How can I honor cultural and ethnic heritage months?

This article is excerpted from 130 FAQs and Practical Answers From Scholastic's Teacher Helpline
by Ruth Manna

Whether you’re teaching about Black History Month, Women’s History, Hispanic or Asian Heritage, here are key ideas to remember:

  • Study people: Studying individuals makes cultural heritage concrete and lively for students. There are multiple opportunities to teach about character and values in the lives of well-known people. It’s important to research Ruby Bridges as well as Martin Luther King, Jr., and Sandra Cisneros as well as Roberto Clemente.
  • Honor traditions: Every group has its own traditions, whether Quinceañera or “jumping the broom.” We want students to know and respect the traditions of various cultures.
  • Stress commonality: Understanding differences is important, but emphasize what we share.
  • Be fair: Be equitable in the time and energy you devote to celebrating our rich cultural and ethnic heritage. Ask different grades and classes to lead a cultural month or event so responsibility is shared and all groups are acknowledged.
  • Involve community: Chances are there are community members nearby who are willing share their culture with your students.

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