By Tammy Keces, Special to the Independent
Top of the World’s fourth- and fifth-grade Gate students dressed in ethnic clothing, learned salutations in a foreign tongue and offered ethnic edibles during their first international bazaar.
The May 1 event was the culmination of weekly meetings begun last fall, where students engaged in multicultural activities ranging from learning languages, studying geography and playing games from around the world, to creating cultural art pieces, listening to world music and exploring the “Hungry Planet” series.
The students settled on the countries they were eager to learn about, researched their country of choice individually or in groups, and prepared a cultural booth in class and later at home.
The day of the bazaar, students who were dressed according to the custom of their chosen country and said “hello” in that country’s language greeted visitors. By selling ethnic foods and local, hand-made crafts, the students raised $650, which will be donated to UNICEF.
Students developed a greater sense of empathy for others, a deeper appreciation for
diversity and gained insight into how culture shapes experience, said TOW enrichment teacher Tammy Keces, who planned and implemented the curriculum.
In addition to the bazaar, the class developed their own definition of global citizenship, a process that created a foundation for their interactions and discussions. The global citizenship ideas involved respect and concern for the planet; confidence to defend rights and values while respecting those of others; respect and tolerance for other traditions, attitudes and cultures; the ability to ask meaningful questions and search for knowledge and understanding; and the ability to listen and be open-minded.
Tammy Keces is a TOW teacher.