Friday, February 10, 2012

Teaching Tolerance to Kids

If we are to have real peace, we must begin with the children.
~Mahatma Gandhi

I was reading an article in Book Links (a supplement to Booklist magazine) about culture clubs. Two educators, Debbi Dunne & Beth Papaz, in response to world cultures becoming their new third grade social studies focus, decided to form a culture club in their school because "Before we can teach any specific world culture, we first have to help our children develop tolerance and acceptance.  We need to explore the behaviors and beliefs that our children share."

Their culture club meets once a week.  Activities include: sharing information about themselves; writing letters to cafeteria workers, custodians, & grandparents to express thankfulness for all the gifts in club members' lives; inviting the whole school to share their answers to the question "What is peace?" on a wall display; discussions about bullying; & writing a poem about acceptance as a group.

Most of their activities were tied to books that they read aloud together.  Here's a list of some of books which they found helpful to share.

All the Colors of the Earth by Sheila Hamanaka

Enemy Pie by Derek Munson

Feathers & Fools by Mem Fox

Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting

A Little Peace by Barbara Kerley

The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill

Say Something by Peggy Moss

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell

What Does Peace Feel Like? by Vladimir Radunsky

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox

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