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Multicultural Mobile

Many cities are home to ethnically diverse people. Toronto, London, New York, Hong Kong—which city will you show in your Multicultural Mobile?

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Some cities and nations have a long tradition of being home to people from many different countries. The United Nations named Toronto, Canada, as the most ethnically diverse city in the world. Two thirds of its 4 million residents were born elsewhere. Think about the benefits this global diversity brings to a city!
    2. Invite students to find out about the ethnic diversity in their neighborhood, state, province—or any area in the world. Choose a symbol for the area. Here’s one way to represent ethnic diversity in a mobile.
    3. To show Toronto’s population mix, the red maple leaf of Canada’s flag works well as the center of the mobile. Students choose a symbol for their selected city. With Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils, draw the symbol’s outline on thin cardboard. Cut it out with Crayola Scissors. Trace the shape on more cardboard and cut it out to make two identical shapes. Make a cut down the middle of one shape from the bottom to the middle. Cut the other from the top to the middle.
    4. Students cover their work area with recycled newspaper. Paint one side of the mobile’s central symbol with Crayola Washable Tempera Paint. Air-dry the symbols flat. Paint the other side. Air-dry them flat.
    5. Cross the two shapes and slide them together at the cuts to create a 3-D symbol.
    6. Students research the different ethnic groups living in the area under study. Encourage them to locate pictures that show the design and colors of each nation’s flag. Cut out cardboard or recycled file folder rectangles, one for each culture represented in the mobile. Color the nation’s flag on one side with Crayola Gel Markers. On the other side of the flag, label the country and summarize other information found.
    7. Punch holes at balanced places on the center symbol. Use string to tie on flags. An adult can poke a paper clip through the top of the center symbol to make a hook. Hang mobiles in the classroom. Students should be prepared to discuss their selection of photographs and how they are connected to their city's diversity.
  • Standards

    LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Understand that a set of data collected to answer a statistical question has a distribution which can be described by its center, spread, and overall shape.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Describe how people create places that reflect ideas, personality, culture, and wants and needs as they design homes, playgrounds, classrooms, and the like.

    SS: Explore ways that language, art, music, belief systems, and other cultural elements may facilitate global understanding or lead to misunderstanding.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to communicate intended meaning in their artworks.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resource includes: Toronto: Cities of the World by Barbara Radcliffe-Rogers;

    A summer festival in Toronto celebrates the city's diversity. It is called Caravan. Ethnic groups set up pavilions featuring their customs, entertainment, food, and clothing. People purchase passports to visit each pavilion. Encourage students to organize a Caravan-inspired event featuring the ethnic backgrounds of each student in the class. Also, contact local heritage groups to participate in the festival.

    Survey the school to discover the various ethnicities represented within the student population. Make a mobile for each of the various ethnic groups represented. Display these in a public hallway in the school.

    Encourage students to examine immigration groups that have moved to the United States in the last century. What were the motivators that brought people to the country?

    The analogy of a melting pot was once used to describe immigrant assimilation in the United States. Today, we often refer to the various ethnic groups represented in the U.S. as a mosaic. Which, in your opinion, is a better description of the population of the U.S.? Why?


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