Tool: Learning about culture from and with your students
Purpose of this tool: This tool provides sample questions
that you can use to develop inventories to learn about your students’
individual interests and cultural backgrounds and practices.
How to use this tool: Adapt these questions to your
students’ age and your particular classroom and school context to
develop inventories to give to students in the beginning of the year/semester.
- What do you want to learn about _____ (specific subject matter) this
- Why is this important to you?
- What are you nervous about or worried about in _____________ (subject
matter)? Why are you nervous/worried about this?
- In the past, what have teachers done in __________ (subject matter)
that really helped you learn?
- In the past, what have teachers done that made it difficult for you
- What makes you excited about coming to school?
- What makes you nervous about coming to school?
- Which type of format do you think you learn the most from? Please
- working by myself
- working in pairs
- working in small groups
- whole class discussions
- What kinds of students do you think you work best with in small groups?
- What kinds of students do you think you may have difficulty working
with in small groups? Why?
- Do you like to participate in class discussions? Why or why not?
- Whom do you live with?
- What kinds of responsibilities do you have at home?
- If you hold a job, where do you work? What are your work hours?
- What kinds of writing do you do outside of school? (Do you write
songs, raps, poetry, stories, letters, emails, etc.?)
- What kinds of art do you enjoy?
- Do you like to work with machines, cars, computers, etc.? Please
- What kinds of sports do you enjoy playing?
- What kinds of books or magazines do you like to read outside of school?
- What kinds of music do you like to listen to?
- What do you want me to know about you? How is this important to your
- I would like to invite people from the community into the classroom
to help us learn more about the different topics we will cover this year/semester. Whom would you like to speak to the class? Please
describe what you think this person can help us learn.