helping children create positive self B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e

helping children create positive self B u s i n e s s F i n a n c e

Read the National Council for Social Studies’ Social Studies for Early Childhood Elementary School Children: Preparing for the 21st Century excerpt:

A report from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) provides a helpful summary of the significant literature on the development characteristics of children.

Most five-year-olds can begin to combine simple ideas into more complex relations. They have a growing memory capacity and fine motor physical skills. They have a growing interest in the functional aspects of written language, such as recognizing meaningful words and trying to write their names (NAEYC 1986). They need an environment rich in printed materials that stimulates the development of language and literacy skills in a meaningful context. They also need a variety of direct experiences to develop cognitively, physically, emotionally, and socially. Since five-year-olds come to school with an interest in the community and the world outside their own, curriculum can expand beyond the child’s immediate experience of self, home, and family (NAEYC 1986).

Six-year-olds are active learners and demonstrate considerable verbal ability. They are interested in games and rules and develop concepts and problem-solving skills from these experiences. Hands-on activity and experimentation are necessary for this age group (NAEYC 1986). Seven-year-olds become increasingly able to reason, listen to others, and show social give-and-take. Spatial relationships and time concepts are difficult for them to perceive. Flexibility, open-mindedness, and tolerance of unfamiliar ideas essential in social studies are formed to a remarkable extent by the interactions of the four- to that by age nine or ten children have well-established racial and ethnic prejudices and these are highly resistant to change (Joyce 1970); therefore, teachers must go beyond studies of other cultures and celebrations of their holidays and include studies of families, music, shelter, customs, beliefs, and other aspects common to all cultures (NAEYC 1986).

As an early childhood teacher, how would you address multiculturalism in your classroom knowing that it is vital for children to be exposed to racial and ethnic discussions by age nine? State at least three different ways that you would address race and ethnicity within the context of social studies. You must cite at least 1 source. **initial posting

Please respond to these two classmates post. In your responses, you may ask classmates questions, expand on their ideas, ask for clarity on one of their points, and maybe even politely disagree and explain why.

1. Exposing children to a variety of different cultures has many important benefits. We must learn to accept and get along with people of all cultures, races, and religions to become productive citizens of the world. “If you show respect for their worth as human beings and encourage them to respect one another, they will begin the long process of learning to celebrate human differences.” (Mayesky, pg. 534) To provide them multicultural experiences, we can use books, celebrate holidays, and do passport traveler activity.

Books with characters of color is a wonderful way to teach readers about different cultures and promote diversity to help them to see the beauty in kids of other races. I would read them books such as Corduroy or The Snowy Day. “Books are one of the best ways to teach children about the importance of the race, equity, diversity, and inclusion. The world we wish to see is easier to show than tell.” (MotherMag)

I will teach my student about all different holidays not just Christmas, but Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. It teaches children to expand their worldview on different cultures and religions that families come together to celebrate their tradition.

Passport traveler activity is fun for children to introduce to their classmate’s diverse backgrounds. I would ask my students’ parents to send family pictures, their favorite snacks, or their country’s flag. Once they “visit” each different classmate’s background, they all can earn a new stamp on their passport. It helps children to understand that we come from various background but we all are the same. “This theme helps learners develop their spatial views and perspectives of the world, to understand where people, places, and resources are located and why they are there, and to explore the relationship between human beings and the environment.” (Mayesky, pg. 533)

2.“The racial and ethnic profile of Americans will continue to shift – with non-Hispanic whites losing their majority status.” (Population Reference Bureau, 2020). With our classrooms everchanging, it is important that we, as teachers, work hard to ensure that every student understands multiculturalism. I did not know that children could understand this at such a young age – because of this, it is important to implement it into the classroom. “Diversity can affect psychosocial development during early childhood by helping children create positive self-images, form strong relationships with peers, and develop positive attitudes towards other children from both similar and different backgrounds.” (VanDonge, 2015). In order to bring awareness of multiculturalism, I will implement this into my lesson plans as a future teacher. In Bobbi Kates’ book “We’re Different, We’re the Same”,there are illustrations of features and how they are different on each person. For example, it mentions how everyone noses are different, yet they all function the same way. From this book, children can learn that although so many of our features are different, we are really the same. The overall lesson is to explain that no matter how different we are on the outside, we are all human on the inside. This book could be a great addition to any elementary education classroom as it has great illustrations, easy to understand words, and a wonderful lesson. After reading this book in a classroom, you could ask students to share a bit about their culture at home – almost like a show and tell. When I was younger, we had to come up with a few things unique about our life at home and bring an item or draw a picture related to that. Then, we would discuss family roles, traditions, holidays, etc. As a teacher, you could break the class into small groups and discuss these things – children love to learn more about each other and it will implement the understanding that we are all different and should appreciate it and respect it.

I recently read about a wonderful activity through an article by Christine VanDonge, done by a class that promotes multiculturalism. Have students build a house by giving two small groups of students a ton of materials and two other small groups of students not so many materials. When students present their houses, students will realize that your house does not define who you are. This ties into stereotyping, which we ,as adults, are all guilty of; and, if we realize it or not, children learn this right off the bat and follow in their parent or guardian’s footsteps. There are so many activities we can implement to show students how different we are and how we should treat everyone with kindness, regardless of how different they are from us.


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