Lesson 3: Diversity Fair
Diversity Grades 5-8
Skills and Objectives
- Research a major racial or ethnic group, or world region featured in this unit
- Identify the group or region’s contributions to American life
- Develop a presentation for a Diversity Fair
Before starting, download the individual student maps shown on the United States Diversity poster.
Materials: Diversity Fair Student worksheet 3, United States Diversity individual student maps (PDFs), library and Internet resources, pens, pencils, poster board, computers, digital presentation software (optional)
Time Required: Two to three 40-minute class periods depending on research time
Place the word culture on the board with this definition: the values, behaviors, and beliefs of a particular social, ethnic, or age group. Discuss the term to ensure understanding.
Arrange students in pairs to brainstorm characteristics that help identify a particular culture. These might include music, clothing, food, religion, vocabulary, etc. Randomly ask students for their ideas and record their examples.
Select 10 students to come to the front of the room. Ask them to arrange themselves into smaller groups according to their favorite food: beef, chicken, fish/seafood, or vegetables. Once they’ve sorted themselves out, ask them to rearrange themselves by each of these new categories in turn:
- Their favorite music: rock, rap/hip-hop, pop, jazz, or ethnic/world music
- Their favorite activity: sleeping, playing, reading, or working
- The language spoken at home: English or other languages
Mention that one thing the 10 students have in common is they are members of your class. Ask: How are they different? How much did the group change as new categories were identified? In what category were students most similarly grouped? In what category were they most diverse? What does this tell us about the diversity of people in the class? How might this activity exemplify diversity in the United States?
Assign or have students select one of the racial or ethnic groups from the United States Diversity poster.
Distribute Diversity Fair Student Worksheet 3 and review with students. Emphasize that they are to report on characteristics that are positive in nature and factual. Discuss how to recognize and avoid racial and ethnic stereotypes, which are negative and often present false claims against an entire group.
All members of the group must participate in the exhibit’s production and presentation. You might consider assigning specific tasks for group members to highlight their strengths.
Provide time for students to complete their exhibits.
Have students present their exhibits to the class or set them up in the gymnasium, library, or some other room for public viewing. Evaluate students' exhibits with the following criteria:
- Cooperative group work
- Coverage of the required content in their exhibit
- Extent and accuracy of visual presentation
- Effective oral presentation skills
Using the Student Worksheets
In this culminating activity, students will conduct research to develop a Diversity Fair exhibit. The Diversity Fair is designed to generate interest in and understanding of the positive effects of diversity for the United States, and to help students appreciate the contributions of individual racial and ethnic groups.