The world is becoming increasingly more accessible, through travel, television and the internet. Cultures are intermingling, and communities, playgroups and schools are becoming multicultural. Young children often accept unquestioningly the ‘differences’ between cultures, whether it is one’s appearance, clothing, language or habits. This resource book is aimed at pre-schoolers and lower primary. Children are encouraged to share “things” they bring from home. At times the teacher and parents will be required to participate in the sharing. Often parents, grandparents or neighbours have collected mementos in their travels, even though they are not actually from another country themselves. It would be essential to have either a large wall map of the world in the classroom or better still a globe.
This theme involves as much information in the way of pamphlets, posters, postcards, mementos, etc. from other countries that the teacher, parents or the children can contribute. It is fun for the children, following a discussion, to be able to bring things relating to the topic to show the group at the next session. It is also an opportunity for parents who are not a native of the country to show some of their traditions, by giving cooking demonstrations of their native food or dressing in the national costume and dancing or discussing with the class the country they were born in and its traditions, beliefs, festivals, etc. Much of this project involves discussion groups, with the teacher sharing his/her knowledge of the countries with the children and involving them in the discussions.
The resource provides an excellent opportunity to introduce the children to the benefits of finding websites. A number of activities could be developed further by exploring the many topics suggested.