Diversity, Language and Communication











Day 1: Diversity and Culture

Teacher Activities

Student Engagement

Materials and Resources


Table Time
Map/Globe Exploration











Map/Globe Exploration: Introduce each chosen item on the table. Explain that the globe is a small version of what the world looks like. Point out the continent of North America on the globe as well as the country of the United States and show the students the United States on the map. Point out Michigan (or their state) within the United States and their hometown within that state. Ask the children where people they may know who live-in a different city, state, country, etc. Invite the children to explore the globe and maps. Point out where the continent of Africa is on the globe and show the students on the map. Point out the country of Senegal and the large city of Dakar. Let the students know that Senegal is the country they are going to be learning about. Encourage the students to make a map of where they live.
 (Curriculum Crafter)


Map/Globe Exploration: a globe; various maps- Senegalese map, United States map, Michigan map, map of own city; a world atlas; paper; markers or crayons


Globe Exploration: Map of where they live.

Circle Time

     ‘S’ letter/sound & djembe drum















  Big Question
      What color is your hair?










     Senegalese/ American music and song

















    The Little Blue Boy by Fatou KEITA













    “I am Different From My Head to My Toes” Poem



‘S’ letter/sound: Introduce/review the letter ‘S’ with the visual. Describe how to make the sound:
S is the "snake sound." Close your teeth as you do when you smile. Be sure to hide your tongue behind your teeth. The "snake sound" must come from between your tongue and your front teeth, not from the sides of your mouth. Do not use your voice. Try this: Hiss gently: "s-s-s." If your tongue tip slips out, you don't have your teeth closed (Degaetano). Invite each student to say ‘Senegal’ and encourage saying it with accurate production of the ‘s’ sound.


Djembe drum: Explain to the students that in Senegal, djembe drums are popular instruments used to make music. Use the djembe drum to help each student say their name. Start out by inviting each student one by one to say their name and then practice saying the syllables in their name by playing a drum beat for each syllable. You can also encourage the students to practice repeating other patterns or saying each others’ names. The students can follow along by tapping their hands on their legs as the teacher uses the drum.


Question:  Draw a large four-column chart on the white board. Write the question ‘What color is your hair?’ above it. Adhere four pictures of hair colors to each of the four columns. Discuss with the students how each person has different colored hair. Review the four color categories their hair color might fall under: blonde, brunette, red and black. Explain how this is just one way each person in the world is similar to each other: same hair color category and different from each other: different color shades/ tones. Invite each student to come up and put their picture/written name under their chosen column.




Senegalese music: Pick a song from one of the three Senegalese CD’s to play to the students. Discuss about the different sounds in the music-vocals, instruments compared to songs they hear in the United States.






Song: Pick out black, brown, yellow, red and white crayons and give one to each child.Explain how many people around the world can have skin of many different colors. Then have the students lay their crayons down on the floor in the middle of the circle. Sing this song as a group:

“We’re Just Like Crayons”
We’re just like Crayons
Spread over the world
Just like my crayons
All over the floor
Black, brown, yellow, red and white
It’s such a wonderful sight
We’re just like crayons
All over the world


The Little Blue Boy: Read this story about a boy from the village of Koba who is the only child in his village who has blue skin. Point out the title and the author and review literacy/print concepts as you read along. While reading, point out the meaning of new vocabulary words such as midwife, village, delicious, hut, etc. Make comparisons between the culture, habitat, etc of this village with the students’ hometown: housing, names, clothing, etc. including similarities and differences.  Make connections between the students’ answers to the “What color is my hair” question. How does that relate to this story? Discuss how everyone is unique and special in many different ways and that we should always accept and respect the ways that someone may be the same or different from us. Show the students the Le Petit Garcon Bleu book and explain that this is the same book, just written in French. Introduce the concept of French being a different language than English.


Poem: Recite the poem “I Am Different From My Head to My Toes” and ask the students to listen. Model the motions as you recite the poem. Review the concepts and parts of the body mentioned in the poem: self, friend, head, toes, eyes, nose. Then repeat the poem again and invite the students to recite it with you while imitating the motions.

“I Am Different From My Head to My Toes”
I am different from my head to my toes
(point to self and then toes)
I am different from my eyes to my nose
(point to self then eyes and nose)
I am different as you can see
(point to self and then a friend)
But I still have a lot of love in me!
(point to self and then give yourself a big hug)

(Curriculum Crafter)



‘S’ letter/ sound:
Visual for ‘S’ with sound description on the reverse side.





Djembe drum: Djembe drum







Question: White/chalk board or large piece of paper; marker to draw columns and write question; picture/name of each child with something (tape, magnet, etc) to adhere it to the white/chalk board or large piece of paper; 4 pictures of hair color


Senegalese music: CD player, Senegalese CD’s






Song: Copy of the words to the “We’re Just Like Crayons” song; at least one crayon for each child either a black, brown, yellow, red or white crayon.





The Little Blue Boy: The Little Boy Blue book by Fatou KEITA and Le Petit Garcon Bleu book by Fatou KEITA.










Poem: Copy of the “I Am Different From My Head to My Toes” poem.



‘S’ letter/ sound:
Recognition of the letter ‘S’ and production of the sound ‘s’ in isolation and in a single word.


Djembe drum: Connection between syllables in each students’ name, patterns, and using musical instruments.


Question: To recognize the hair color category their hair color falls under.  To make a choice and comparisons between friends in class.




Senegalese music: To hear various songs from popular Senegalese music artists and compare the music with popular American music.

Song: To learn and sing a song about people of various colors of skin in the world.






The Little Blue Boy: To hear a story written by an African author that relates to accepting and respecting similarities and differences in people. To introduce a book written in French and English.




Poem: To introduce a poem and promote social development through recognizing ways in which people are similar and different. To encourage fingerplays and motions related to the poem.

Group Time

  1. Make a passport
  2. Make a djembe


Passport: Take a picture of each child with a Polaroid camera or have them printed prior to the lesson.Show the students an example of a passport and explain its purpose. Invite the students to make a small passport book from construction paper by folding several pieces of construction paper in half and stapling along the edge. Encourage them to glue their picture onto the first page of their passport. Help each student add personal information such as their name, birth date, address, phone number, and thumb print on the remaining pages.

(Curriculum Crafter)





Djembe: Make a djembe as a model prior to the activity. Invite the students to make paper cup djembes by using a paper cup and first covering it with a square of wax paper. While holding onto the wax paper, secure it with a rubber band at the top of the paper cup. Invite the students to use markers to decorate their djembe.



Passport: A real passport or copy of one; construction paper; stapler; glue; a digital camera and printer or a Polaroid camera; crayons; ink pads and stamps; stickers that may be unique to a various countries; a globe or map




Djembe: plain paper cups, squares of wax paper, rubber bands, markers


Passport: To promote social development and foster knowledge of personal information. To familiarize students with the purpose of a passport. To encourage fine motor development through writing, folding, gluing and cutting.

Djembe: To familiarize students with a Senegalese musical instrument. To encourage fine motor development through writing, gluing and cutting.

Book Time
  Themed Books


Themed Books: Set out various books on a book shelf or display related to celebrating language, culture, diversity, etc. in the United States and Africa. Encourage students to explore the books, look at the pictures, use the pictures to tell their friends or teachers about what they think is happening in the story, or have a friend or teacher read it to them.


Themed Books:
The Little Blue Boy by Fatou KEITA,
Le Petit Garcon Bleu by Fatou KEITA,
The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister,
Kidiwi the Nosey Little Droplet by Nafissatou Dia DIOUF,
Le Langage Des Gestes by Desmond Morris,
Zekeye a l 'ecole by Nathalie Dieterle,
Mon Premier Trilingue Francais-Anglais-Wolof,
Buur Jant Aka soxoor! By Malick Mayabe FALL; See the additional suggested books list that may be borrowed from a local library or purchased.


Themed Books: To encourage interest in books relating to the themes of language, culture, communication and diversity.

Center Time

    Rice Table

   Rice Search


    Plane ride


Rice Table: Fill a table made for sand or water with rice. Place various manipulatives in the rice and encourage the students to use the manipulatives to use the manipulatives to transfer the rice, or fill containers. Explain that in Senegal, like many other countries, rice is made to be eaten in many meals.



Rice Search: Fill a large bowl with rice, beans and small manipulatives. Set out small bowls for sorting the manipulatives (e.g. one bowl for beans, marbles, dice and small toys to total four bowls). Invite the students to use their hands or spoons to separate the manipulatives from the rice and sort them into the small bowls.



Mancala: Set out the Mancala game for the students to play. You have to demonstrate how to play the game, take turns, and count the marbles or game pieces.




Plane ride: Arrange a dramatic play area to resemble a plane. Set the several small chairs in two rows and attach ribbon to one side of the chair to be used as a seatbelt across the students’ laps. Arrange a seat for a pilot to fly the plane. Set up an area to purchase tickets and hand in their bags or small luggage. Invite the students to study the travel newspaper section, travel magazine and/or globe and choose a destination. Encourage the students to use their passport they created for the trip. Designate someone to be an airport worker and decorate the students’ pages of their passport by adding stamps or stickers from countries.

(Curriculum Crafter)


Rice Table: Sand/water table, uncooked rice, manipulatives- various sized spoons, plastic shovels, funnels, scoops, plastic containers or bowls, buckets.

Rice Search: large bowl, small bowls, spoons, uncooked rice, dry beans, other small manipulatives such as marbles, dice, small toys.


Mancala: Picture of Mancala game from Senegal; actual Mancala game board



Plane ride: several small chairs, ribbon for a seat belt, globe, travel newspaper section or magazine, pretend money, pretend plane tickets, bags or small luggage, the personal passports they created during group time, stamps or stickers.


Rice Table: To promote fine motor development and hand-eye coordination.



Rice Search: To promote fine motor development and hand-eye coordination.



Mancala: To encourage game play, turn taking, mathematical skills, and fine motor skills.

Plane ride: To promote use of pretend or dramatic play while encouraging global awareness.

Snack Time
    Box of Chocolates

Multi-color Pepperidge Farms Goldfish crackers


Snack: Encourage oral motor movements, make connections between previously read stories and give a prelude to a story to be heard. Discuss basic concepts: color, texture, shape, category, previous experiences etc.


Box of Chocolates; draw the connection between what was learned from The Little Blue Boy book. Note: Do not use chocolates with nuts if any student has peanut allergies.

Multi-color Pepperidge Farms Goldfish crackers; introduce multicolored fish and have the students remember these goldfish when they hear the story during story time: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.


Snack: To encourage oral motor movements and basic concepts during snack time.

Story Time
   The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister


The Rainbow Fish: Read this story about a rainbow fish that is the only fish in the sea who has shiny scales. Point out the title and the author and review literacy/print concepts as you read along. While reading, point out the meaning of new vocabulary words such as shiny, rainbow, etc. Discuss how everyone is unique and special in many different ways and that we should always accept and respect the ways that someone may be the same or different from us. Discuss the feelings that the rainbow fish had at the beginning of the book and the end of the book and compare them. Ask questions such as: “Why does he feel the way he does at the end of the book?” and “How is the rainbow fish like the little blue boy?” to draw conclusions and comparisons between this story and The Little Blue Boy story.


The Rainbow Fish:  The Rainbow Fish book by Marcus Pfister


The Rainbow Fish: To hear a story that relates to accepting and respecting similarities and differences in friends. Making the comparisons between The Little Blue Boy  and The Rainbow Fish stories.

Home Connection
   Parent Newsletter


Home Connection: Send home the Home Connection parent newsletter about the topics learned about and discussed throughout this lesson.


Home Connection: Copy of the Home Connection parent newsletter for each student


Home Connection: To promote generalization and carry over of concepts and ideas learned throughout the lesson.