Meeting Our New Friend Valdo from Haiti!
Daniel Patrick Dillon
This social studies lesson is focused on making students aware of different cultures. The
focus is to have students begin to understand their own culture, and to be able to
recognize and value cultures that are different from their own.
SOL: Geography
The student will describe how the location of his/her community, climate,
and physical surroundings affect the way people live, including their food,
clothing, shelter, transportation, and recreation.
Students will be able to list similarities and differences between cultures given a Venn
diagram. After having the One Globe Kids selection read to them from the teacher’s
Ipad, students will be able to correctly place four out of five cultural attributes as being
exclusive to their culture, the main characters culture, or shared by both cultures in the
Venn diagram.
The students will gather on the carpet.
The lesson will begin with a review of the students’ understanding of a global map.
Students will be asked to identify North America, the United States, and Virginia.
The class will then review the features of different habitats previously studied, and will
briefly compare and contrast some of the features of different habitats concerning
climate, weather, and geographic features.
The teacher will then discuss how environment influences the plants, animal, and the
people in these various habitats.
The teacher will then introduce the students to a new “friend” from Haiti. The teacher
will give the students a brief background lesson on some of the features of Haiti. The
teacher will show Haiti on a map, and show its location in relation to Virginia.
Before beginning the reading from One Globe Kids, the teacher will instruct the
students to visualize what their new friend’s day is like during the reading, and to think
about if those things are similar or different to what they do in their day.
The teacher will read the selection on “Valdo from Haiti” from the One Globe Kids.
Periodically, the teacher will pause and ask a question based on the reading, asking the
students if what Valdo does is something that they do during their day, or if it is
something different from what they normally do.
At the conclusion of the reading, the teacher will ask the students what they think of
Valdo. How different is Valdo’s life from their life?
The teacher will then introduce the word culture to the children. Ask the students what
they think culture is based on what been discussed so far. Discuss the answers given by
At the conclusion of the discussion, the students will return to their seats.
The teacher will ask the students about the things that Valdo did in the narrative. The
teacher will record each response on the board.
The teacher will then introduce a new graphic organizer, the Venn diagram. The teacher
will tell the students that Venn diagrams are used to compare and contrast similar
things. The teacher will draw a Venn diagram on the white board, and label one circle
“Valdo”, one circle “Me” and write “Both of us” above the overlapping area.
The teacher will model how a Venn diagram is used. First the teacher will list one of the
things that make Valdo and his culture unique under the heading with his name. Then
the teacher will place something that is unique about the teacher under his or her
heading. The teacher will then ask the students about something that Valdo and the
teacher have in common. When an appropriate response is given the teacher will add it
in the “Both of Us” section of the Venn diagram.
The teacher will pass out the Venn diagram worksheet. The students will be instructed
to come up with two things that are unique to Valdo, two things that are unique to him
or her, and then write something that they both have in common. Students should try
their best to spell words that they do not know. If the students have extra time they will
be instructed to come up with more ideas to put in the diagram.
The teacher will circulate around the classroom as students work to check progress and
to provide general support for the students.
Students will be given the opportunity to share one thing that they wrote in their Venn
diagram with the class by writing it on a personal white board.
The lesson will end with discussion on the students’ current understanding of culture.
The teacher should focus the conversation on how we may be different, but that we do
have things in common. The teacher should emphasize that no way is “correct” and
that being different does not mean being better or worse.
The students will be asked if they found the Venn diagram useful. The teacher will ask
what else could a Venn diagram compare and contrast to check for the students’
understanding of Venn diagrams. The teacher will list these things on the white board.
The teacher will collect the students’ Venn diagrams to evaluate their understanding of
the material.
One Globe Kids application
Venn Diagram Worksheet (Attached)
Student Whiteboards
Expo Markers
Evaluation Part A:
Students will be assessed on the accuracy of their Venn diagrams. Cultural traits unique
to the individuals will be placed under the correct heading, and traits common to both
individuals will be placed in the correct category.
The students will be assessed as having achieved understanding by correctly placing
four out of five or 80% of the traits under the correct heading.
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