Whether you're a teacher, an administrator or a member of the PTO at an elementary school, consider organizing a multicultural night at your school. Such an affair celebrates the diverse cultures that likely make up your school, as well as the world. Collaborate with fellow teachers, administrators and PTO members to host a fun-filled event that emphasizes acceptance, tolerance and unity.
Passports Around the World
Create passports for a multicultural night. Design passports from oak tag and have them laminated, or check to see if a stationery or office supply store can create a quantity of replica passports for the event. Have the name of the school and "Passport Around the World" printed on the cover. Arrange to have the passports distributed to each guest upon their arrival. As guests proceed through booths or spaces that are set up to honor different cultures, they can have their passports stamped with each country's name by someone who is working in the area. For example, upon visiting an area that is dedicated to China, guests would have their passports stamped with a "China" stamp. These passports will add to the fun and serve as a memento of the event.
Serve a menu of international foods at your multicultural night. Have the affair catered, or ask parents, administrators, teachers and other personnel to make dishes from a specific culture. To celebrate Mexican culture, make tacos, enchiladas and fajitas. For Italian culture, serve different types of pasta. To pay tribute to Jamaican culture, serve fried plantains and aki and saltfish. Each culture has its own type of food, and serving samples of these different types of food can help guests expand their palates and perhaps taste food that they may have never tried.
Games are common to all cultures of the world; however, the types of games that are played in different regions vary. Plan to play different types of games from different cultures. To honor the country of Australia, you could play the tag game of "Stick in the Mud." Canadians often play "Drapeau," or "Capture the Flag." To include a Pakistani game, consider "Oonch Neech," or "Up and Down," another form of tag. Playing games from different cultures will allow guests to see that games, though they may vary, are a commonality between cultures.
Music and Dance
You can also feature music and dance from different cultures at your multicultural night. As with food and games, all cultures use music and dance as a means of expressing themselves, though the types of music and dance will vary. For example, you could play Irish folk music and showcase Irish step dancing, or you could play African drum music and practice the moves of various African dances. Show videos of these dances, or check with local performing arts organizations to see if members are able to perform such dances for your event.
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