International Education Week (IEW) 2011 will be held November 14-18. IEW is a joint initiative between the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education that provides an opportunity to recognize the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide, while also celebrating our connection with the world around us. As a teacher, I always enjoyed International Education Week in my class. The study of other cultures allowed each of us to explore the various cultures of my students and enabled us to grow together as a community. I would invite students to learn of their own cultural history through discussions with family members and research. I had scaffolded assignments that afforded students the opportunity to express what they had learned in a manner they were most comfortable with and could easily produce. On Thursdays, we would typically have a cultural book exchange where each student would bring a book from their heritage and when appropriate, I would ask a parent to come and read the book with the students. This was also a wonderful occasion for parents to share some of their cultural collectables. On Friday. we would have an international food festival that showcased the varying cultural backgrounds of students. Each student would bring the recipe and we would take a picture of their dish and then compiled all of these great recipes into a book to share with the class. It was a great keepsake for my students and a wonderful reminder of the many wonderful cultures that make up our “Great Big World.” Of course, after all of the photos were taken and the recipes were shared, we took the time to EAT!
I hope you will participate in this year’s International Education Week. If you do, please share with us some of the wonderful lessons and ideas you will be cultivate in your classes during IEW week this year.
My class, just after finishing our cultural food fest… I‘m trying to give instructions, but it is obvious they are stuffed and want to take a nap!