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Teaching Diversity in Classrooms: Ethnicity. Amber Narczewski Ariowa Oriakhi Georgia Gwinnett College. What is Ethnicity ?. Unique groups of individuals who share a common ancestry and culture (Stokes,2003). Examples of Ethnicity and Ethnic Groups. Irish Chinese Latin American

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teaching diversity in classrooms ethnicity

Teaching Diversity in Classrooms: Ethnicity

Amber Narczewski


Georgia Gwinnett College

what is ethnicity
What is Ethnicity?

Unique groups of individuals who share a common ancestry and culture (Stokes,2003)

examples of ethnicity and ethnic groups
Examples of Ethnicity and Ethnic Groups
  • Irish
  • Chinese
  • Latin American
  • European
  • German
  • African American
  • Native American


myths about various ethnic groups in the classroom
Myths About Various Ethnic Groups in the Classroom
  • Students’ language, culture, and experiences are the source of their learning problems
  • Students’ need separate instruction from regular classroom activities
  • Language and learning issues can be understood with standardized testing
  • Learning problems are caused by parents who don’t care or work with their children

(Asselin, 2003)

now we know that
Now We Know That…
  • Ethnically diverse students bring rich experiences to the classroom
  • Engaging ethnically diverse students in whole group settings encourages their literacy development
  • Various assessment methods should be used with all students to help determine instruction methods
  • Parents of ethnically diverse students are just as interested in their child’s school work as mainstream parents

(Asselin, 2003)

what teachers can do
What Teachers Can Do

1. Understand how ethnicity affects teaching and learning

2. Use positive and responsive teaching practices

  • Respecting and being interested in students’ experiences
  • Building on students’ values
  • Avoid stereotyping

3. Positive School Environment

(Hawley & Nieto, 2010)

cultural modeling
Cultural Modeling
  • Is a way of designing instruction to make connections between literacy and the student’s knowledge and experiences they share with others
  • Two Components
    • A respect for differences
    • The use of differences as teaching resources

(Risko & Walker-Dalhouse, 2007)

how to teach using cultural modeling
How To Teach Using Cultural Modeling
  • Identify content to be taught
  • Identify problems embedded in the content that require higher-level thinking
  • Identify language arts skills and strategies you want your students to learn
  • Identify students’ prior knowledge
  • Select multiple texts that represent various cultures

(Risko & Walker-Dalhouse, 2007)

using books to introduce ethnicity to students
Using Books To Introduce Ethnicity To Students

“Little one,Whoever you are,Wherever you are,There are little ones just like you,All over the world.Their skin may be different from yoursAnd their homes may be different from yours;Their schools may be different from yours..” (Fox, 1997)

lesson plan holidays around the world
Lesson Plan: Holidays Around The World
  • 4 Centers: Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, and Three Kings Day
    • Christmas
    • Christmas Tree Poems- students write about what they know about Christmas in the shape of a Christmas tree on construction paper
    • Hanukah
    • KWL Charts
    • Read short story about the holiday
    • Students create their own dreidel
    • Kwanza
    • Students can watch a short informative/interactive video
    • Complete Venn Diagrams to compare Kwanza with their own traditions
    • Three Kings Day
    • Students read a fiction and non fiction story about “Three Kings Day”
    • Students can make their own wrapping paper with images from the story, what they learned about the holiday, as well as incorporate images of their own traditional holiday

Asselin, M. (2003). Literacy and diversity: working with the grain. (Literacy Links). Teacher Librarian, 30(4), 53+. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA99983257&v=2.1&u=ggcl&it=r&p=PROF&sw=w

Fox, Mem, & Staub, Leslie,  1997  Whoever you are / by Mem Fox ; illustrated by Leslie Staub  Harcourt Brace, San Diego 

Hawley, W., & Nieto, S. (2010). Another inconvenient truth: Race and ethnicity. Retrieved from http://blogs.mbgsd.org/mfloreck/files/2011/11/Another-inconvenient-truth1.pdf

Risko, V. J., & Walker-Dalhouse, D. (2007). Tapping students' cultural funds of knowledge to address the achievement gap. The Reading Teacher, 61(1), 98+. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA168871351&v=2.1&u=ggcl&it=r&p=PROF&sw=w

Stokes, M. (2003). Part I Social and Cultural Dimensions: 3. Social Phenomena: Ethnicity and Race. Continuum Encyclopedia Of Popular Music Of The World, 1213-220