As the soil, however rich it may be, cannot be productive without cultivation, so the mind without culture can never produce good fruit.” - Seneca

  Cultural literacy is something that can be seen in children or adults.  It is crucial as teachers that we bring cultural literacy into our classrooms.  It helps students to have deeper more meaningful relationships with their peers and helps them to become better educated about the world around them.  As previously discussed it also helps to prepare them for the real world where it will be common for them to work with different types of people from different cultures than their own.  This is especially true do to how technology has brought the world together.  People are communicating with each other from around the world for many different social and work causes.  Diversity is only becoming more and more apparent in America as well as the years go on.  For us not to help our students study cultural literacy would be not only sad but a tragedy for the social education they are getting every day interacting with their peers.

Ideas and resources for classroom cultural literacy lessons

Here are some ideas and resources to get help children get involved with other cultures.
1) Technology- Skype, AIM, Facebook, iChat, internet search engines, games
All of these can be used to interact with people around the nation to around the world or to research them.  They are also user friendly and give students a way to really see what they are learning and making a social connection with it. Knowing how to search and find information on the internet is not just a good skill but helps them get involved and games help them enjoy the learning process. The connected link shows one website that can be used also with social studies lessons to get to know certain regions.  This is just an example of a website teachers can easily find for their students to be involved.
2) Books- A few books are
"Light the Lights" by Margaret Moorman which talks about a child who celebrates Christmas and Hanukkah
"Hello my name is Scrambled Eggs"  by J. Gilson is about a Vietnamese child who comes abroad to live with an American family and see's an Americanized view of his culture
"I love Saturdays y Domingos" by A.F. Ada shows a grandchild that visits a European heritage side of the family on Saturdays and a Hispanic heritage side of the family on Sundays
All of these books show differences in cultures through story.  Giving students lessons through books is often very effective because it is something they are comfortable with and naturally connect to.  Children often look for connections with themselves to books and this way the lesson may seem less forced upon them and more natural for them to pick up with.
3) Projects/Events-  Potluck lunches, heritage fests, "Where I'm from"/ "I am the one who" speeches, Where in the world lessons
Potluck lunches can be assigned where students should bring something that connects to where they are from to experience different kinds of foot and is also a fun for students to wrap up a unit and really enjoy culture in a way they can relax and just really enjoy, heritage fests can be school events that range from different foods from around the world to dances from different regions as well as foreign languages this can be done on a classroom to entire school assembly scale and gives off an artistic and fuller view of culture that many children do not get a chance to see.  The two speeches revolve around a student explaining where they are from or who they are and what makes them, them.  This can be anything from where they grew up to what music they like to listen to and why.  It connects back that culture is not just where we are originally from but all the little parts that make us who we are.  Students also LOVE to share about themselves and this really gives them the opportunity to do this and it is usually surprising how much they open up and you learn about them.  They will really connect to each other and it will help them connect to see similarities and differences.  It will also do wonders for a classroom community!