Attention teachers: as you probably know, one very meaningful way of teaching children the arts is by teaching about other cultures. This not only challenges the children to think creatively but also helps them learn about traditions they may not be familiar with, and help promote acceptance of diverse peoples. You don’t need a big arts budget to bring these lessons into your classroom. One very helpful toolkit is Ties That Bind: Folk Arts in the Classroom, produced by the Colorado Council on the Arts (now Colorado Creative Industries). Here you can find information on creative projects your students can use to learn about folk arts from the many cultures represented in Colorado. Wherever you are located in the state, there is a section of the toolkit specific to that region. Some of the cultures explored include Hmong cultures, Latino cultures, and St. Patrick’s Day and the Irish. Also, you will find various activities your students will enjoy, including Colcha embroidery; exploring cowboy life through poetry; folklore bingo; quilts across cultures; and wheat weaving.
For more information on arts in education, see also Arts Education in Colorado: Guidebook and Resources from the Colorado Dept. of Education.