My students have been researching the backgrounds of various cultural groups for their 4th grade Capstone projects. In addition to guiding them through the research process, I wanted to provide them with rich hands-on experiences during which they were able to taste, see and feel some of the attributes that make particular cultures unique. Before doing so, we spent time asking big questions and the students shared their thoughts and ideas as we sought “answers” to our questions. In this photo, this student was jotting down his thoughts about the question, “What would the world be like if we were all the same?” The rest of the class was thinking through the same question; following this activity, we engaged in a whole class discussion and came up with our own understanding of why diversity is important.
When my teaching is inspired, I give my students room to explore and take ownership of their learning.