Monday, September 10, 2012

One Class, Many Cultures - Freebie!

I've mentioned this project/bulletin board a few times, and now that this year's group has done it, presented it, and I've (almost) finished reading their reports, I'm going to tell you more about it!

We tweaked it this year, and I'm so happy with the results!  We tied it into our social studies curriculum by telling the kiddos (and putting it on the instructions sheet for the parents) that we will learn throughout the year how California is made up of immigrants and migrants from many places, so their first task as 4th grade social studies learners is to find out how their family got here and learn about the country/ies their families came from.  This tie-in wasn't as specific last year, and I'm really excited to be able to reference this project throughout the year!

Here are the parts:
  1. Report - we give very detailed instructions about what should be in the report.  I modeled for students that if their family has come from many different places, they could start with something like "My family came from many countries, such as ___, ___, and ___.  I am going to focus on my ____, who came from _____."  So that the kiddos with many countries didn't feel overwhelmed.  Most of my students' parents moved here after they got married in another country, though, so they just had one country to write about.
  2. Presentation - The students presented on their family history, one interesting fact they learned, and showed their Mini-Me.
  3. Mini-Me - I give them each one of these cute little popsicle sticks.  Last year, I let them choose from the boy or girl ones ... which left me with about 25 girl sticks and 8 boy sticks.  One of my fabulous teammates suggested breaking off the skirts.  Yay for not having to buy more!  I broke off the skirts for all of the boys before handing them out and, then had any girls who wanted the skirts taken off raise their hands, and I quickly did theirs.
Click HERE to get them on Amazon
... so much cheaper than they were at the teacher supply store!

Most of the kiddos did fantastic on the presentation, though there were some who just read their report (totally not following directions)!  I did have to have a few re-write their reports for handwriting/neatness issues and a few whose parents clearly helped a bit too much, but overall the reports came out great (especially for the beginning of the year). 

This is such a great project because the kiddos love it, it gives me a great baseline of their writing (and how much their parents help) and presentation skills, and we get to know about each other better!  I'm working on planning some activities for them to compare and contrast their history or country with others.  We're definitely going to do a Venn diagram.  You could also do a lot of things with graphing and data as far as how many kiddos are from where (just look at all my kiddos whose families came from China!).  

It also makes a wonderful board that can be left up all year long!
I didn't do great at planning os the kids were spaced out.
 I'm thinking about putting some flags in the blank areas.

Now for the freebies!  
(Click on pictures to go to google docs!)
**Note: These documents are a collaboration between my grade level team and myself**

My bulletin board letters:
Assignment Instructions:


  1. I am going to focus on my ____, who came from _____." So that the kiddos with many countries didn't feel overwhelmed. OneClass

  2. This is such a great idea! I love the mini me's and the bulletin board to represent the class! I can't wait to incorporate this in my 3rd grade classroom! Thank you for the Freebies!!

  3. How did you attach the stick figures to the poster?

  4. Where can I get tge colorful popsicle sticks : One Class Many Cultures. Can I buy them, or did you color the popsicle sticks yourself?