Teaching tolerance and cultural diversity to our students is so important in our world today. With the conflict in the Middle East, there has been a lot of discrimination and judgement towards Muslim people. This is a difficult topic to discuss with elementary age students. Despite it being difficult to discuss, I believe it is very important we find ways to teach students about different cultures. One of my favorite ways to teach about acceptance of different cultures is through books. Books help students get to know and connect with characters. This helps them realize the similarities we all have despite our differences.
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The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania is an excellent book about two best friends getting into a fight because they think each other’s sandwiches look different and gross. The girls learn you shouldn’t judge things before you try them.
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi is the story of a little girl moving from Korea to America. American students have trouble prononcing Unhei's name. She considers changing it becasue she thinks it will be hard to make friends if she is different.
The Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco is based on Patricia’s experience as a young girl when she was put in a special education classroom.
The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis is a chapter book appropriate for upper elementary and middle school about an eleven-year-old girl living in Afghanistan during the Taliban rule.
You can purchase my unit to go along with the Sandwich Swap here: