Diversity, Language and Communication











Day 2: Language and Communication

Teacher Activities

Student Engagement

Materials and Resources


Table Time
  Same Sun


Same Sun: Make connections about the previous days teachings- use the globe to review the world, North America, United States, state they live in, city they live in, Africa, West Africa, Senegal. Explain how although these two countries may be far away from each other, or that they may have friends who relatives who live far away from each other, that we all live under the same sun. Talk about what the function, features, … of the sun. Specifically-shape, colors, heat. Encourage each student to use the markers or paint to paint their own  picture of the sun.

(Curriculum Crafter)


Same Sun: large pieces of construction paper; yellow, orange and red markers or paint; paintbrushes


Same Sun: Create a large sun pictures.

Circle Time
     ‘S’ letter/sound & French/Wolof words


‘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.


English/French/Wolof Language Lesson: Use the copy of the visuals of English, French and Wolof words in the given format or transfer them onto single notecards. Introduce to the Trilingual book with words in English, French and Wolof. Discuss how in Senegal, French is the official language, but many other languages are spoken such as Wolof, Pulaar, Serer, Jola and many others. Show the visuals one-by-one to the students, and have them label the word in English. Then tell them the word in French and have the students repeat it after you. Repeat for the word in Wolof. Review as many times as needed. Then, show each visual and encourage the students to give you the word in English, French and Wolof. Discuss how many languages can be similar in the way they look when they are written because they use same letters of the alphabet. English, French and Wolof use the same letters of the alphabet, but Japan is different from these languages because they use symbols called characters. Discuss other ways languages can be different: how they sound, the patterns they make, how sounds are combined together, sentence structure, etc.


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






English/French/Wolof Language Lesson:
Mon Premier Trilingue Francais-Anglais-Wolof book; copy of the visuals of English, French, Wolof words; notecards


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



English/French/Wolof Language Lesson: To explore and introduce languages represented in Senegal- French and Wolof. To promote awareness of different languages and dialects as well as interest in learning another language.

Big Question
    Do you or do you know someone who speaks a different language?


Question: Draw a large two-column chart on the white board. Write the question ‘Do you or do you know someone who speaks a different language?’ above it. Adhere two visuals with the words ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in the two columns. Discuss with the students how they speak and are continuously learning the English language. Review other languages that are commonly spoken in the United States. Invite each student to come up and put their picture/written name under their chosen column. Encourage the students to tell more about the language that person speaks or person who speaks a different language. Discuss the primary language spoken in Senegal-French and how there are many other languages spoken as well-Wolof, Pulaar, Serer, Jola, and many others.


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; 2 visuals of ‘yes’ and ‘no’.


Question: To recognize other languages spoken in the United States and Senegal. To make a choice and comparisons between friends in class.

     Senegalese/ American music and song


Senegalese Music: Pick a song from one of the three Senegalese CDs to play to the students. Inform the students that the people in Senegal use popular instruments such as the djembe drum and kora to make music. Music in Senegal is used as a form of entertainment in restaurants, the streets and for people in a village. Play the film clip of the sabar. Discuss what was seen in the clip- the sabar drums, dancers, people who just watch. Discuss the different musical instruments that can be used to make music in the United States. Discuss how music is used in many countries and cultures as a form of entertainment and as a way to communicate a story, message or thought. Encourage the students to imagine what they might want to communicate in a song as musical artists.

Optional: Reenact a Sabar using toy instruments.


Song: Sing this song as a group:

“It’s A Small World”
It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears,
It’s a world of hope and a world of fears.
There’s so much that we share that it’s time we’re aware
It’s a small world after all.
It’s a small world after all; it’s a small world after all,
It’s a small world after all; It’s a small, small world.


Senegalese Music: CD player, Senegalese CD’s; djembe drum, kora string instrument; film clip of sabar; Optional: toy instruments such as drum sticks, drum, xylophone, flute, recorder, tambourine, etc.




Song: Copy of the words to “It’s A Small World.”


Senegalese Music:
To experience various songs from popular Senegalese music artists in French. To educate about how a musical instrument can be used in any country or culture to communicate a story, thought or message.


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

   Kidiwi the Nosey Little Droplet by Nafissatou Dia DIOUF


Kidiwi the Nosey Little Droplet: This is a book written in French on the top of the page and in English on the bottom of the page. Read this story about a little droplet of water named Kidiwi that becomes curious about a place called Earth and sets out to discover it. Point out the title and the author and review literacy/print concepts as you read along. Point out the words in French on the top of the page and words in English on the bottom of the page. While reading, point out the meaning of new vocabulary words such as cramped, horizon, nosey, etc. Discuss about where Kidiwi lives and make connections about water all over the Earth. Discuss how people might be interested in visiting another place in the Earth and how that might feel for them to be in another place, exited to travel, nervous about being away from their family. Show the students The Little Blue Boy book and Le Petit Garcon Bleu book and explain that those two books are written in different languages and how the Kidiwi book has both languages in the same book.


Kidiwi the Nosey Little Droplet: Kidiwi the Nosey Little Droplet book by Nafissatou Dia


Kidiwi the Nosey Little Droplet: To listen to a story written by an African author that is written in both French and English on the same page. To promote social development and to listen to a story about traveling and feelings that may be involved.


  We Can Communicate  



We Can Communicate: Discuss how there are many ways a person can communicate. Some of the ways we communicate is by speaking (any language such as English, French, Wolof), writing, using pictures to inform others, using computers to inform others, using gestures, etc. Discuss how there are also other ways a person can communicate a thought, message our story by creating something, drawing, making music, etc. There are also many ways that people share information through books, newspapers, magazines, internet articles, journals, television, radio, etc. Show each item listed from the unit and discuss how each one is used in Senegal as a form of communication. Show items from the students’ local town or state and make comparisons between the items from Senegal and the items from the United States. Discuss how many people communicate in other ways than just speaking and how we should always accept and respect those ways.

Discuss how there people who use/speak many languages in Senegal and in the United States. In Senegal, French is the official language even though most of the people do not speak French at home and in their villages. Even though most of the people do not speak French at home, students are taught in French in school, the newspapers are written in French, the radio is transmitted in French, and magazines are in French. Ask the students what they think happens to those people who do not speak French at all? Would they be able to go to school, read the newspaper, listen to the radio or read magazines? Is that fair? Discuss what fair and unfair mean? Discuss what they have experienced that have been fair or unfair.

Complete a fair and unfair activity with the students. Pick a question to ask you students and judge the question based on if at least a few students in the classroom can do this and a few cannot (read a simple, short story book; hop on one foot three times without your other foot touching the ground; curl their tongue; are left-handed). Ask the students in the classroom to raise their hand if they can do the activity that you chose and have them stand up in front of the other students. Tell the students standing up that can have a piece of candy or sticker, but the students still sitting down cannot have candy/sticker.

Ask both groups if that is fair or unfair. Make the connections between how it is unfair that if you can do something, you get a reward, but if you cannot do something yet, you cannot get a reward. This is just like the people in Senegal who do not speak French-they cannot read the newspapers, listen to the radio, read magazines or attend school. Is that fair? Challenge your students to think of what Senegal might be able to do to make sure that everyone can read the newspapers, read the magazines, attend school and listen to the radio. Would it help if newspapers and magazines looked like the Kidiwi the Nosey Little Droplet book where there is French at the top and another language at the bottom? Any other ideas? Encourage the students to think about and discuss more things in their life that are unfair. What could they do about it?



We Can Communicate: 2 Newspapers:
Le Soleil
Sud Quotidieu; magazine: The Africa Report, De Language Des Gestes book, 3 Senegalese CDs, mudcloth, batik fabric, 3 wood figurines, djembe and kora, sand paintings, fan, weaved yellow basket, pictures of other artistic creations;  local newspaper, popular magazine, popular CD, musical instrument, local craft; pieces of candy or stickers for each student in the classroom


We Can Communicate: To promote language and early literacy development through awareness of modes and types of communication as well as other languages and dialects. To promote critical thinking.

Group Activity

  1. Math…..
  2. ‘S’ for Senegal


Math worksheet: The visuals can be printed out on clean white paper or can be printed on labels to make them stickers. Handout one worksheet to each student and one set of visuals to each student. Have each student cut out the visuals or tear off the sticker visuals and place them in the appropriate row. Discuss that each visual is one different way that people use to communicate. Make connections between the items learned during circle time and this activity.


‘S’ for Senegal: Handout one worksheet to each student. Complete the worksheet by discussing that ‘S’ is the letter for the unit and how it is the beginning letter in the name of the country, Senegal. Have them trace the large ‘S’ in do-a-dot paints, markers or crayons. Then have the students practice tracing the three ‘S’s and continue to the end of the page with writing a ‘S’s on their own. Ask what other objects, people or things they can think of that start with the letter ‘S.’ Have each student practice producing the /s/ sound in isolation and in the word ‘Senegal’ as they work on the worksheet.


Math worksheet: Copy of the math worksheet for each student; copy of the visuals for each student; labels



‘S’ for Senegal: Copy of the ‘S’ for Senegal worksheet for each student; do-a-dot paints, markers, or crayons.


Math worksheet: To promote mathematic skills and make connections between the different types of communication.

‘S’ for Senegal: To promote letter recognition, fine motor skills of writing and tracing.

Book Time
  Themed Books


Themed Books: Set out various books on a bookshelf 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

  Fine Motor
   Rice Writings


    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 Writings: Put a layer of rice on a cookie sheet or flat tray and invite the students to write their names, words, letters or numbers, or draw pictures in it.



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 Writings: cookie sheet or flat tray, rice




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 Writings: To promote fine motor development through writing and creating.

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
  Droplet Jello


Snack: Follow the instructions on the back of the jello box and mix up the blue jello in a bowl. Transfer the jello into a 9x13 pan to cool. While partially cooled, place gummy fish candies in the jello and let it set completely. You will have an ocean dessert just like Kidiwi the droplet in the Kidiwi the Nosey Little Droplet book.


Snack: blue jello, water, ice cubes, gummy fish candies, 9x13 pan, Kidiwi the Nosey Little Droplet book by Nafissatou Dia DIOUF


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

Story Time
  Whoever You Are by Mem Fox  


Whoever You Are: Read the book “Whoever You Are” and ask the students to listen. Point out the title and the author and review literacy/print concepts as you read along. Discuss interesting parts of the book throughout and afterwards. Make connections between concepts learned throughout the day to this book. Encourage the students to think more about all the ways they are similar and different from other people.


Whoever You Are: “Whoever You Are” book by Mem Fox.


Whoever You Are: To hear a story that relates to accepting and respecting similarities and differences in people around the world.

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.