USING THE INTERNET TO INCREASE MULTICULTURAL UNDERSTANDING
This chapter will discuss ways that these technologies can draw
us closer to others who come from different cultural contexts. We will suggest
resources to help students gain a better understanding and deeper appreciation
for diversity and professional resources to assist teachers in incorporating
a multicultural approach in their classrooms.
Teaching With the Internet:
Cheryl Chan's Class
Latin American Network
Information Center LANIC
Mexico para Ninos and its
English version Mexico
for Kids. (This site also has French and Italian versions).
Timeline of the American
Civil Rights Movement
Using Internet E-mail Classroom
Peoples Literature and Native Web Resources
A Line in the Sand
Directories for Multicultural
Some of the best directories for increasing multicultural understanding
American History and Culture A useful collection of resources from the
Americans An award-winning site with collections of resources on aspects
of the Asian American experience as well as links to East and Southeast
of the World A central site with many extensive resources selected
by the American Library Association as appropriate for children from preschool
to age 14.
• Humanities Interactive
An interactive site from the Humanities Council of Texas, featuring virtual
exhibits of art and information on many cultures around the world. With
teacher guides, lessons, games, and essays, this site is also great for
• Index of Native American
Resources on the Internet This site offers the most comprehensive site
of Native American Resources we’ve found.
and Culture Links for Limited English Proficient Students Educational,
linguistic, and cultural online resources for the top languages/language
groups of English learners in U.S. schools.
• Latin American Network Information
Center A great location with many sites and resources devoted to the
study of Latin America. Some of the locations are in Spanish.
• Portals to
the World This site provides a wealth of information on most of the countries
of the world. Especially useful for secondary students.
Around the World For classrooms in the elementary grades exploring cultural
diversity. All areas will have links to resources that may be immediately
used in the classroom.
Directories for Teachers
There are excellent directories for teachers that often provide
lesson plans as well as information. Here are some of the better directories
for teachers that we have found:
• Asia on the
Web A very extensive set of resources from the Center for East Asian
Studies at UCLA. Be sure to check the K-12 Curriculum resources.
• Asia for Educators An excellent
resource from the At Columbia University. Includes information
on DBQs (data based questions for state assessments).
• Five Dimensions of Digital
Equity—Cultural Relevance This site has an eclectic list of resources
representing the cultural relevance dimension of digital equality criteria
list. Sites range from ESL activities to an archive of African American music
to an assessment rubric.
List of Sites in ¡Espanol! A great list of resources in Spanish
from the SBC Knowledge Network.
• K-12 African
Studies A variety of resources of links from the African Studies Center
at the University of Pennsylvania. Check their General Resources category
for country pages and K–12 resources.
American Sites A variety of links including the home page of the Native American
To find a school with students who speak the language of ESL students
in your class, you may wish to pay a visit to IECC , Kidlink , or Windows on the World.
TEACHING TIP: Online Translation Sites
Be sure to click the free electronic translation button unless you
want to pay for a human translator!
• Free Translation
You can find links to international newspapers at the Internet Public Library. In addition,
you may wish to have your students listen to a radio station from the country
or in the culture from which the ESL student comes. This can be done by
visiting the Stations Guide location at RealAudio and searching for radio stations by the student’s
language or geographical region. Alternatively, you could visit Yahoo’s
Live Radio site and search for the online radio stations in a target
countryInternet, especially if they have a partner with whom to exchange
Opportunities for English Language
• Activities for ESL Students
Another site from the Internet TESL Journal. This site has links to numerous
exercises and quizzes. It also includes links to bilingual puzzles in several
• Dave Sperling’s ESL Cafe This is
a good site for teachers and older students. It offers bulletin boards and
chat as well as activities and resources.
Independent Study Lab Links to many activities and games. Organized
by ability level.
• E. L. Easton: Materials For Teaching English
Another excellent directory with ESL links for a variety of levels and purposes,
as well as to other relevant sites such as “flags of the world.”
• IATEFL Young Learners Special
Interest Group A site for teachers from the International Association
of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language.
• Interesting Things for ESL Students
A variety of games, puzzles, proverbs, and other enjoyable ways to practice
• OWL ESL Resources,
Handouts and Exercises Excellent site for middle and high school
students from Purdue University’s Online Writing Center.
• Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab
Students can practice listening to conversations and lectures from a wide
range of native speaker voices.
• TESL, TEFL, TESOL, ESL, EFL, ESOL
LINKS From the Internet TESL Journal, this is one of the best ESL directories
with links for teachers and students. It’s non-commercial and contains no
frames or graphics.
• Tower of English This site offers
an extensive list of sites (in 34 categories such as animals, comics, and
business) for ESL students to practice English.
• The University of Victoria’s
English Language Centre Study Zone This site offers a variety of activities
and explanations regarding grammar and reading for students at various levels.
Keeping It Simple: Using Internet
Here are some examples of Internet Workshop that could be used to
support multicultural understanding:
• On the Line
See how people in eight different countries on the meridian line
from Europe through Africa share the same time of day but lead very different
lives. Have students select one country and come to the workshop session
with a presentation on the culture of that country.
• Mancala This strategy game
from Africa is often found in classrooms. Here it is in a virtual form.
Students can play this game against the computer as you study African or
African American cultural traditions.
Calendar The Chinese Zodiac is a 12-year cycle in which each year is
named after an animal. People born in a given year are said to have that
animal’s characteristics. Have your students visit this Chinese calendar
activity developed by students at Loogootee Elementary School. Have them
find the animal that corresponds to the year of their birth and read about
the characteristics of people born in that year. If you teach older
students, have them read the more extensive information available at the
Culture Center’s Zodiac Page and complete a similar activity.
It is important to study different cultural experiences in order
to better understand the diversity that defines our world. Students
have used the Internet to support efforts in famine relief at locations
such as The Hunger Site, or to
support the purchase of rain forest habitat at locations such as Rain Forest Care. UNICEF’s Voices of Youth website is a great resource for getting started. You might also seek social
action or volunteer projects in you community by visiting Project America.
Using Internet Project
Seek out projects with classes from different cultural contexts.
• The Global SchoolNet Projects
• Intercultural Email Classroom Connections
• Oz Projects
Grassroots Collaborative Learning Projects Gallery
• Windows on the World
• iEARN the International
Education and Resource Network in Australia.
Using Internet Inquiry
Web Inquiry Projects
Divide - This lesson plan for Grades 7 to 12 helps students understand
issues of equal access to technology by comparing them to similar issues
that have been raised within other divides such as gender, race, and poverty.
Using WebQuest for developing multicultural understanding seems
natural. Evaluate the following quests to see if they are suitable for
Paths to China This outstanding collection of activities includes both
a full WebQuest
Searching for China and a number of other, more focused WebQuests.
Tragedy An outstanding WebQuest for secondary school students, enabling
them to explore the tragedy of Tuskegee, compare it to other events such
as gun control, abortion, and the use of internment camps, and then determine
whether Tuskegee was a unique event or one that we must continually guard
against. One of the many fine resources at Blue Web’n .
Americans in the Natural World Many students (and others) share the
belief that all Indians are the same. This WebQuest has students explore
a number of resources in order to compare four different Indian cultures
and lifestyles: the Tlingit, the Hopi, the Iroquois, and the Lakota.
History: Exploring African-American Issues on the Web Permits you and
your students to study a number of important issues related to many African
American experiences. Included are a Black History
Hotlist with links to many sites on the Internet, an Interactive
Treasure Hunt and Quiz , a series of short explorations called Sampling African
America, and a full WebQuest on racial desegregation called Little Rock 9
• Stomp Out
Stereotypes An excellent WebQuest designed to help Russians and Americans
break down their stereotypes of each other. This quest may be appropriate
for your students, but even if it is not, check out the many activities
and resources for ideas that could be useful in creating your own webquest
dealing with multicultural understanding issues.
E-MAIL FOR YOU |
From: Jeanette Kenyon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Creating WebQuests
for Learning A very good “how to” page explaining the reasoning and strategies
of WebQuests. This site deals in depth with the “new literacies” that are
emerging in the field of technology.
A comprehensive site that includes sample projects covering all areas of
the curriculum, put together by a teacher.
•WebQuests A very extensive
collection for all grade levels and areas. Virginia Standards of Learning
numbers are noted in red.
• Understanding and Using
WebQuests An all encompassing site that includes tips, information, and
many links to WebQuest pages.
•WebQuests from the
Spartanburg, PA school district Loads of information and many
“ready made” quests.
of quests from California schools
Good luck and Happy WebQuesting!
Visiting the Classroom: The Harriet
Tubman Page Developed by Terry Hongell and Patty Taverna in New York
We can learn many important lessons from a visit to Harriet Tubman
and the Underground Railroad.
New Literacies in Multicultural
Additional Resources on the Internet
for Multicultural Understanding
American Mosaic An online exhibit from the Library of Congress exploring
Black history and containing many primary source documents.
Kids Only Students can read Rainbow Magazine—a Kenyan magazine for kids,
play African games and decode messages. Learn about the over 1000
languages in Africa, meet African students on line, find a keypal, or visit
the home pages of schools in Africa. In English and French.
Alaska Native Knowledge
Network An online site for “compiling and exchanging information related
to Alaska Native knowledge systems and ways of knowing.”
Albleza A Native
American arts and media institute. Also see the section on appropriate
methods for teaching about Native Americans .
A wonderful site for learning about Amazonia and the people who call this
beautiful place home, including the Quichua people. Many exciting learning
activities appear here.
Indian Education A variety of resources from the State of California for
those who teach Native Americans.
American Indian Resource
Directory Includes a tribal directory and links to Native American Literature;
from the American Indian Heritage Foundation.
Sports Team Mascots Articles, quotes, cartoons, comments, and information
on the issue of using Indians and elements of their culture as sports team
names and mascots. Anthropology
Outreach A site for teachers from the Museum of Natural History. Contains
bibliographies, leaflets, and teacher packets on a variety of topics.
Resources on the Web Photos of artifacts from every part of the world,
ancient to contemporary. Has links to many of the world’s art museums.
Asia Source Links to
various aspects of Asian culture: arts and culture, business and economics,
government and policy and social issues. Sponsored by the Asia Society.
Information on history, political issues, the arts, and many
links to other Asian American sites.
Ask Asia A collection
of K-12 resource from the Asia Society.
Circle of Stories
A PBS site that uses documentaries, photos, art, and music to celebrate Native
Center for Applied Linguistics
A national center for language study and application with many links to a
wide variety of ESL resources.
Center for Educational
Technology in Indian America Provides professional development and technical
support for Indian educators, schools, and communities.
CivilRights.Org An excellent site for information dealing with all types
of civil rights issues. Cultural Quest World Tour
Another site from the Internet Public Library’s Kidspace. Click on a region
to visit various countries and learn something about their cultures. Games,
museums, and recipes are some of the topics you may find out about.
Native American Web Sites Suggested guidelines for identifying websites
with accurate information about Native Americans.
First Americans A great project developed by the 3rd graders at Germantown
Elementary School in Illinois, providing us all with a new resource for our
study of native Americans. Cranes
for Peace Began as a project to collect paper cranes to be sent to Hiroshima
for the 50th anniversary of the bombing as a wish for peace. Based on the
book Sadako and the 1,000 Cranes, this ongoing project continues to celebrate
peace each year by sending cranes to be placed at the memorial to Sadako
in Seattle or to the peace shrine in Hiroshima.
Bibliography for North American Indians, K-12 A site for teachers from
the Smithsonian Institution that annotates a number of books on Native Americans.
First Americans A great project developed by the 3rd graders at Germantown
Elementary School in Illinois, providing us all with a new resource for our
study of Native Americans.
Students of Languages A collection of useful sites for students learning
one of five languages: English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
“I” Is Not For
Indian A site for teachers that has a selective bibliography and guide
for evaluating how Native Americans are portrayed in books for young children.
Culture and History One of the more extensive sites on the Internet on
Jewish culture with many links to other locations including links to Virtual
Jerusalem and the Tour of Israel. More appropriate for older students.
from Ka-na-ta Project This is a Canadian national telecommunications project
linking urban and rural First Nations and non-Native students and teachers
via the Internet. KIDPROJ’S
Multi-Cultural Calendar Developed by KIDLINK, a non-profit organization,
this location contains a great database of celebrations taking place around
the world together with ideas for connecting the calendar to your curriculum.
KUMC Calendar: Valuing
our Differences— Celebrating Our Diversity Another list of religious,
ethnic, and cultural holidays from around the world. Many days on the list
link to sites with further information about the special day.
Center Kwanzaa is the African American spiritual holiday initiated by
Dr. Maulana Ron Karenga in 1966. Today it is celebrated in an increasing number
of homes. This location at Melanet provides a rich set of information resources
about this holiday.
Children’s Resources From Zona Latina, this location contains
links to a number of children’s resources from Latin America, including many
Luther King, Jr. Reflect on the legacy of this famous American. Developed
by a newspaper in Seattle, this location includes an interactive timeline
of his life and contributions, audio clips of important speeches, reflections
on his life from many individuals, a photo tour of the civil rights movement,
and information about the national holiday in the United States.
40 virtual picture books, in English, Spanish, and French. A commercial
site, but there are no ads on the main pages. You only find the catalog if
you click on the shopping bag icon.
NAME The home page for
the National Association for Multicultural Education. Contains position papers
and information on conferences.
Rights Museum The home page for this museum. Take the interactive tour
of the exhibit to learn about this continuing struggle.
The New Americans
The companion site to the PBS series on immigrants and refugees
seeking the American Dream.
Newswatch Style Guide
From the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism at San Francisco
State University. See the style guide for links to help journalists accurately
and fairly cover people and communities who have been the victim of biased
reporting or ignored by the news media. For secondary students.
Oyate This organization
evaluates texts, resource materials, and fiction by and about Native peoples.
See their list of non-recommended books for children.
Asia Resource Access on the Internet Excellent source of links and resources
for southeast Asian countries including India, Pakistan, Tibet, Bangladesh
Say Hello to the World
Learn to say hello in over 35 languages including Braille and Sign Language.
Requires Real Audio if you want to listen as well as read the pronunciation
The Simon Wiesenthal
Center Links to thousands of important resources covering the Holocaust
and other issues of Jewish struggle.
Leaves Provides lists of books, newspapers, e-zines, and other resources
that present Native American concerns.
Diverse Learners A site for helping all teachers learn to work with English
Language Learners in their classrooms.
online project from the Southern Poverty Law Center. Sections for parents,
teachers, kids, and teens with news and information on fighting hate and promoting
tolerance. U.S. Women’s History
Workshop Online resources and curricular modules on women’s studies and
United States history for use in history, English, and social studies courses,
grades 3 through 12.
Resources for Foreign Language Teachers A good collection of links to
language teaching resources for teachers put together by members of the Language
Teaching Forum. Includes general resources as well as language-specific resources
for Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Portuguese, Russian,
Online Communities for Increasing
CULTUR-L A discussion group on cultural
differences in the curriculum.
Subscription address: email@example.com
FLTEACH Foreign Language Teaching Forum
Subscription address: firstname.lastname@example.org
MCPavilion A list for discussing equity, social justice,
and multicultural education. Your subscription must be approved by the list
moderator. Archives are available only to subscribers.
Subscription procedures: https://list.mail.virginia.edu/mailman/listinfo/mcpavilion
MCPavilion Bulletin Boards
MULTC-ED Sponsored by the National Association
for Multicultural Education, the University of Maryland-College Park, and
George Mason University. Discussion on multicultural curriculum, teaching,
or research in preK–12; colleges and universities; other educationally related
agencies; and parents.
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MULT-CUL Discusses theoretical and practical aspects of
MULTICULTURAL-ED Discussions of multicultural education.
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NAME-MCE The mailing list of the National Association
for Multicultural Education.
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S-L Lists The Student List Project Discussion forums
on a variety of topics for English Language Learners, with separate groups
for university and adult learners, immigrants, and teens. Teachers can enroll
entire classes and track their messages in order to provide feedback or progress.
TESL-L Classroom issues related to teaching English to
non-native English speakers around the world.
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WORLD-L Discussions on teaching non-Eurocentric world
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