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Diversity and Multi Cultural Intro and Links

January 9, 2012 20:26 by Barbara Shelby


AFFIRMING DIVERSITY: Does your program and school ...

•  ESTABLISH a commitment to equity and inclusion.

•  KNOW your community.

•  HIRE staff that reflect the community and that understand diversity issues.

•  PROVIDE staff orientation and training on issues related to equity and diversity.

•  CREATE a program environment that is inclusive, multicultural, and reflects the communities you serve.

•  INCORPORATE attention to diversity and equity into program design.

•  LOOK for program materials that are up-to-date and non-stereotypical, and that reflect the backgrounds and experiences of participants and their families.

•  BUILD cultural relevance into your plans for academic support and enrichment.

•  DEVELOP inclusive outreach and application materials.

•  ESTABLISH a Board or Advisory Committee whose membership reflects the communities served.
Source: schoolagenote of the day: April 18, 2007


Menu for Diversity and Multi-Cultural Category

 'Traveling Around the World' is a great theme for multicultural experiences as well as popular for classroom, day camp and childcare programs! Category resources available at this time are:
  •All Multicultural Diversity Categories


Categories: Diversity/Multi Cultural
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Diversity Through Arts and Crafts

August 10, 2009 20:26 by Barbara Shelby



•  Include multi-racial dolls...

•  Pretend play items and art supplies in true-to-life skin tones...

•  Multicultural skin-colored crayons...

•  Multi-Cultural dough...



Materials: Paint, Paper
Give children in your program peach, white, brown, black, and orange paint (add soap to make it stain proof). Have them mix what they perceive their skin color is. Then have them paint a friend's hand and then put a print on a heart shaped piece of paper. You can put these on a bulletin board with the heading, "Friendship Comes in Many Colors!"


VISUAL ART The Islamic religion forbids the use of images of living creatures in art. That’s why much of Muslim graphic art consists of floral themes, geometric figures and Arabic script. See if your group can DRAW A PICTURE USING GEOMETRIC FIGURES and the shapes of letters in artistic ways.


 If having a Multi-Cultural EVENT...DECORATE WITH MANY COLORS of White, Black and Brown...
Make the classic paper chains using black, white, tan, brown, beige, and yellow construction paper to represent the various skin tones found across our nation.



#1 Put some water color paints on a sheet of paper... Have children use water bottles to spray the sheet. Let them watch as all of the colors run and blend together to make something beautiful.


#2 Paint on wet paper. Get a big sheet of paper completely wet. Dip it right into water in the sink. Then smooth it out on a cookie sheet or plastic tabletop. Brush thick, wet watercolors on top. They blurr and fuzz out on the wet paper, blending together and making wonderful shapes.

After using either method... talk to the children about how everyone is different but they all blend together in work and play to make the world wonderful.


This wreath symbolizes cultural unity
. You can adjust the handprint colors for different occasions (for example, you may wish to use handprints in different shades of brown for Black History Month)

Paint in various skin-tone colors. If you have brown, yellow, red and white you can mix your own colors.

Children enjoy experimenting with mixing colors. Try these combinations:

  • Small amount of red + small amount of yellow + white...
  • Brown + white...
  • Yellow + small amount of brown...
  • Paper, Scissors, Glue


Make between 9 and 12 in various skin tone colors by dipping hand in paint and stamping it on the paper. Let it dry.

To make the DOVE: Trace hands with the thumb extended and 4 fingers close together onto the center of a piece of white paper.

•  Glue on a beak from orange construction paper or draw one on with orange marker.

•  Draw on a wing and an eye with black pencil crayon or marker.

•  Cut out the skin tone hands and glue them together in a circle to form a wreath.

•  Glue the dove onto the back of the wreath (so the wreath acts like a picture frame).

•  Trim the edges of the paper the dove is on. Source:


Each person will need one sheet of black construction paper, one sheet of white, one brightly colored sheet, and glue.

  • Tear black and white sheets into small pieces (less than 1/2" square).
  • Paste the black and white pieces on the brightly colored sheet to create a unique collage.
  • Some people may choose to create identifiable objects. Others may create geometric designs or a patterned "quilt."

After all pieces are completed, have children to show their pictures and briefly describe. Note that NEITHER THE BLACK NOR THE WHITE ALONE WOULD HAVE CREATED AN INTERESTING PICTURE, yet the two could be combined into many interesting patterns. In short, they were more productive working as a team.

Discuss the need for teamwork, whether it is in the home, the classroom, the workplace or the community at large. What are some tasks that require group effort?

You might also PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE DIIFERENCES BETWEEN THE PIECES... Point out that just as no two pieces are art are alike, no two people are alike. Each person has a unique purpose in life, and the home, church, community, and society as a whole are benefited when each person finds and fulfills his purpose in life instead of seeking to be "just like" another individual.



1.  Use an inkpad to have each member make a thumbprint in the center of a piece of construction paper. Then, use a magnifying glass to examine the thumbprints. How are they alike? How are they different?

2. Next, have everyone use markers to add to and draw around the thumbprints to create unique thumbprint animals.

3. Discuss: Even though we’re all people, (or part of the same family) our fingerprints are different. And, each of us probably thought of and drew a different thumbprint imaginary animal. We don’t look alike or think alike.



Two shades of skin toned construction paper
Brass fastener
Other colors of construction paper

  • Trace and cutout one handprint on the skin toned construction paper.
  • Cut out rectangles long enough to make "cuffs" for the wrists of the hands - glue on.
  • Place the two hands together in a "shake" fashion with one thumb behind the other.
  • Attach a brass fastener to the center!



1. Have children trace their hands on construction paper using black, white, red, yellow and brown paper to represent various skin tones found across our nation.
2. Cut them out.Attach all the hands together using a method that depends on where you are going to put them.
You can glue or staple hands together in a long chain or swag.
As you are working on the project, you can talk about  each hand representing the diversity in our country/world--or if it is for MLK Day--how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. joined hands with people of all colors when he marched for freedom.


Menu for Diversity and Multi-Cultural Category


Diversity Through Language, Culture, and Literacy

August 10, 2009 20:24 by Barbara Shelby

 Updated January 2013


Some languages have more than one word for what English speakers think of as a single entity.

 Since ice is so important in their lives, the Inuit people reportedly differentiate among the various kinds, from slush ice to black ice. Have children choose something important to them – stickers, ice cream or ???– and MAKE-UP WORDS for different kinds.



Nodding the head to signify “yes” is not a universal gesture. To some people from Greece, Turkey and various Middle Eastern regions, nodding means "no".
The way many Westerners wave good-bye is the same way people in some Middle Eastern cultures indicate “come here.” Suggest that youth MAKE UP SOME ENTIRELY NEW GESTURES, such as puffing their cheeks to indicate impatience.



Each family has its own folklore, a set of beliefs, myths, tales and practices. Suggest that children interview teachers, caregivers, and other kids' parents. Ask what region or country the family came from; whether they recall special holiday games or food from their childhood; whether they know any dances, songs or language from “the old days” and if they know of any special “family rules.” (For instance, one boy and his sister set the rule that you can only eat one piece of popcorn at a time out of the bowl.)

  • Regularly READ STORIES that feature other cultures. For a great book list organized by age groups. Click here...
  • INTRODUCE MUSIC from other cultures: The Putumayo Kids record label produces upbeat, culturally authentic music — including folk, Celtic, reggae, Latin and African music.
  • DANCE: Many Asian dancers use facial expressions and hand gestures to communicate the message of the dance. Suggest that your group MAKE UP A DANCE in which facial expressions and hand gestures alone tell a story
  • MOVIES: has a foreign children and family category that features award-winning films.


Crayons, pencils, markers, paper, the below poem.

  • With a black marker on white paper- Draw a large CRAYON SHAPE and make copies for the children to use...Or you can download the pattern Here  What You Do:
  • Read the following poem to your students.
  • Next--The children draw their own portrait on the pre-made crayon patterns--when complete--have children cut out their crayon self-portrait.
    The self-portraits are then placed in a "giant box of crayons" shape-- that you can create using construction paper.
  • The children’s pictures are lined up next to each other and in rows—just as crayons in a crayon box would be.


Poem by: Shane DeRolf

While walking into a toy store the day before today
I overheard a crayon box with many things to say
"I don't like Red!" said Yellow and Green said "Nor do I"
"And no one here likes Orange but no one knows just why"
"We are a box of crayons that doesn't get along
Said Blue to all the others "Something here is wrong"
Well, I bought that box of crayons and took it home with me
And laid out all the colors so the crayons all could see
They watched me as I colored with Red and Blue and Green
And Black and White and Orange and every color in between
They watched as Green became the grass and Blue became the sky
The Yellow sun was shining bright on White clouds drifting by
Colors changing as they touched becoming something new
They watched me as I colored - they watched me till I was through
And when I finally finished I began to walk away
And as I did the crayon box had something more to say
"I do like Red!" said Yellow and Green said, "so do I"
And Blue you were terrific! So high up in the sky
"We are a box of crayons each one of us unique
But when we get together the picture is more complete"


A Poem that Might work with one of your Activities...

Wouldn't it be terrible? Wouldn't it be sad?
If just one single color was the color that we had?
If everything was purple? Or red? Or blue? Or green?
If yellow, pink, or orange was all that could be seen?
Can you just imagine how dull world would be
If just one single color was all we got to see?



Explore and become familiar with other languages. Both the sound of the language and the written word. Learn simple greetings. Learn to count. It can be presented in a class or club format...
For younger children, present with music and games...counting, greetings. etc. Make it fun!
This can get you started...


  • Arabic: Marhabah (mar-ha-bah)
  • French: Bonjour (bone-joor)
  • Hebrew: Shalom (shah-lome)
  • Italian: Buon giorno (bone-zhee-or-no)
  • Mandarin Chinese: Nea how (nee-how)
  • Russian: Priviet (pri-vee-et)
  • Spanish: Hola (oh-la)
  • Swahili: Jambo (zham-boh)



  • Afrikaans: dankie (dahn-kee )
  • Arabic: shukran (shoe-krahn )
  • Australian English: (ta) (informal) Pronouned "tar"
  • Chinese, Cantonese: do jeh (daw-dyeh )
  • Chinese, Mandarin: xie xie (syeh-syeh )
  • Czech: dêkuji (deh-ku-yih)
  • Danish: tak (tahg)
  • Finnish: kiitos (kee-toas)
  • French: merci (mehr-see)
  • German: danke (dahn-kah)
  • Greek: efharisto (ef-har-rih-stowe)
  • Hebrew: toda (toh-dah )
  • Hindi, Hindustani: sukria (shoo-kree-a )
  • Indonesian/Malayan: terima kasih (t'ree-ma kas-seh)
  • Italian: grazie (gra-see)
  • Japanese: arigato (ahree-gah-tow )
  • Korean: kamsa hamnida (kahm-sah=ham-nee-da)
  • Norwegian: takk (tahk )
  • Philippines: Tagalog) salamat po (sah-lah-maht poh)
  • Polish: dziekuje (dsyen-koo-yeh)
  • Portuguese: obrigado (oh-bree-gah-doh)
  • Russian: spasibo (spah-see-boh)
  • Spanish: gracias (gra-see-us)
  • Sri Lanka/Sinhak: istutiy (isst-too-tee)
  • Swahili: asante (ah-sahn-teh)
  • Swedish: tack (tahkk)
  • Thai: kawp-kun krap/ka' (kowpkoom-krahp/khak )
  • Turkish: tesekkür ederim (teh-sheh-kur=eh-deh-rim )



The goal of this activity is to heighten cross-cultural awareness, celebrate cross-cultural knowledge, and to say "hello" (and thank-you) in many different languages. This can be used as a warm-up, get-to-know-you activity with a cross-cultural theme. Within a group, you may be surprised how much knowledge there is of different languages for basic phrases.

Optional: Ask participants to see if they can guess how many people there are in the world and how many different languages are spoken. (There are ~2800 languages and ~6 billion people. If an equal number of people spoke each language that would be ~ 2 million people per language. You might relate this to local city/town size.).

Challenge the group to come up with as many different languages for "hello" or "thank-you" as possible. When somebody volunteers (e.g., Bonjour!), make sure they say it or repeat it clearly for the rest of the group--- who then repeat.

Optional: Before people start making suggestions, ask the group to have a guess to how many collective languages the group will be able to come up with. Don't allow discussion - just do a quick survey--and take a rough average - that's the group's estimate.
The group leader keeps count on his/her fingers.

Was the final number of "hellos or thank-you's in different languages" close to the group's guess? If the group underestimated, they may not realize the knowledge within the group that might be used to their advantage. If the group's guess was an overestimate, why did they overestimate their knowledge resources? Discuss.

Optional - to make more difficult or to add variation, try asking for these basic phrases:
Hello, My name is...?
Hello, How are you?
Do you speak English?
Numbers 1-5 or 1-10

Optional, but recommended - have a list of hello/thank-you in several different languages from which you can read out. This is especially useful for groups who don't know many different languages, as well as to learn, have fun, and illustrate the range of different languages.


helps young people by helping them to find ways to speak for themselves, take care of each other and the larger community around them.

•  400,000 children from many countries are writing to each other. They write about themselves, their interest, their families, schools, hobbies, questions about what's going on in the world, concerns they have about their countries, other kids and how they feel about wars, children's rights, and other world issues.

•  From their penpals, they learn what it's like to live in another country and culture, and how another young person sees the world. The penpals often find that they have more things in common than they don't.

•  Kids Meeting Kids helps link kids around the world. To see how to join  VISIT HERE



Infants as young as 4 months who live in bilingual environments can distinguish between two languages, monitoring lip and facial movements.  Babies also show a strong preference for the language their mother spoke during pregnancy.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, bilingual children are not delayed in language acquisition.  In fact, words learned before age 5 have an added emotional kick, regardless of how many languages are learned.  Because the child's brain is developing so quickly, across so many regions, the words learned during this critical period carry thick visual and emotional associations....

Bilingualism enhances attention and cognitive control in kids and adults. Also bilinguals are better at learning additional languages, even if those languages bear little resemblance to the ones they already know.
Source: Psychology Today (October 2010;


CULTURE & GEOGRAPHY...(Also in Mixing Geography & Fun Category) 

Learning about other people and cultures promotes understanding and acceptance. Help children learn about our differences and similarities and appreciate cultural diversity.

•Study other cultures.

Learn the flags from other countries.

Have cooking projects of special foods from around the world.

Explore how we all have the same basic needs.

Have items from other cultures available to explore.

Older children can do research and reports of countries and their people.

Explore the cultural challenges within our own nation.

Explore prejudice.

Explore the various religions within the classroom, and then extend it to the world.

Explore how all of us, even within the same culture, are alike yet different.

Read stories and poems.


By Maya Angelou

I note the obvious differences
in the human family.
Some of us are serious,
some thrive on comedy.

Some declare their lives are lived
as true profundity,
and others claim they really live
the real reality.

The variety of our skin tones
can confuse, bemuse, delight,
brown and pink and beige and purple,
tan and blue and white.

I've sailed upon the seven seas
and stopped in every land,
I've seen the wonders of the world
not yet one common man.

I know ten thousand women
called Jane and Mary Jane,
but I've not seen any two
who really were the same.

Mirror twins are different
although their features jibe,
and lovers think quite different thoughts
while lying side by side.

We love and lose in China,
we weep on England's moors,
and laugh and moan in Guinea,
and thrive on Spanish shores.

We seek success in Finland,
are born and die in Maine.
In minor ways we differ,
in major we're the same.

I note the obvious differences
between each sort and type,
but we are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.

We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.
We are more alike, my friends,
than we are unalike.


Diversity and Multi-Cultural Categories...

 'Traveling Around the World' is a great theme for multicultural experiences as well as popular for classroom, day camp and childcare programs! Category resources available at this time are:
•CHINA   •FRANCE  •MEXICO  •USA-PATRIOTIC  •USA-COLONIAL  •All Multicultural Diversity Categories  ('Diversity Category' does not include the countries)

*The top page 'School Portraits Art 'is by Milpera students