Archive for the 'World Cultures' Category

Lesson Plan: TingaTinga Inspired African Masks

tinga tinga maskStudents at Lincoln Elementary in Ponca City, Oklahoma made TingaTinga style masks inspired by Tanzanian painter Edward Said Tingatinga.

The masks were exhibited at the school’s Building Bridges Multicultural Festival for families, funded by a 2013-2014 Sharing the Dream Grant.

Download a lesson plan. Read more about Lincoln Elementary’s project here.


Students at Storm Lake Elementary continue international journey with Keep the Dream Going Grant

chalkboard world 2Two years ago, Storm Lake Elementary in Storm Lake, IA, used a Sharing the Dream Grant to purchase Netbooks so that kindergartners with no access to computers at home could learn basic computer skills and communicate with children in Canada and China online.

“Those kindergartners are now in second grade,” said Principal Juli Kwikkel, whose rural school serves a high population of students from Spanish-speaking migrant families. “Now that they have experience using computers, and have grown in their reading and writing skills, there can be deeper interactions with children around the world other than just ‘hi, I like pizza.’ They can share their writing and blog together. We can take it to the next level.”

Storm Lake won a 2013-2014 Keep the Dream Going Grant for its “Reaching More Corners of the World Through Technology” project that builds on the original project funded in 2011-2012.

This year, second graders will Skype with children in China, Canada and Africa; work together on projects using Chromebooks; collaborate on blogs; share videos they have produced, and continue building crucial technology skills.

My favorite use of the Chromebooks has been to put my small-group readers in a daily rotation for blogging. They have become so comfortable using the site that this is completely hands off for me. One student was struggling with how to change fonts and sizes today and another was able to troubleshoot that for me, so that I could continue teaching. Their independence is fantastic! A child just asked me today if she was allowed to blog again tonight. This has excited them as writers!”

–Melanie Langner, second grade teacher

With funding from Sharing the Dream, and another grant, “Reaching More Corners of the World Through Technology” has been implemented in every K-2nd grade classroom. Kwikkel’s ultimate goal is to expand the program to all grades, K-4th, providing a seamless progression of technology and global-focused learning for every Storm Lake Elementary graduate.

“We were humbled and grateful to receive the Keep the Dream Going Grant this year,” Kwikkel said. “We have a lot of challenges at our school but we also provide a lot of opportunities. We want to give all our students the same shot at learning.”

Langner added, “I can’t wait to see the continued changes this will make in my classroom! Transforming!”

Sharing the Dream Schools in the News


Gathering for International Night

Centreview, Centreville, VA

Centreville Elementary School held its 3rd annual International Night after-school on Friday, Jan. 10. The event included families who brought display posters with facts about their country, clothes, artifacts and samples of food. Students also performed on the cafeteria stage.

The sixth grade orchestra performed a variety of songs from around the world and other students danced or sang a cultural song.

At the end of all the performances, students who were dressed in traditional clothing were invited to go on stage and then participated in a fashion show walk around the cafeteria.

from centreview article

With the help of third grade teacher, Steve Thorne, PTA grant writer Nadine Kaiser, and school counselor Esther Kang, Centreville Elementary won a $5,000 Sharing the Dream Grant from the National Association of Elementary School Principals and MetLife Foundation.

The money was used to purchase 12 iPads for International Night so that families and visitors could scan QR codes for each country. With the incorporation of iPads and QR codes in International Night, people had more access to each country’s information through the web and were able to learn and view things that can’t be glued onto a poster such as a video of a dance, song or the making of a traditional dish.

Centreview, Centreville, VA. Published: January 30-February 5, 2014. Used with permission.

For Massachusetts students, global art exchange paints a picture of cultural identity, connection

paint for lowell articleLowell Community Charter Public School, in Lowell, MA, welcomed families back to school with an International Potluck, kicking off the school’s Global Lowell Program, a year-long exploration of culture through the arts, funded by a 2013-2014 Sharing the Dream grant.

Lowell’s students have ties to 23 different countries, and 60 percent speak a language other than English at home. “Ensuring that our curriculum and enrichment projects are culturally relevant to our students and community is one of our top priorities,” said Trent Ramsey, the school’s director of communications and development.

Through OneWorld Classrooms, Lowell students will exchange original artworks with children in 10-12 other countries that will be displayed at an exhibit for parents and the community on April 17, 2014. Sixth graders, who are being trained as guides, will lead guests through the show.

Lowell was introduced to OneWorld Classrooms last school year, when a parent sponsored an online art exchange. “It was inspiring because many of the art pieces that our students viewed from other countries were the art of their home countries: Brazil, Africa, Cambodia,” Ramsey said. “This year, we wanted to expand the reach of the project and involve the community.”

Along with working on art projects for the April exhibit, students are taking Google Earth tours; interviewing family members about their own immigration stories; participating in workshops with an artist-in-residence; and learning about the history, music, family life and customs of Cambodia, Puerto Rico, Ghana, Kenya, Brazil and other countries.

Lowell is also hosting OneWorld Classrooms’ Boston 140 exhibition in March 2014, featuring artworks by K-12 students from Greater Boston and 38 countries.

“For our school, winning a national grant for such an important project was a milestone for us,” Ramsey said. “Thanks to Sharing the Dream, we are able to give our students a unique hands-on way to connect and share with each other about individual cultures, as well as learn about parts of the world they haven’t experienced.”

Learning about African & Native American culture through music and art

This guest post is by Amy Muegge, music teacher, and Janice Wooten, art teacher, of Lincoln Elementary in Ponca City, Oklahoma.

Their students are learning African drumming and creating Native American-inspired cultural artworks in preparation for a Building Bridges Multicultural Festival for families in March, funded by a 2013-2014 Sharing the Dream Grant.

Lincoln drums

Three days before the beginning of winter break, the World Music Drumming set that we ordered with Sharing the Dream Grant funds arrived. One of the 5th grade classes helped carry the boxes down to the Music Room when the UPS driver dropped them off. The students were so excited that we had to open the boxes immediately. They only had time to play one rhythm pattern, but as they walked out the door they couldn’t stop smiling. All of our 2nd-5th grade students had the opportunity to try out the new instruments before school let out for the holidays.

Since coming back, the 3rd-5th graders have been studying the African continent and have been practicing West African drumming. In our drum circle, the students are learning about the tradition of listening and working together by having mutual respect for all members of the circle.

lincoln buffalo hide art

In our art classes, students are studying the social aspect of art and history of Native Americans. The children first started out learning about Native American history in the 1800’s and how all the social turmoil continues to be felt in the modern world.

After gaining knowledge of historical events, they created a reproduction of a buffalo hide storytelling piece of artwork. The artwork represents tribal stories of the plains. Pictures often expressed stories of historical events and people of the tribe were honored with images of animals, plants and other environmental symbols.

A Home for Every Culture at J.S. Clark Elementary

JS clark school

At J. S. Clark Elementary in Shreveport, LA, pre-K–6th graders studied the currencies, weather, geography, art, literature, music, food and governments of Mexico, the Philippines and Africa — selected because a majority of the school’s students and staff identified with those cultures.

Activities included a field trip to an international market, Spanish language instruction, multicultural read-alouds, and an International Festival for families featuring student projects, a quiz bowl, and international foods.

J.S. Clark Elementary’s America: A Home for Every Culture project was funded by a 2012-2013 Sharing the Dream Grant.

Families travel the world at Rees Elementary’s multicultural festival and bazaar

Rees elementaryStudents at Rees Elementary in Houston, Texas, learned about art, global traditions, economics, marketing and supply and demand while making cultural handicrafts that were sold at a Multicultural Mosaic festival and bazaar for families.

More than 200 families attended the May 30, 2013 event featuring international food tastings, cultural performances, a global market, and a display of dolls dressed in traditional clothing made by students to represent their cultural backgrounds.

Students’ “passports” were stamped as they visited interactive booths showcasing cultures around the world. “I got a lot of stamps from different countries. I’m a world-class traveler!” one third grader said.

Proceeds from the Multicultural Mosaic marketplace will fund supplies for next  year’s bazaar, making it self-supporting.

Rees Elementary’s Multicultural Mosaic project was funded by a 2012-2013 Sharing the Dream Grant.

Sharing the Dream

Grants for pre-K-8 school projects that create global classrooms where children—and families—can safely connect, exchange ideas and learn together.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.