Tag Archives: culture

RPDC: Take a Cultural Plunge this Summer!

Blog post by Marlow Barton, MELL Instructional Specialist

St. Louis provides many opportunities to explore the different cultures of our students this summer!

blog post byOn a recent visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden, I noticed large, colorful and interesting lanterns being placed all over the garden for the upcoming Chinese Lantern Festival. I began to reflect upon the Chinese speaking ELL children I had in my classes when I taught English to children in various districts around St. Louis and how much I enjoyed having them as students. I loved learning about their families and cultural backgrounds.

As I reflected, I started to wonder what the Chinese population is in St. Louis as I have noticed many activities this summer about Chinese culture. According to the Chinese Culture and Education Foundation, “various unofficial estimates show the figure from 15,000 to 20,000, among which a predominant majority reside in suburban communities and constitutes one percent of the total suburban population of St. Louis.”

In addition to the Chinese Lantern Festival, the Magic House is sponsoring Children’s China: Celebrating Culture, Character and Confucious. Can’t get enough of Chinese culture? Check out the Dragon Boat Races at Creve Coeur Lake!

International Institute | Wayne Crosslin
photo courtesy of the International Institute, Wayne Crosslin

If you are teaching summer school, or tutoring this summer, make sure to check out a cultural artifacts kit from the Office of International Studies at UMSL (cislibrary@umsl.edu). UMSL has kits from many countries, including one from China.

Want to experience other cultures? Try the Festival of Nations from the International Institute of Saint Louis or the Japanese Art Exhibit at the Saint Louis Art Museum called Creatures Great and Small.

All of this got me thinking it would be fun to try to experience something from each of the countries where my students and their families originated. So don’t sit around inside all summer- take a trip around the world right here in our own city!

Cultural Responsiveness Workshop: Essential Principles

Educators know they must be able to effectively teach students that are culturally different from them. To become effective in areas related to race and culture, adults must understand both teacher actions and perceptions that get in the way of creating a culturally responsive classroom environment. EducationPlus invites you to join other teachers and administrators to better understand and implement culturally responsive teaching practices in the classroom that support all children learning.

In this half day workshop on April 24, Dr. Charles Pearson will cover topics including current theory about race, racism, privilege, internalized racism, culture, and other essential concepts related to the impact of race and culture in the classroom. Participants will be equipped to move from a fear of dealing with challenges of race to acting in an “anti-racist” manner as they interact with children of various cultures. Dr. Pearson’s doctoral work focused upon factors that lead to success in African American academic achievement initiatives in schools. He served as a Curriculum Coordinator, Principal and Assistant Superintendent.

Register online to participate in this important discussion.

Face to Faith Videoconference Pilot Announced

GNGNEWS FROM GLOBAL NOMADS GROUP: Face to Faith (is a partnership with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation) and offers young people the chance to explore their own identities and that of others in relation to their faith. These Global Nomad Group videoconferences aim to increase students’ religious literacy while improving the 21st century skills of critical thinking, collaboration and cooperative learning.

Face to Faith offers schools & communities a unique opportunity to explore faith from an individual and local perspective through to a global outlook by connecting young people from different cultures and faiths. Tony Blair Faith Foundation logo

Grade Level: Advanced students ages 13-16 | Related subjects: World History, Geography, Religious Studies, Social Studies | Cost: Free from January to March (pilot phase)

Since October 2008, GNG has connected nearly 800 students from Canada, India, Singapore, and the USA in videoconferences that explore how Faith impacts the everyday life and culture of youth today. Through January and March, Face to Faith will be offered as a free pilot program to help build dialogue among youth around the world and encourage personal reflection, collaboration and awareness. Sign up for GNG’s new program: Face to Faith, in partnership with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.”

For more information or to register for this program, please contact Christine Robinson, Christine@gng.org or visit www.gng.org!

Visiting Mrs. Claus Virtually

Mrs. Claus in 2006    

Mrs. Claus in 2006

Next week, several classes at Independence Elementary in the Francis Howell School District will take some time to talk with Mrs. Claus– over videoconference. Each each year, CESA 7 offers the connection. This program allow students the opportunity to visit with Mrs. Santa Claus. She reads a short story to the students (grades K-3 participate) and then they have the chance to ask questions about her, Santa Claus, and the North Pole. While this is a fun holiday activity, it also covers several educational standards. National Language Arts Standards for K-2 Listening and Speaking:

K. 1.0 Students listen and respond to oral communications
Gr. 1 1.1 Listen Attentively
Gr. 1 2.2 Retell stories
Gr. 2 1.1 Determine the purposes for listening
Gr. 2 1.8 Retell stories, including characters, setting, and plot

In addition, one of the state (Wisconsin) standards met is students willbe able to “give examples and explain how language, stories, folk tales, music, and other artistic creations are expressions of culture and how they convey knowledge of other peoples and cultures.”

Not bad for a 30 minute interactive connection! This year is booked up, but keep this videoconference in mind for next winter.

To learn about more holiday videoconference options (such as Hanukkah, Diwali, Kwanzaa), visit www.cilc.org and type in “holiday.”

What’s New on CILC

CILC sent out new videoconferences listed on their website, www.cilc.org, and programs include two from some of our favorite content providers, Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, GA, and The Discovery Center in Springfield, MO. Also listed are some collaboration requests. To read more about it, visit www.cilc.org.

Content Provider Programs

Cowboy Close-Up by Amon Carter Museum
Gather ’round the camp fire and experience the story of the American cowboy through the eyes and words of an historical reenactor. See and hear from cowboys around an authentic chuck wagon and learn about the cowboy lifestyle during the late nineteenth…
Availability: By Request/On Demand ONLY | Audience: Grade(s): 1-8

Stories and the American West by Amon Carter Museum
Use art to enliven narrative writing instruction. This v/c focuses on the use of art as a stimulus point for students to create their own stories about the American West. Teachers receive a CD of images & creative writing activities.
Availability: By Request/On Demand ONLY | Audience: Grade(s): 3-7

Mexico by Center for Puppetry Arts
Students learn about the history and culture of Mexico and its people through the art of the mask. Learning activities center around the story of the flag of Mexico & ancient Aztec culture, ancient pictographs of indigenous animals of the New World…
Availability: By Request/On Demand ONLY | Audience: Grade(s): 4-12

My Amazing Body by Discovery Center of Springfield
In this interactive program, we’ll touch on bones, brains, muscles and more as young learners explore human anatomy and healthy habits.
Availability: By Request/On Demand ONLY | Audience: Pre-K, K-2

United States Colored Troops of the Civil War by Fort Mifflin on the Delaware
The 3rd Regiment Infantry United States Colored Troops Civil War Re-enacting group will be on hand to provide living history for this one-day only event. Friday, April 3, 2009 from 9 am to 4 pm (EST)
Audience: Grade(s): 3-12

Icy Science by Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
Looking for a “chilling” experience using one of the world’s most unusual substances that will support your student’s process skill development? Then freeze some water, grab some salt and get ready for hands-on explorations that emphasize observation…
Availability: By Request/On Demand ONLY | Audience: Grade(s): 2-8

PIQ: Test Your Palaeo Intelligence by Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology
Think your students have what it takes? Test their knowledge of dinosaurs and palaeontology as they are lead through a series of five interactive games and challenges in their efforts to escape a deadly volcano.
Availability: By Request/On Demand ONLY | Audience: K-3

Up Close and Palaeo Jr. by Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology
How big was the biggest dinosaur? Did trilobites live during the Age of Dinosaurs? Get answers to questions as one of our science educators tackles your students’ toughest palaeontological ponderings.
Availability: By Request/On Demand ONLY | Audience: K-9


Higher Education technology Upgrades
We are recently looking to upgrade our ITV room in our Downtown GR location. I am looking for “if I only knew” answers before upgrading. For example, we currently use ceiling microphones which I do not feel work properly. Also, HD is taking hold.
Status: Seeking Partners | Audience: Business/Community: Business Member, Community Member, Government Agency

5th Grade Time to Connect
A CURRENT EVENTS ACTIVITY FOR GRADE 5, using http://www.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/snapshot/. Teachers will go to the archive to plan the article to be used for the following week. Students will receive a copy of the Student Handout.
Status: Seeking Partners | Audience: Grade(s): 5

German and English or German and German Collaboration
Seeking an English teacher in a German-speaking country who would like his/her class to interact with a German class in the US (Indianapolis, IN). Webcam, live interaction might be possible. All types of collaboration (email, blog, etc.) considered.
Status: Seeking Partners | Audience: Grade(s): 9-12

To participate in any of these videoconferences, look them up on CILC and sign-up with the appropriate content provider!