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Cultural Awareness in Omaha: Entering the Golden Door


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Keywords: social skills, interview, collaboration, social studies, cultures, video, global awareness
Subject(s): English/Language Arts, Technology, Social Skills, Video, Social Studies, Civics, Photography
Grades 6 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Holy Name School, Omaha, NE
Planned By: Karen Smolinski
Original Author: Karen Smolinski, Omaha
Time: 4 months Class meeting at least twice a week for instructions
Materials/Equipment Required:
Tablets
Computers
Presentation program such as IMovie, Prezi, or possible app smashing.
Community members to interview

Overview: The Jr. High students at Holy Name School will develop their cultural awareness skills through a technology project using tablet computers. The pads will be used to conduct interviews with community members of a minimum of 8 different cultures and to develop innovative presentations about their discoveries and insights based on those conversations. The interviews will take place either face to face or through Skype. Questions will be developed by the classes geared towards obtaining as much cultural background as possible. These results will be used to create multi-media presentations about cultural awareness to present to the student body at Holy Name. Presentations will be shared online through a variety of media including but not limited to: FaceBook, school webpages, YouTube, Voice Thread, Aurasma (Augmented Reality), etc. The ultimate goal of the project will be to develop Holy Name Students awareness of the differences between cultures, problems arising from those differences, dialogs needing to occur to facilitate peaceful solutions and to enhance cooperation between those cultures. These skills will be shared with the global community and applied to their school and job relationships in the future.

Objectives:
The student will make a technology-based authentic assessment on a cultures of community members.
The student will learn about these cultures and pass on what they learned to their fellow students and the community and be able to upload it unto the web, possibly on to a social media site.
Suggested Procedure:
Opening: Students will be asked about what ethnic groups they have had experience with either as a member or have been to an ethnic celebration of such as La Festa Italiano, Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick’s Day, Oktoberfest, or Juneteenth. Students will be assigned a cultural group to research and make a presentation using technology so the product can be uploaded unto the internet.

Development:
Students will be assigned a cultural group in Omaha to research and do a presentation on as well as develop a presentation on their tablets to show what they learned. The students will interview a community member about their culture, record the interview, take pictures of any cultural artifacts and combine their research with this information to make a portion of the final video presentation.
Emphasis should be placed on various books, web sites, organizations, celebrations and people that can be utilized for this project.
The process should be step by step with emphasis on research techniques, fair use guidelines, avoiding plagiarism, and listing sources.
Closing:
The students will have to do a presentation for their classmates as well as a cultural fair for the parish and community as part of a cultural festival.

Connection to the Curriculum: History, Social Studies, Technology
Connection to Social Studies Standards:
SS 8.3.4 Students will analyze and interpret patterns of culture around the world.
SS 8.3.6 Students will analyze issues and/or events using geographic knowledge and skills to make informed decisions. SS 8.4.2 (US) Students will analyze the impact of people, events, ideas, and symbols upon US history using multiple types of sources.
SS 8.4.2 (WLD) Students will analyze the impact of people, events, ideas, and symbols upon world history using multiple types of sources.
SS 8.4.5 Students will develop historical research skills.

Extending the Lesson:
• A cultural festival and posting of best projects on the web would be laudatory.
Interviews could continue among students to learn their cultures.
• This research activity could also include a specifically targeted event such as World War II, the Depression, the Iran and Iraq Wars or even the genocide in Sudan.
Research into the steps a refugee encounters when entering the US.

Comments
Links below reference cultures in Omaha, NE. Teachers can google and find similar sites in their area.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
English instructor can teach interview skills and communication skills,
Social Studies instructor will give background of each country and supply historical references to enhance interviews,
Technology instructor will cover saving in the cloud to share videos, uploading videos to You Tube, Voice Thread, and other sites. Video production using IMovie will also be taught.
Follow-Up
Extending the Lesson:
• A cultural festival and posting of best projects on the web would be laudatory.
Interviews could continue among students to learn their cultures.
• This research activity could also include a specifically targeted event such as World War II, the Depression, the Iran and Iraq Wars or even the genocide in Sudan.
Research into the steps a refugee encounters when entering the US.
Links: Ethnic Groups in Omaha
German culture in Omaha
Czech culture in Omaha
Italy culture in Omaha
Sudanese Culture in Omaha
Materials: Authoring and Publishing, Social Studies, Keyboards, Video Tools, Mobile Labs, Integrating Technology
Other Items: 10 IPads, $600 each, total of $6000.00