In recent years I have worked with language learners that represented a range of religions, cultures, and languages. They were from places like Japan, Iraq, Sudan, Chile, and Venezuela. Some of my students were highly educated in their home country while others come from difficult circumstances and little to no formal education. Our classrooms are becoming more and more diverse and that can present challenges for today’s educators. While it can be difficult to differentiate instruction, technology can be a great tool as students gain the literacy and language of their new country.
Kahoot! is one of my favorite tech tools that not only helps us overcome barriers to learning, it offers great support in building community and boosting creativity of my students.
One practical tip for using Kahoot! in this way is the idea of a selfie kahoot. A selfie kahoot helps my class get to know each other better and feel comfortable in their new environment. Not only are we honoring culture, learners are creating assessments and participating in higher levels of thinking in a uniquely fun and engaging way!
In December, I have students create a selfie kahoot about the holidays that they celebrate. This Kahoot! activity also offers an opportunity to talk about holidays that happen all year long. I want to be mindful of students who may come from a culture where they do not celebrate any holidays. This activity opens a space to get to know my students better and helps me be respectful of everyone’s background and everyone’s beliefs.
Simple steps to creating a holiday selfie kahoot
- Share a fact about a tradition from your culture to begin the dialog. (I share a lesser known tradition from Day of the Dead to offer a window into my own culture and to talk about the strength in our uniqueness.)
- Print the Kahoot! planning template and show students a model of how to fill it out with one trivia question from a holiday or family tradition they hold dear.
- Teacher creates one(or more) quiz and adds images. Kahoot!’s premium image library is great for this or you can upload any image to enhance the quiz.
- Play the kahoot!
- Share it with the world on social media.
- Play quizzes from other classes around the world.
- Bonus idea: Use the quiz to support reflective writing (I want to know more about… Another tradition important to my family is… In my culture, we…)
I’ve done this activity for several years now, and each time it’s a tremendous success. Consider just some of the benefits when your students create and share a quiz about their background:
- It is student centered
- It honors student voice
- Students learn about each other
- Students function as experts
- Students contribute to funds of knowledge
- It is personal/culturally responsive
- It supports critical thinking for quiz development
- Share it with the world and they are contributing to global funds of knowledge.
This one activity helps us convey the critical message that each and every one of them is important. Don’t underestimate the power of of a classroom full of learners who feel honored and important.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the pride in my students’ eyes when we see people around the world playing our “Holiday Traditions” selfie kahoot. We’d love to help you experience that as well.