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Over the years, my classroom population has become increasingly reflective of a greater cultural mosaic that includes Asian, African, European, and Spanish-speaking ethnic groups. Despite this reality, few elementary grade level students thoroughly understand how different ethnic and cultural groups came to arrive to America, why America is such a diverse nation today, and what constitutes being labeled an American citizen. Diverse Journeys – Americans All! has been written to help students grasp the complex concept of being a United States citizen via birthright or by way of the naturalization process. Through student-generated inquiry, family interviews, research projects, interactive read-aloud, follow-up writing exercises, and a culminating theatrical presentation to be shared with the school community, young researchers will gain a deep understanding of American citizenship. Using select non-fictional and realistic fiction resources, young learners will strengthen reading and reading comprehension skills, synthesizing important info to make text-to-world connections, thus deepening understanding of the subject at hand. Most important, students will come to recognize that irrespective of the journey, diverse groups of people born or naturalized in the U.S. constitute the American mosaic. Diverse Journeys - Americans All! encourages students to embrace diversity and the unique contributions made by diverse cultures to American society.
Number 16 of the periodical On Common Ground
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