Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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April 29, 2014

Celebrating differences

Sycamore students learn about different cultures

AVON — Sycamore Elementary School third-graders spent last week learning about what makes each other different, culminating with activities on Friday.

Sycamore teacher Kristen DeLoddere said the idea is to teach the students that it’s OK to share what’s culturally different about them.

“We just worked on kind of teaching the kids about sharing and celebrating their differences,” she said. “I feel like sometimes the kids are just so introverted and they feel like being different is not cool so they don’t want to share about it. This week we’ve just been trying to bring this stuff out, and they kind of giggle about it or whatever, and now they’re really starting to understand each other a little bit better.”

She said the students participated in activities throughout the week during social studies time to learn about each other’s cultures. Students participated in what’s called an “Iceberg Activity,” meaning they talked about what you can see about a person the top of the iceberg and what you can’t or what’s underneath the water. The students also wrote poems about themselves and made collages featuring words or pictures from magazines that represented them.

“We started on Monday and just our theme this week was ‘It’s OK to be me,’” DeLoddere said. “Every day we spent a half hour for our social studies doing different activities … They really got excited about it.”

From 9:30 to 11 a.m. Friday, the third-graders gathered in the gymnasium to watch a short video, see a slideshow of photos from the week, and ultimately share with each other what makes them unique. The students were asked to bring in pictures of their family, items that represented them, and to dress in a way that showcases their cultural background. However, students could also dress as what they want to be when they grow up, or in their favorite athletic team’s gear basically whatever represented them. The students were broken up into groups and shared what they brought with them and explained their backgrounds.

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