Lesson Plan – Our Diverse Classroom

Questioning and discussion – Students build relationships through the exploration of the diverse backgrounds and experiences of their classmates.diverse-classroom

Aims

  • To encourage students to explore the diverse backgrounds and experiences of their classmates.
  • For students to engage with classmates with whom they would not usually engage.

Preparation

  • Copy an activity sheet for each child in the group.
  • Plan to conduct the activity in an area conducive to the children moving about freely and talking to each other (it should be fairly noisy!).

What to do

  1. Introduce the activity as one which will help the class learn more about each other.
  2. Distribute the activity sheets and go through the items to make sure everyone understands them.
  3. Encourage children to ask supplementary questions of their classmates to gain additional information (this is a conversational activity; not a race!).
  4. Give the children a timeframe for the activity, but be flexible if they continue to be engaged with each other.
  5. Stress that they are to aim to get a different respondent for each item, if possible.
  6. Monitor the children as they move around the space talking to each other.
  7. Share the responses in the whole group.

Extension activities

  • Ask the students if any of the responses surprised them.
  • Follow up in greater depth on any of the topics of particular interest to the children.
  • Have the children devise their own list of questions/items.
  • Visit another class to conduct the activity.

Our Diverse Classroom Activity Sheet

Find someone who… Name
Has travelled to New Zealand
Can count to 5 in Japanese
Comes from an island in the Pacific
Can name 4 different styles of pasta
Has a parent who was born in Asia
Can say ‘hello’ in 5 different languages
Knows the name of the local Indigenous people
Plays a sport that originated in England
Knows the main religion of Indonesia
Can name the head covering worn by some Muslim women
Has a grandparent born in Australia
Can name 5 different herbs and spices
Likes nachos, burritos and other Mexican food
Knows the country in which St Patrick’s Day originated
Has eaten at an Indian restaurant
Can name 1 country that borders China
Speaks another language at home
Can name 3 different French foods
Has a parent who was born in Europe
Takes off their shoes before entering their home

Adapted from a Living in Harmony Funded Project, ‘All Together Now’, Churches’ Commission on Education, WA, 1999.