Communication – folks need to know and it’s paramount to explain to others. Help (staff and caregivers) by keeping lines of communication open with newsletters and emails, that explain the situation to… especially children and students.
Food –food can fill up the senses and break down defenses… so explore with the different kinds of smell good delicious items that come from all the members of your class. Then, make sure to discuss different foods. Explain that people from different parts of the world eat different foods because of natural selection and… can you guess what makes a person eat… Make it fun for all!
Dress – when someone in your class wears religious or culturally significant attire, discuss it. Find out what other cultures as well as this student’s wear.
Speech/Accents – when speech is different because of impediments (speak with an accent or use different words) find ways and words that are more easily understood.
Cultures are different – some cultures have different expectations for eye contact or physical touch (like handshaking for example). Talk about differences and notice things that are different… this develops tolerance and observational skills.
Celebrate – it’s really nice to applaud or celebrate differences and similarities between others (students or staff or community members). This can explain that while people might look different or sound different, everyone can have some things in common too. Art projects are a good way to do this.
Show and tell – by having kids bring in things that are important to them and different is a good way to dissolve barriers and address curiosity in a non-threatening way for both the speaker and the audience.
Lessons – plan lessons to include everyone in all activities in some ways from very simple contributions to more complex ways to share and serve others.
Include stories and music from many cultures in your program throughout the year.
Invite community members of similar and contrasting cultures to your classroom for activities with the kids.