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  Case: I Wish I Were Black!
As a teacher of 5th grade students, I try to make sure that my students have a good sense of all the people and cultures that make up this country. Last couple weeks, I paid special attention to the African American people who have made significant contributions to the US. We read a book written by Walter Dean Myers. We have studied scientists, writers, and political figures. Students were very engaged and interested in the content. Yesterday something happened that puzzled me. Three of my White students told me that they wished they were Black. This was not my intention when I planned all my lessons on contributions of African Americans. How should I address this issue?
Solution: (Rates are posted for this solution!)
I would discuss with the class that America is over flowing with cultural diversity. I would share with the class that every culture in America has made some type of contribution to today's society and that they all are rich in tradition and history. I would encourage everyone in the classroom to be extremely proud of their heritage and where they came from. I would try to give the students the opportunity to discuss their feelings to better understand what they meant by stating that, "They wished they were black." I would assume that the lessons did not occur during February. After seeing this level of student engagement, I would also teach them about the Hispanic, Asian, and Native American cultures. These cultures have also been basically swept under the rug and most states don't think that it is necessary to teach about non-dominant cultures and their contributions. I believe that this unit may have shown a few of the white students just how rich and interesting another culture can be. These students may have been so blown away by the traditions and history that they did not really know how to react. I believe that after a response like this that the door would be open to teaching the beliefs, traditions, and history of other non-dominant cultures. I would continue to share these cultures with this class and allow for student discussion.