Multicultural Education Reference Package

Group Members: Francine, LaurieAnne, Michelle, Rachel and Sarah

What is Multicultural Education?

Goals of Multicultural Education:


Resources for Multi-Cultural Education

              This internet website, while not useful to children in younger grades, is a good resource about the history of multiculturalism in Canada for a teacher who is beginning to teach this as a unit for the first time.

              This internet site is very useful and has numerous interesting lesson plans for incorporating diversity into your middle year’s classrooms. Full Lesson Plans are given at no additional charges.

              Here is the overview of how the curriculum includes multiculturalism in k-12 in Manitoba.  Obviously this is the most thorough website that you will find in how we should be teaching multi-cultural education here in Manitoba. A direct link to the Multicultural aspect specifically is this: .

              This is intended for high school students to use in their curriculum and study of the Holocaust, but it might be an interesting way to see how studying diversity builds throughout the curriculum.  Also the extensive list of resources when you scroll down through this site will blow you away.

              While this next resource provides another overview of Canadian multiculturalism, the yellow and blue color scheme makes it difficult to read the information it is trying to present.  This site does have numerous links though, to other multi-cultural material. It has a great deal of spelling and grammatical errors.  I am thinking this may have been made by a younger student.  Maybe it is a student example, and as such, perhaps you could have your older students consider making a website on their multicultural research.  This might be a great way to include research, diversity, and ICT into your classroom.

              This website has several k-12 Art lesson plans for a unit on Multiculturalism.  They look interesting, and while some of them I have commonly seen done before some are interesting and unique, worth checking out. These look great, and there are links to numerous books but those would be at additional charges.


Manitoba Curriculum and Multicultural Education:

Multicultural Education: an Overview  

A key component to social studies is educating students about what it means to be a citizen of their country. As a result, it is important to recognize that when teaching social sciences there are topics that are outside, but still integrated into what one is teaching; multiculturalism being one such topic.  Multiculturalism is defined as “a society that values and promotes the contributions of the diverse cultural heritages and ancestries of all its people. A multicultural society is one that continually evolves and is strengthened by the contribution of its diverse peoples” (University of British Columbia).  This definition greatly ties into the philosophy and goals of teaching multiculturalism.  The philosophy when teaching multiculturalism is that students will embrace diversity in society, and feel pride in their heritage, as well as learn respect for other cultures.

This philosophy serves as the basis for the creation of the goals of incorporating multiculturalism into the curriculum.  These goals include getting students to critically think and analyze their own culture, and the way it fits into society. Another goal is getting students to realize that there are many different cultures, and gain an understanding about what different cultures represent.  As a result of this, students should understand the importance of respecting different cultures and viewpoints, and value diversity.  A third goal in integrating multiculturalism in one’s lessons is that students will gain a desire to want to learn more about different cultures, and understand how much knowledge can be gained through this. A fourth goal is that students will comprehend the idea that all cultures have the right to equality, and that even though there are differences cultures have similarities. 

The techniques that will be used are to integrate multiculturalism are getting students to think critically about what the word “culture” means, and to which culture they belong.  Students will be encouraged to think about what their culture means to them, and to respect other cultures.   

The methods that will be used are to first look at the social studies curriculum throughout the middle years, and gain an understanding of where in the curriculum multiculturalism could be incorporated into what one is teaching.  Once an understanding of this has been gained, lessons can be moulded around the desired goals that are hoped to be achieved. For example, in teaching Grade seven students about “Human Impact in Europe or the Americas” using the topic of urbanization, students are expected to: identify common challenges faced by large urban centres which could include cultural diversity and the challenges that presents. Groups of students could each research a different large urban centre, and explore different cultures that are present in that city.  After which, they could look at where in the city these groups are live, and what kind of jobs they tend to have, as well, what challenges the groups face through things such as acquiring jobs, receiving education, how they are accepted in the community and if equality is present.  These groups could then present their findings to the class through a presentation.  Next a class discussion could be generated about whether there were common challenges that students noticed facing large urban centres.  As a result, students would be able to realize that urban centres do have a vast variety of cultural diversity, and that these different cultures face various challenges. 

The skills that will be gained through teaching students about multiculturalism are that they will be respectful of different cultures, and appreciate the diversity amongst different cultures.  As well, another skill that will be gained is getting students to think outside of just their culture, it will expose them to a variety of different cultures and societies, and realize that there are similarities.  It will also get them to develop critical thinking skills about their own culture, and what it is they value about their own culture.  



  1. What is Culture? Brainstorm
  2. Where are you from? Brainstorm ancestral origins.
  3. Compare class ancestry…Similarities? Differences? How does this affect who we are? What does it mean to be Canadian?

Multicultural Education in Social Studies
Culture Activity

Middle Years

Approximately 1 hour


Description of the lesson/ procedures


Have the word “Culture” written in big letters on the middle of the chalk or white board before the students enter the classroom. This will create confusion, excitement and interest of several students.

Acquire (10-15 minutes)

Once all the students are seated and the classroom is under control tell the students that today’s lesson will begin with a brainstorm on what is culture. Raising their hands each student should give one response. Record all of their thoughts on the board using a brainstorming web. Prior to that ask the students what they think a country of origin is. Raising their hands, they should be able to answer that it is the country in which you were born (this part does not have to be put on the board).

Some words that should come up for culture are beliefs, values, language, history, literature, type of music, pastimes, clothing, traditions, and behaviors, a common food laws, popular sports, a way of life and your identity.


  1. After the students understand the definition of culture and country of origin get them all to stand quietly at their desk. One at a time get each student to say where they are from (country of origin) and one characteristic of their specific culture. All information should still be recorded on the board. Give an example; I am Ukrainian and in my culture we Ukrainian dance. (10 minutes). If no one states that they are Canadian be sure to go into a brief discussion on what it is to be Canadian.
  2. After each student has had a chance to speak up ask them to think of cultures we have not named even though it is not theirs and state an interesting characteristic about that culture. With a raise of their hand they could answer while still recording information the board. (10 minutes)
  3. Afterwards, put the class into groups of 4. Give them time as a group to examine the board and find similarities amongst the different cultures and countries of origin. As the groups take turns presenting their similarities circle them on the board for everyone to see. Try to create and on-going stretched circle for each similarity. (15 minutes)
  4. In addition to this activity I believe that it would be a great idea to get each student to choose something from a different culture that they would like to learn more about or try.
  5. Another question to ask is if there is anything amongst a different culture that they have tried.
  6. In addition and great follow-up activity would be to pair the students up and give them the opportunity to electronically travel to another place where they have the ability to learn about another culture. There should be computer research time during classes, specific questions they should answer as well as an art form of that specific culture they should create. (Since this is only a mini activity I will not go into depth with this part but I think it would be a great activity to do once the students have gained more of an appreciation for other cultures).


In order to understand whether the class has grasped the point of the activity ask the students at the end of the class to tell us what they see when all the similarities are circled. Their response should focus on the fact that as different as we are we are all very similar. (5-10 minutes).

Materials and Resources



Multiculturalism and Grade Five Curriculum

First Peoples

Early Europeans (1600-1763)

Fur Trade

From British Colony to Confederation (1763-1867)


Multiculturalism and the Grade Six Curriculum

Building a Nation (1867-1914)

An Emerging Nation (1914-1945)

Shaping Contemporary Canada (1945-Present)

Canada Today: Democracy, Diversity and the Influence of the Past

Multiculturalism and Grade Seven Social Studies Curriculum

World Geography

Global Quality of Life

Ways of Life in Asia, Africa, or Australasia

Human Impact in Europe or the Americas


Multiculturalism and the Grade Eight Curriculum

Understanding Societies Past and Present

Early Societies of Mesopotamia, Egypt or the Indus Valley

Ancient Societies of Greece and Rome

Transition to the Modern World

Shaping the Modern World