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Category Archives: Around the World
The expert studies have shown it. The studies have confirmed the evidence. Brains endowed by studying another language benefit in many ways. Why are our brains in such a great advantage to learn another language besides our own native one? What are the neurolinguistic advantages of being bilingual? Continue reading
My friend Annika Bourgogne recently published the popular book “Be Bilingual,” which is full of practical, creative, and fun ideas backed up by the latest research, on families juggling two or more languages- who still make it enjoyable. She holds a Master of Arts degree in French and English from the University of Helsinki, and is mother to two bilingual daughters. Passionate about family bilingualism, she is constantly looking for new ways to combine real-life parenting with the latest research on the subject. She teaches French, English, and Swedish in Helsinki, Finland. Continue reading
Multicultural Kid Blogs is proud to announce that this year we are joining in the US Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service by challenging our readers (and ourselves!) to take the time to do service with our children. Members are sharing ideas about the kinds of service work they have done with their kids. Don’t miss my earlier post on 35 Service Projects for Kids.
Have your kids ever been a part of a fundraising campaign? It’s a great way to get kids thinking about people in need and the greater common good. My kids are part of a Destination Imagination team, and have chosen the service learning challenge as their main project for this year. This entails that they must:
- decide on a pressing need
- design a fundraising project
- join with a corporate sponsor
- carry out the fundraiser
- present their project
First we brainstormed about the infinite possibilities: raising funds for homeless local animals, collecting bikes, shoes, or sports equipment for kids who don’t have any, cleaning up our nearby seashore, raising funds for a school or library in a developing country. Then they decided on what they considered the most urgent, most important cause: clean water. In their own words:
if kids don’t have clean water, it doesn’t matter about school or a library or shoes or sports. They will be too sick to do anything else. Clean water has to come first.
I can’t begin to tell you how proud I was at that moment- to see their minds using critical thinking and come to that decision was beyond impressive!
Over the next few weeks, they designed their project: they would do a video and set up a fundraising page at water.org so that the money could go directly to the organization and we could publicize our efforts. They also wanted to make a video. Water.org says that every $25 raised gives 1 person clean water for life. The kids decided to try to raise $2500, so that 100 people would have clean water for life. It is an impressive goal for 9 year olds! After researching facts on clean water, they made their video:
Every donor that gives us their address is receiving a handmade rainbow loom bracelet with a thank you card from the kids (another of their ideas!).
They will carry out the second branch of the fundraiser by collecting at school. They made up milk jugs (one per grade) and will collect money all this week. As the students drop in their change, they get to sign the milk jug with a sharpie. We have teamed up with our local supermarket and will give the top donating grade a popcorn party.
This fundraising project has been a lot of work, but the take-away lessons are immense. This group of kids is thinking about a problem and injustice that needs to be examined, thought of what they can do to help, and are following through. Though initiated as our Destination Imagination challenge, I believe that this project has changed our kids’ perspectives, and has them thinking about the world beyond their community, and other ways kids can make a difference. I can’t wait to see what the future brings!
For some ideas on doing volunteer work with kids, browse our list of family-friendly service projects or great organizations to support. You can also follow our Teaching Global Citizenship and Black History boards on Pinterest.
The following blogs are sharing how their families will celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service:
Multicultural Kid Blogs Pennies of Time 365 Days of Motherhood
Africa to America All Done Monkey Learning to Be the Light A Path of Light Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes Kid World Citizen The Good Long Road
Share your own posts in the comments or by linking up below! You can also join the discussion in our Google + Community.
I love comparing literature from around the world. We first gathered Cinderella stories from many cultures, and then Gingerbread Men type stories. There are many reasons to read fairy tales to children- especially because they’re whimsical, creative, and fun! Our children and classes loved comparing and contrasting the fairy tales from around the world, and teachers and parents love that it hones their critical thinking skills, and helps them to focus on the details. Even the Common Core Standards includes this in one of their “Reading Literature” standards: Continue reading
Last year I scoured the internet, books, and interviewed friends and readers and asked for the important holidays and festivals in their country. I looked at religious holidays from Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Jainism, Judaism, Islam, Shinto and Sikhism. But it is not only an interfaith calendar- I also asked my readers and friends to fill in their favorite cultural and national festivals from their country. Together, we created one huge multicultural, world calendar with diverse celebrations from around the globe, and from all of our major religions!
Classes can print this and use it to learn about the world, and I will slowly be adding links to the festivals so we can continue to learn and read more.
This is a project that is continually being updated- and I need your help! As much as I research and read, I am bound to miss some important holidays and festivals. Please leave any special day that I missed in the comments, and I will add it into the calendar! Enjoy!
So many readers piped in to share their children’s favorite French cartoons- we got suggestions from both native French speakers, and parents hoping to expose their kids to French! As I was searching for clips, my kids enjoyed checking out the videos- all are suitable for kids, though I frequently use children’s cartoons to teach teenage language learners! (They usually love it, especially if I would show them in class:). Here is a list of 12 favorite French cartoons (new and old, originating in France or Canada). They are more or less in order from younger children to older children, with a preview of each on youtube: Continue reading
Look back at the top news stories of 2013: inspiration came from the brave Malala Yousafzai to the passionate Pope Francis, to the hopeful BatKid; the world shook with news of Nelson Mandela’s passing; the tragedies of the Boston Marathon and the super typhoon had us on our knees; the first Indian-American was crowned Miss America and racism reared its ugly head; armed conflict and civil war rocked the world.
As 2014 begins, I looked back on everything we’ve explored during 2013 to see what the most popular post was. I am honored and inspired that the number one post was Continue reading
The utterance of God is a lamp, whose light is these words: Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship.
-Bahá’u'lláh, Founder of the Bahá‘í Faith Continue reading
As part of the “Show me Around your Neighborhood” series, where several multicultural families around the world are sharing pictures of their communities- I am sharing Merida, Mexico, where we spent our summer. It is so fun to see where everyone lives, goes to school, plays at the park, buys their food, etc! Check out the main list and view neighborhoods such as Curitiba, Brazil, Rural Zambia, and Nagoya, Japan among many others. I encourage you to show your children the photos, and talk about the similarities and differences. Kids love to learn about schools, homes, and even bedrooms of other kids around the world! Continue reading