Five Activities to Promote Diversity in the Classroom (2023)

By promoting diversity in their classrooms, teachers foster an environment in which students of all backgrounds feel included and supported. In many cases, teachers achieve this by developing classroom activities that celebrate diversity. These diversity activities encourage students to become more open-minded about different cultures and lifestyles.

“When we talk about diversity in a classroom, we're talking about the general makeup of students in the classroom,” says Kasey Weaver, EdD, adjunct faculty member in early childhood administration at Purdue University Global. “Diversity encompasses many areas, such as gender, race, background, socioeconomic status, and even your abilities.”

Discover why cultural diversity in the classroom matters and how you can incorporate diversity into your K-12 lesson plans and activities.

Why Is Diversity in the Classroom Important?

Data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that public schools in the U.S. have become more racially diverse over the last decade. However, many students still attend schools where the majority of their peers look like them. According to Pew Research Center, 79% of white students in U.S. public schools attend schools where at least half of their peers are also white. These numbers are disproportionate for other ethnicities, too. Fifty-six percent of Hispanic students and 42% of Black students attend school where more than half of the students share their ethnicity.

With this in mind, it’s up to teachers to help students explore cultures that differ from their own. “It’s important for us all to honor our differences,” says Weaver. “And as the adults in the classroom, teachers have to model what that looks like for our children.”

There are several benefits of teaching diversity in the classroom:

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  • Students can learn from each other’s perspectives. “When we have discussions in the classroom about diverse experiences, it helps students see things from the point of view of their peers,” says Weaver. “We have a lot that we can learn from each other, and diversity-focused lessons allow us to bring in multiple perspectives and insights.”
  • Diverse representation promotes feelings of self-worth among students. A report published in Contemporary Issues in Education Research found that teaching students about the achievements and history of diverse cultural groups can help foster resilience and self-esteem in students who share that cultural background. Bringing in speakers from diverse communities has a similar positive effect. “Diverse activities can really help students develop a sense of self-efficacy,” says Weaver.
  • Working with a diverse group helps students improve problem-solving skills. Weaver explains that diversity within the classroom can actually improve educational outcomes. “Students become better problem solvers when they work with a diverse group of students,” she says. “A diverse classroom encourages ideas to be bounced off of each other, allowing students to find creative solutions to problems.”
  • Diversity in education may help reduce prejudice. According to the American Psychological Association, cooperative learning activities are one way to overcome prejudice at school. “By talking about what makes us unique—as opposed to ignoring it—we let students know that it’s okay for us to have differences,” says Weaver.

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Five Activities for Teaching Diversity in the Classroom

Since diversity in education can lead to a number of social and academic benefits, it’s no wonder that many teachers are trying to elevate diversity within their lessons. Below are a few recommendations for diversity activities in the classroom.

1. Create a Cultural Passport

One of Weaver’s favorite activities for promoting diversity is to create a cultural passport that accompanies virtual field trips. During a virtual field trip, students will be guided through a website that provides educational images, videos, and audio clips. These guides are often focused on a specific place, such as a museum or a national park.

“Virtual field trips are an excellent way to expose children to different cultures around the world, or even cultures that are representative in their own school,” says Weaver.

She recommends providing a mock passport that students can fill out as they complete various virtual field trips. “Each page on the passport can feature a different culture. At different points throughout the year, you can visit that culture through a virtual field trip, and have students fill in information about what they learned.”

Since these virtual field trips can all be completed online, this is also a great way to support distance learning students.

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2. Explore Diverse Literature, Art, and Music

A report by New America found that people of color are still underrepresented in popular children’s books.

When choosing books to read aloud in the classroom, Weaver recommends picking stories from a variety of cultures. “Make sure you’re choosing books that are from cultures represented in your classroom, as well as from cultures that might not be represented in your classroom,” she says. The same advice goes for selecting art and music to share with the classroom.

Keep in mind that diverse stories incorporate more than just racial and ethnic diversity—they also include diversity in gender, religion, age, and more. “The idea is to help expose students to perspectives that might be different from their own,” says Weaver. “For example, if you teach at an all-girls school, it’s good to incorporate stories that are told from a boy’s perspective.”

3. Visit Your Library

Your classroom library can only hold so many books. To help your students broaden their horizons, make frequent visits to your school library or local library. “Talk to the librarian to ensure that there are books representative of all cultures and backgrounds,” says Weaver. “Oftentimes, librarians can help provide suggestions for titles that explore specific themes.”

By visiting your school or local library, you’re giving students an opportunity to discover books that explore a wide variety of topics. You could even set up a library scavenger hunt in which students are challenged to find books of different types. For example, a book written by a woman author, a book written in another language, or a book discussing a specific holiday. If you’re teaching online, you could conduct a virtual library scavenger hunt using your library’s online catalog.

4. Start an Open Dialogue

According to a survey conducted by EducationWeek, the majority of teachers see the importance of discussing complex issues with their students:

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  • 79% of teachers agree it’s important to discuss race and ethnicity
  • 75% agree it’s important to discuss immigration
  • 70% agree it’s important to discuss national politics

Despite the fact that many teachers want to have open discussions in their classroom, it can be hard to know how to approach sensitive topics in a way that is age-appropriate and does not make any students feel uncomfortable.

Weaver says that creating an open dialogue starts with encouraging students to ask questions. If you’re leading a class discussion around a particular news story or current event, you need to ensure that students are not afraid to speak up. “Not everyone will have the same perspective on a topic, and that’s okay. Recognizing our differences helps everybody feel accepted as part of the community,” she says.

“We don’t want to ignore what makes us different. We want to celebrate it.”

5. Build Connections with Other Students

Finally, Weaver recommends building connections with students from other classrooms, or even from other schools. “Having students socialize with their peers is a great way to create a welcoming and inclusive classroom environment,” she says.

For example, during story time, lunch, or recess, you might invite kids from the exceptional children or special education program into your classroom. This gives your regular-ed students a chance to socialize with kids they might not have met before. “By allowing your students to make connections with kids from other classrooms, you’re creating an environment where everyone feels included. Plus, your students will be exposed to kids who have different backgrounds than them,” says Weaver.

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Weaver stresses that teachers should not underestimate their role in creating diverse and inclusive environments. “It’s so important for us, as the adults in the room, to model what we want to happen in our schools,” she says. “Diversity activities in the classroom are only one piece of the puzzle—as teachers, we need to model empathy and respect for students of all backgrounds.”

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If you want to grow your teaching skills, Purdue University Global offers several online degree programs in the education field, including Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Administration, Master of Arts in Teaching, and Master of Science in Education programs.

Find out more about our programs by contacting us today.

About the Author

Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized, world-class education online that's tailored for adults. We offer 175 programs, including associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees as well as certificates, in areas such as business, IT, education, health sciences, nursing, criminal justice, and more.

(Video) Promoting Diversity in the Classroom


Five Activities to Promote Diversity in the Classroom? ›

Diversity activities are a way to cultivate solidarity among a group of people who may not (at first) have anything in common and foster a sense of community in the workplace.

How do you promote diversity in the classroom? ›

How can you Promote Diversity and Multiculturalism in the Classroom?
  1. Get to Know Your Students. ...
  2. Maintain Consistent Communication. ...
  3. Acknowledge and Respect Every Student. ...
  4. Practice Cultural Sensitivity. ...
  5. Incorporate Diversity in the Lesson Plan. ...
  6. Give Students Freedom and Flexibility.

What are diverse activities? ›

Diversity activities are a way to cultivate solidarity among a group of people who may not (at first) have anything in common and foster a sense of community in the workplace.

What is diversity activity for kids? ›

Diversity activities teach young children to respect and celebrate the differences in all people. Learning about different cultural aspects offers new experiences for children. It also helps them realize that we're all humans, despite differences in how we look or dress, or what we eat or celebrate.

What are the five 5 factors that bring about student diversity in the classroom? ›

This includes many different factors: race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, ability, age, religious belief, or political conviction. All these factors work together to inform how students (and teachers, and everyone else) encounter the world.

What are the 4 types of diversity in the classroom? ›

How Diversity Affects the Classroom. Much discussion about diversity focuses on the following forms of marginalization: race, class, gender, and sexual orientation — and rightfully so, given the importance of these forms of difference.

What are 5 examples of diversity? ›

Here's a breakdown of these forms of diversity:
  • Cultural diversity. This type of diversity is related to each person's ethnicity and it's usually the set of norms we get from the society we were raised in or our family's values. ...
  • Race diversity. ...
  • Religious diversity. ...
  • Age diversity. ...
  • Sex / Gender / Sexual orientation. ...
  • Disability.

Can you give some examples of activities about cultural diversity? ›

Below are a few recommendations for diversity activities in the classroom.
  • Create a Cultural Passport. ...
  • Explore Diverse Literature, Art, and Music. ...
  • Visit Your Library. ...
  • Start an Open Dialogue. ...
  • Build Connections with Other Students.
Jun 27, 2022

What are the activities of diversity and inclusion? ›

Diversity and inclusion activities are ideas that you can use to promote workers' unique individuality and create a sense of belonging for your workforce regardless of differences. Examples include diversity calendar celebration, cooking lessons, and speak your truth sessions.

What is an example of diversity for kids? ›

Examples: Diversity in plants include trees, bushes, flowers, grass, etc. Diversity in dogs include big dogs, small dogs, long haired dogs, short-haired dogs, etc. Similarly, in people things such as race and skin color, religion, age, disabilities, etc.

What are the 5 types of diversity in a childcare program? ›

Although there are various ways to exhibit diversity, the five main ways they demonstrate this for children in their environment are with race, culture, age, abilities, and non-conforming gender roles.

What are the examples of diversity in learning? ›

Race (i.e. physical characteristics) and ethnicity (i.e. cultural and linguistic identity) are some of the ways students are diverse. Gender, socioeconomic status, religion, and family structures are other types of diversity.

What is an example of diversity of learners? ›

Diverse learners include children and students of all abilities from racially, ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse communities and backgrounds.

What is teaching diversity in the classroom? ›

Teaching for diversity refers to acknowledging a range of differences in the classroom. Teaching for inclusion signifies embracing difference. Teaching for equity allows the differences to transform the way we think, teach, learn and act such that all experiences and ways of being are handled with fairness and justice.

How to promote diversity equity and inclusion in the classroom? ›

Seven effective ways to promote equity in the classroom
  1. Reflect on your own beliefs. ...
  2. Reduce race and gender barriers to learning. ...
  3. Don't ask students of color to be “experts” on their race. ...
  4. Diversify your curriculum. ...
  5. Hold every student to high expectations. ...
  6. Avoid assumptions about students' backgrounds.
Mar 19, 2020

What are four positive ways to promote diversity? ›

Ways to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace
  • Be aware of unconscious bias.
  • Communicate the importance of managing bias.
  • Promote pay equity.
  • Develop a strategic training program.
  • Acknowledge holidays of all cultures.
  • Make it easy for your people to participate in employee resource groups.
  • Mix up your teams.
Jun 21, 2022

What is diversity 5 points? ›

Diversity refers to the ways that we all are different from one another. 2. Some differences can be our caste, gender,religon,sociial standing etc.

What are the big 8 of diversity? ›

Examples of social identity include age, ability, ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and religion. These are the 'big 8' social identities.

How do teachers promote Cultural diversity? ›

One way teachers can honor cultural differences is by letting students from different cultures be the expert. Teaching other students about traditions, explaining the history and geography of countries and regions, and sharing cultural experiences are some ways to let these students know they are valued and welcome.

What are some culture activities? ›

Some cultural activities which are popular:
  • Celebrate the Festival.
  • Charity Events.
  • Sports Events.
  • Exhibition and workshop.
  • Dance and Music competitions.
  • Visiting national park.
  • Volunteering in the local community.
  • Join a heritage tour.

What are the 3 types of diversity and give an example of each? ›

In a study of 180 Spanish corporate managers, we explored perceptions of diversity and found that depending on who is answering, diversity usually means one of three things: demographic diversity (our gender, race, sexual orientation, and so on), experiential diversity (our affinities, hobbies, and abilities), and ...

What are 3 examples of social diversity? ›

Diversity includes but is not limited to language, religion, marital status, gender, age, socioeconomic status, geography, politics—and the list goes on and on! Just like organizational behavior, diversity incorporates a wide variety of genres and ideas but has developed into its own unique field.

What are three culture diversity examples? ›

Cultural differences include race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, language, gender, age, and disability.

How do you promote inclusion in activities? ›

Short-term diversity and inclusion activities that you can do in a day
  1. Celebrate calendar days around diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. ...
  2. Host cultural or traditional parties. ...
  3. Seminar on inclusive behaviours. ...
  4. Groups of employees share their most defining moments. ...
  5. Discuss unconscious bias in the workplace.
Mar 1, 2022

What is an example of diversity and inclusion? ›

Hiring people from different backgrounds. Providing opportunities for professional development, mentorship, training, and growth opportunities for employees from marginalized communities. Creating a safe space where everyone can feel comfortable participating in conversations about their identity.

What is diversity in an early childhood classroom? ›

Cultural diversity in early childhood classrooms provide a range of opportunities for children and families to celebrate differences. It is one aspect of diversity, which also embraces differences in gender, disabilities, age, social, and economic backgrounds.

What is diversity for first grade? ›

Diversity is the understanding that every individual is unique, yet we all share so many things in common. This can be seen in many aspects of life, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and ability.

How do you implement diversity in a kindergarten classroom? ›

8 Ways to Show Young Children that Diversity is a Strength
  1. Choose classroom themes that celebrate diversity. ...
  2. Celebrate similarities and differences with charts and artwork. ...
  3. Help children verbally share the things that make them special. ...
  4. Teach children it's okay to ask questions.
Oct 3, 2017

How do you address diversity in a preschool classroom? ›

How to support diversity throughout the year
  1. Involve parents in teaching diversity. ...
  2. Ensure your toys, books, and materials are diverse. ...
  3. Discuss and compare cultural traditions. ...
  4. Introduce sing-along songs with multicultural themes and lyrics in different languages.
Feb 17, 2019

What are 4 ways children learn to be respectful of diversity? ›

Teaching Children about Diversity
  • Practice Unity. Do not segregate yourselves from people based on gender, age, disability, race or ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. ...
  • Use Kind Language. ...
  • Be Kind in Action. ...
  • Have Multicultural Experiences. ...
  • Redirect Intolerant Behavior.
Mar 1, 2020

What is an example of a teaching diversity statement? ›

I believe that diversity in the classroom should be openly discussed and celebrated, and I strive to create an open, safe space in which students feel free to express different ideas, opinions, and worldviews. However, given this open environment, I tolerate only the highest level of respect for one another.

What is diversity and examples? ›

Diversity is differences in racial and ethnic, socioeconomic, geographic, and academic/professional backgrounds. People with different opinions, backgrounds (degrees and social experience), religious beliefs, political beliefs, sexual orientations, heritage, and life experience.

What is an example of differentiated activities to address diversity of learners? ›

Try the ones that best apply to you, depending on factors such as student age.
  1. Create Learning Stations. ...
  2. Use Task Cards. ...
  3. Interview Students. ...
  4. Target Different Senses Within Lessons. ...
  5. Share Your Own Strengths and Weaknesses. ...
  6. Use the Think-Pair-Share Strategy. ...
  7. Make Time for Journaling.
Sep 20, 2021

How can teachers promote a caring and learning environment? ›

13 Ways to create a positive learning environment in your classroom
  • Build positive relationships with students and parents. ...
  • Foster student connections. ...
  • Outline classroom rules for positive behavior. ...
  • Use positive reinforcement. ...
  • Ensure content is culturally relevant. ...
  • Keep a positive mindset.
Mar 11, 2022

How do you promote a culturally inclusive classroom? ›

Don't expect any individual student to speak as a representative of his / her culture. Utilise diverse experiences and perspectives as a resource. Plan opportunities for all students to contribute input related to their own culture (but avoid making any student a cultural representative).

What is an example of an inclusive classroom? ›

An inclusive classrooms features students of all learning styles and ability levels. For example, an inclusive classroom could have a mix of gifted students, auditory learners, visual learners and students with disabilities such as ADHD, students who are in wheelchairs, and students with executive functioning issues.

How do teachers promote cultural diversity? ›

One way teachers can honor cultural differences is by letting students from different cultures be the expert. Teaching other students about traditions, explaining the history and geography of countries and regions, and sharing cultural experiences are some ways to let these students know they are valued and welcome.

What does diversity look like in a classroom? ›

Diversity in the classroom refers to differences in social identities. A person's age, race, socioeconomic status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, and nationality all comprise a person's social identity.

What are the examples of student diversity? ›

Race (i.e. physical characteristics) and ethnicity (i.e. cultural and linguistic identity) are some of the ways students are diverse. Gender, socioeconomic status, religion, and family structures are other types of diversity.

How do you create a diverse and inclusive classroom? ›

To create an inclusive classroom for your students, try integrating these strategies.
  1. Elevate Your Curriculum. ...
  2. Use Inclusive Language. ...
  3. Create and Enforce Class Values and Behavior Standards. ...
  4. Create Space for Students to Practice Empathy. ...
  5. Focus on Global Competence. ...
  6. Avoid Making Assumptions Based on Stereotypes.
Feb 2, 2022

What strategies do you use to support different learning styles in the classroom? ›

Tips for Accommodating
  • Engage the student in conversation about the subject matter.
  • Question students about the material.
  • Ask for oral summaries of material.
  • Have them tape lectures and review them with you.
  • Have them tape themselves reviewing material and listen to it together.
  • Read material aloud to them.
Apr 6, 2021

What does an inclusive and diverse classroom look like? ›

An inclusive classroom is a general education classroom where students with and without learning differences learn together. Inclusive classrooms are welcoming and support the diverse academic, social, emotional, and communication needs of all students.

How would you define diversity for class? ›

Diversity means having a range of people with various racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and cultural backgrounds and various lifestyles, experience, and interests. Having a variety of individuals and points of view represented in the department. Diversity is a group of people who are different in the same place.

What is diversity and list five 5 examples? ›

Diversity refers to the inclusion of a wide range of people from different backgrounds. Examples of diversity include gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic, age, cultural, religious, and political diversity. Today, diversity is highly valued because it strengthens social groups.


1. 5 Importance of Diversity in the classroom
(Rhoda Ramos)
2. Teaching Culturally Diverse Students
(Teachings in Education)
3. Introduction to Diverse Learners: Part 1 of 5
(The Dock for Learning)
4. Classroom Activities for Teaching
(Teachings in Education)
5. Diversity And Inclusion
(Jason I am)
6. Team Bonding Games - The Characteristic Game *5
(Team Building Games)


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