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Everyday Influences

Our vocabulary and lives are filled with words, sayings and things from other countries. They have become part of our everyday lives. Create a display of them to share.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Our lives are a combination of different cultures from the way we dress, the food we eat, and even phrases used to greet each other. Encourage a discussion to see if anyone knows any of these words. To get the conversation started begin with words or things that might be familiar. Discuss words that describe places such as café, sauna, hotel. Try some words we use to greet each other: ciao, bonjour, hola. We also use some of these words to describe things such as macho, eureka, siesta, circa. All have language roots from other areas.
    2. See how many words that students can identify as words that have become part of our language. Use Crayola® Dry-Erase Markers to make a list on a classroom white board. Define these words and use them to create a poster.
    3. Use Crayola Construction Paper and Construction Paper Crayons as well as other found items to make some of these words and items into a poster illustrating terms from other languages that have been integrated into English. For instance, you could use a white plastic bowl, cut off the rim and use crayons to color the inside to form a wok. Posters can include both words and objects.
    4. Glue items to poster board and allow drying time before displaying.
  • Standards

    LA: Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.

    LA: Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music and artistic creations serve as expression of culture and influence people living in a particular culture.

    VA: Students will investigate, plan and work through materials and ideas to make works of art and design.

    VA: Students will initiate making works of art and design by experimenting, imagining and identifying content.

  • Adaptations

    Chinese food ranks as one of the top cuisines in the world. Create a recipe that you could cook in a wok. Be creative. Make a list of vegetables and meats or fish that you would use. If possible, try the recipe at home and write a report about the outcome. Make sure the correct measurements for each ingredient are recorded so that the recipe can be repeated.

    The Spanish language is spoken by the second largest group of people in the world. It is ahead of English and just below Chinese. Many signs, commercials and television ads are now produced in Spanish in the United States. Try to identify some of these. Search your neighborhood and see if you can locate any other signs written in a different language. Restaurants, malls, entertainment venues and large office buildings are good places to look.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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