Last Friday, I had the pleasure of visiting twenty-six 2nd graders at Bryant Elementary School as they participated in a multicultural celebration. What is so special about this particular class is that they work throughout the year to incorporate diversity of the community and classroom into their curriculum. Mrs. Schimmel holds acceptance and respect with the utmost importance and wants to embed these values into the students by the end of the school year.
The children work together to earn Friday afternoon lessons. The celebration I observed incorporated natural history, science and our impact on the environment. They were bursting at the seams with excitement to learn more information, shouting out what they already knew and holding the artifacts that help bring the lesson to life. Talk about entertainment! Mrs. Schimmel had her son, also a Siberian Yupik Eskimo, play drums to a traditional song and dance. One of the children’s favorites? A huge polar bear made into what looked like a rug with the real head still in place.
The artifacts, activities, and especially Mrs. Schimmel, brought this lesson to life. It created a passion and jubilation within the students which motivated them to learn. All of you teachers out there wondering how to get your students involved and eager to participate? Take notes from Mrs. Schimmel!Google+