My favorite thing about homeschool is the ability to go on fieldtrips with my kids. We love learning about new cultures and the best way to learn is by doing hands-on activities and through personal experience. Below are some fieldtrip ideas where you and your family can experience culture. You can research your local city to see if there are any events or places near you. Then after you go on your outing, you can assign your students a writing assignment to compare their own culture with the new culture they learned about. At the bottom of this post, you can click and download FREE Writing Handouts that can be used for all grade levels.
GOING TO A CULTURE FESTIVAL
Holidays are celebrated differently all over the world. It is important that our children learn diversity and the best way is by learning how different holidays are celebrated. We live in Houston so we have access to many different cultural events. You will have to research your area. Below are some ideas of holiday celebrations in Houston.
Chinese New Year Festival
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo -Texas culture
St. Patrick's Day Parade
Cajun Heritage Fest
Japan Festival of Houston
Juneteenth Celebration- African-American culture, usually done at Miller Outdoor Theatre
Hispanic Heritage / Mexican Independence Day, usually done at Miller Outdoor Theatre
The Original Greek Festival
Dia de Los Muertos
Puerto Rican & Cuban Festival
Texas Championship Native American Pow Wow
Dickens on the Strand (based on 19th century London)
Tomball German Christmas Market & Festival
going to a restaurant
A great way to learn about cultures is through food. Go to an "ethnic" restaurant and try new food items. You can research ahead of time, the different plates so that you know what to order. An example is going to a Japanese Hibachi Grill restaurant, ordering different types of sushi, and eat using chopsticks. Another idea is going to a Greek restaurant that offers Belly Dancing performers. On the writing assignment, your students can compare eating utensils used in the USA with those used in Japan. They can compare the hibachi grill, sushi, or anything else that stands out.
Going to an ethnic supermarket
The same idea of going to an "ethnic" restaurant applies with going to an "ethnic" supermarket. You may have to research online in your local area. Below are a few grocery stores that I am aware of in the Houston area.
Mi Tienda - Mexican/Hispanic
G & J African Market - Nigerian/African
Keemat Grocers - Indian
Viet Hoa International Foods - Vietnamese/Chinese/Asian
99 Ranch Market - Vietnamese/Chinese/Asian
Hong Kong City Mall - Vietnamese/Chinese/Asian
cULTURE WRITING ASSIGNMENT
Going on a fieldtrip alone is very educational because it allows your student to get hands-on knowledge and experience. If you want to further expand on this, you can assign the writing assignments below. Download each handout and adjust to your student's writing level. If they are younger learners, they may even draw their answers.
An example can be with comparing eating utensils used at a Japanese restaurant versus an American one. Another example would be to compare Halloween with The Day of the Dead.
The student will complete this graphic organizer by writing what they learned from the fieldtrip, what they found interesting, and if they still have any questions.
Culture Comparisons Venn Diagram
The student will complete this graphic organizer by writing the differences and similarities that they observed inside the circles. Younger students may draw their findings.
Compare and Contrast Graphic Organizer
The student will complete this graphic organizer by writing in the differences and similarities that they observed. This is a great tool to use before moving on to writing an essay or a verbal speech presentation.
Compare and Contrast Essay Outline
The student will complete this outline to help them organize their essay.
**Please post in the comments if you have suggestions for holidays, festivals, or ideas for culture fieldtrips!