The world is a place of many cultures and nations, which is why it is essential to introduce multicultural awareness to children and teach them to live without biases and prejudices. The high significance of this matter explains why the related activities should be implemented as soon as possible and developmentally appropriate, namely in preschool. An interesting activity with a clear behavioral objective can help preschoolers understand that hundreds of different cultures exist side by side in the world, and respecting other cultures is a crucial part of people’s lives. Thus, this paper presents such an activity, including its description and explanation of its effectiveness in terms of introducing multicultural awareness to children and stimulating their own growth and development. Playing folksongs of different cultures is an appropriate activity for 4-year-old children as it corresponds to their developmental level and introduces multiculturalism in a way that is not boring or complicated.
The activity under discussion can be named “Singing with the World,” and it involves languages and music as the primary curriculum areas. Music is an effective way to present information since it does not stimulate distractions among 4-year-old children, and language is one of the characteristics defining human and cultural diversity (Robles de Melendez & Beck, 2019). Playing folksongs that represent traditions of different nations and ethnicities can help children get acquainted with various languages and introduce multiculturalism simultaneously. Furthermore, practicing language-oriented activities improves communication and positively impacts children’s social and emotional growth, which is fundamental for their development (Robles de Melendez & Beck, 2019). Comprehension of social norms and communication patterns is also a significant part of understanding multiculturalism and learning to avoid biases.
Conducting the activity requires some preparations and involves several specificities that should be addressed before implementing folksongs into preschoolers’ curriculum. First of all, the selection of songs should follow particular guidelines. The activity will reach the highest possible effectiveness if the selected songs represent some elements of the culture associated with them. For instance, it can be a song that people commonly sing while celebrating their cultural or national holiday. After listening to the folksong, the teacher can tell children what it is about and describe the circumstances or unique traditions associated with the performance of that song. That way, children can learn about other languages and cultures and see the differences between them by acknowledging various traditions associated with the folksongs. Furthermore, it is advisable to use folksongs in languages primarily spread in the U. S. society, such as Spanish, Portuguese, French, and others (Robles de Melendez & Beck, 2019). Children are likely to meet representatives of the corresponding cultures sooner than others, meaning that it is more practical to use folksongs of nations and ethnicities that represent cultural diversity in the United States.
Overall, folksong of different cultures is a developmentally appropriate and efficient way to introduce multicultural awareness to preschoolers as it is not highly complex and can attract their attention. This activity is language-oriented, which means it can stimulate children’s emotional and social development, introducing multiculturalism and enhancing their personal growth simultaneously. However, some preparations should be made before implementing the activity in the classroom. Those preparations and the specificities of the process are described as guidelines further in the paper (see Appendix). Following those guidelines can help conduct an efficient preschool activity and introduce multicultural awareness successfully.
Robles de Melendez, W., & Beck, V. (2019). Teaching young children in multicultural classroom (5th ed.). Cengage Learning.
|Singing with the World|
|Select several folksongs within the U. S. cultural diversity range and check their translations.||Play the folksongs in the classroom, explaining what they are about after listening to them.|
|Find events, holidays, or cultural traditions related to the selected songs.||Describe the events, holidays, or cultural traditions to the children and explain their correlation to the songs.|