Diversity preschool lesson plans
Diversity: "Multiculturalism, the ideology of including people of diverse cultural and religious backgrounds"
None of these activities can stand alone without a discussion of the history or background of the activity. Be sure to explain the significance of each activity to the children, so they understand the culture behind it.
Books to Read:
The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush
Dumplings are Delicious
Peace In Our Land: Children Celebrating Diversity (Kids Creative Classics)
Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World
Eating (Small World (Lerner Publishing))
Celebrating (English-Punjabi) (Small World series)
Smiling (Small World)
Wash Up (Small World)
The Kids' Multicultural Art Book: Art and Craft Experiences from Around the World (Williamson Kids Can Books)
Hands Around the World: 365 Creative Ways to Encourage Cultural Awareness and Global Respect (Williamson Kids Can! Series)
Have pictures of children from many different cultures displayed throughout your classroom. Make sure you classroom has books that also include multicultural children. Any dolls, or action figures can also be multicultural. Ask parents to bring in pictures of the children and their families to display in the classroom.
Rainbow Spaghetti -From Italy
Cook spaghetti noodles, drain and cool. Fill a gallon Ziploc bag one quarter of the way with water. Add food coloring to the water. Add part of cooked spaghetti and mix around in the Ziploc bag until noodles change color. Drain, repeat with other colors. Place the noodles in separate bowls.
Children can take one noodle from each color to create a rainbow on a plate for a snack.
Children can take one noodle from each color, dip it in glue and place it on a piece of paper to create a rainbow.
Rice Rainbows - From Japan
Use the colored rice recipe in the recipes section to color rice many different colors. Have the children create a rainbow by gluing the colored rice onto paper in arc shapes. You can use a rainbow coloring page as a guide.
Kite Art - From Japan
Cut out a kite shape and have your child decorate it with paint, glitter, fabric, crayons, or whatever you can come up with.
My Hands Mural- Multicultural Activity
Mix multicultural paint to match each child's skin color. Paint the child's hands and have the child press their hands onto a large piece of butcher paper or onto paper that you use for your bulletin board. Write the child's name near their hand prints. Repeat the process for each child.
Have each child fold a piece of paper (red is best) in half so that the two longest sides are together. Then have the children cut one strip of paper off. Then have the children cut slits in the paper starting at the fold and going almost to the edges. Have the children make four or five slits. Then roll up the paper connecting the two shorter sides with tape or glue. Then the children may glue the first piece they cut off to the top of the lantern for the handle.
Chinese New Year Dragon
Multicultural Art Ideas from KinderArt
Huntsville Multicultural Art
Math, Science, Games
Lucky Charms- From Ireland
Have the children sort the Lucky Charms shapes using egg cartons, each space is for a different shape.
Apple Activity- Multicultural Activity
Have two apples, one red and one green. Ask the children to describe how the two apples are the same and how they are different. You can use a venn diagram to display the results. Then cut the two apples in half. Show the children that even though the skin color is different, the two apples are both the same on the inside, just like people.
Chinese Good Luck Letters:
Invite the children to write good luck letters to each other using square red paper. Fold in the four corners to the center of the paper to make it an "envelope" for itself. Have the child write their friends name on the outside.
Say "Hello" in many different languages. First ask the students if they know how to say "Hello" in any other language. Ask them to say the word and have the children repeat it. You may present some of these as well:
Hello in many languages
Pronunciations: "Say Hello to the World"
The History of my Name
Ask parents to relate the history of their child's name. Share the stories with the children.
Each child should have five sticks (Popsicle sticks work well). The sticks from each player are tossed into a pile. One child starts first and tries to remove a stick from the pile without moving any of the other sticks. If they are successful, they keep the stick, if not they have to leave it in the location where it was as soon as it disturbed another stick. Play moves to the next player and continues until all the sticks are gone.
Modification: use sticks of different colors. Have the child roll a die or draw a card to determine what color stick they must pull out of the pile. With ECE, I would have the child keep the stick if they picked the right color and if they can pull it out without disturbing the pile, they get a bonus stick.
Players sit in a circle and pass a ball quickly around the circle. If a player misses the ball they are out, but if it was a bad pass the passer is out. The original game would have the children eliminated one by one, an ECE modification would be to have the child sit out for one round in the middle of the circle until the next child takes their place.
This game is very similar to musical chairs. There should be a chair for each student minus one. So if you have 10 students, you need 9 chairs. On each chair, place a picture of a zoo animal. Place the chairs in a circle. Have the students sit in the chairs, and have one student stand and be the zoo keeper. Once the children are seated, ask them the name of their zoo animal, to make sure they know what animal they are. Then have the zoo keeper walk around the outside of the circle and call off the names of the various animals, as the zoo keeper calls off the names, the child that is that animal gets up and places their hands on the waist of the last person in the line. After all the animals are called, the zoo keeper will then say "the animals have escaped" and the children will all act like their animals until the zoo keeper sits down. Then all the children will find a seat. The last child standing is the next zoo keeper. And the children assume the identity of the animal on their new chair.
Five Sticks-Isreal - Modified
Place five Popsicle sticks or straws two feet apart from each other like railroad ties. Have the children place only one foot in each space between the straws, as they walk through. As they get better they can run through the path. Modify the sticks so that they are different lengths apart from each other.
Throw the Rocks At the Can-Italy- Modified
Each child will have a bean bag and a 2 liter soda bottle. Each soda bottle should be lined up, and each child should be lined up an equal distance away from the bottles. One child is designated to be it. They do not have a bean bag or a soda bottle. The children on the line throw their bean bags at the bottle to try to knock it down. They retrieve their bag after each throw. If they knock over their bottle then they have to run and get their bean bag and run away from the child who is it. The child who is it must first place the bottles back up, then chase after any children who have already knocked over their bottles, but may not chase anyone who has not knocked over their bottle. The child who is it also may not chase anyone if there is a bottle knocked over. Adding sand to the bottles with help with stability.
Spinning Tops-Italy, Orient
Supply the children with spinning tops and show them how to spin the top. To play a game, count down 321, then have the children spin their tops, the one that spins the longest wins. This is great for fine motor skills.
Number Game - Lavita - Modified
Have each child sit in a circle with a colored shape in front of them. Each child should have a different colored shape. One child stands in the middle. The child in the middle calls out two colors, the children sitting with those two colors in front of them must exchange places, or try to. The child in the middle tries to steal one of the two places. The child left without a seat is the new middle child. The original game is played using numbers.
For the following activities, please click on the link for a full description and game rules. Some modification ideas are listed.
Down Down Down
Stuck in the Mud
What's the Time Mr. Wolf?
Pesek (similar to Duck Duck Goose)
Tiggy off Ground
Antoakyire (similar to Duck Duck Goose)
Lupo Della Ore (similar to What's the Time Mr. Wolf)
Up and Down
Catching Stars- From Africa
Jeu de Boules-From France - to modify this for Early Childhood, you could have the children throw beanbags onto a piece of paper from a marked distance. Attach the paper to the floor with contact paper.
Quilles- from France - to modify this, you could use 2 liter pop bottles filled 1/5 the way with sand.
Shove Ha' Penny
Snow Snake traditional game of the Iroquois
For this game, I would have the children go outside and collect their sticks, then decorate them with ribbons and feathers. Place something on the ground or use a natural line (like the sidewalk) as the "foul line".
Sand Water Table Ideas
Rice Play - From Japan
Use the colored rice recipe in the recipes section to color rice many different colors. Place the colored rice in your sand/water table. Let the children explore the rice using measuring cups, containers, funnels, and other items.
Colored Rice - from Japan
uncooked white rice
cardboard or paper
Place 1/2 cup rice into a clean bowl (either glass or one that you don't care about). Add 5 drops of food coloring and 1/2 tsp. vinegar to set the color. Mix around until the rice has absorbed the color. Repeat the process with other colors. Spread rice evenly (keeping the colors separate) onto a baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake at 200 degrees for 45 minutes, this dries the rice. After the rice has dried and cooled, place each color in a ziplock bag and seal.
Ask parents to bring in a heritage dish, something that represents family tradition or heritage. As them to write why the dish is significant, and where it's origins are if known. Also, have the parents give you a list of ingredients so you can avoid any known food allergies. I recommend asking parents to not include mushrooms, peanuts or shell fish in any dish Present each dish and read the information. Each child should be given a sample to try. Move onto the next food.