Enriching Students with Global Culture, Part 2


In partnership with the South Whidbey Schools Foundation and Langley Middle School PTSA, NWLA has created a program at Langley Middle School called Global Cultures Enrichment. In a previous post, we looked at the students’ encounter with cultures of Japan and Africa during the first two weeks of the class.  Below, take a look at some of the things we’ve been learning since.


The third week of the class was focused on the cultures of Brazil.  Students learned about Brazil’s rich native flora and fauna, and how the country’s diverse peoples are taught to respect one another’s differences. Besides learning numbers and common greetings in Portuguese, we found out about the “sarao,” a Brazilian happening where people spontaneously get together to make music and dance.  The middle schoolers also got to try out the Brazilian martial art of capoeira.


The following week we turned toward the native cultures of our own continent, looking at Native American traditions from the northwest and further afield.  Guests shared traditional stories with the children about “basket woman” and “bear and frog,” and discussed various animal totems and their meaning to native culture.  Students learned about the relationship native cultures have to the natural world and to each other – they even were able to try out a simple circle ceremony, and learned to count in Lushootseed Salish.

The last week of our program focussed on the cultures of Scandinavia, on the similarities and differences of those cultures to our own.  The students learned a bit of Norwegian and Swedish, sampled some traditional Scandinavian cuisine, and took a look at the region’s indigenous culture, the Sami.