic groups) to offer a curriculum which positively exposes beliefs and practices of the represented groups. It invites students in grade four to cooperatively, as well as independently investigate fact, fantasy and folklore of selected cultures.
Together, teacher and student will attempt to create a forum which focuses on open dialogue about the real and perceived differences among cultures. By reading literature from various ethnic groups who present their own cultural experiences, each person's knowledge, ergo, perception of self and of others changes so that we begin to recognize more similarities than differences among us.