Pernambuco, Brazil

Florida Students Connect with Brazilian Teacher’s Heritage

Posted on August 10, 2023 by Justin Wilson
Cross-Cultural Activity

Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Rio De Janeiro - Photo by Thales Botelho de Sousa via Unsplash

Cross-cultural activities offer a wonderful opportunity for students to explore different cultures and foster understanding. Juliana Branco, a kindergarten teacher from Brazil, organized a cultural activity that allowed her to share her Brazilian heritage with students in Lantana, Florida. The EPI teacher thought up a fantastic way to bring a taste of Brazil to Lantana Elementary School!

The day before the activity, Juliana asked her students to come to school dressed in blue, green, and yellow. Because she didn’t tell her students why, they arrived intrigued. “My students were engaged and curious to know why they were wearing the Brazilian flag colors,” she recalls. “Some thought it was because it was spring or my favorite colors.”

With her students in eager suspense, Juliana took them on a journey through Brazil. She first created context by having her students locate the country on a globe. Then, she pulled the curtain back and presented a compelling PowerPoint presentation that showcased Brazil’s beauty and culture. This was just the start, as Juliana sprinkled interactive activities throughout the entire day. During recess, the children participated in traditional Brazilian games such as hopscotch and soccer.

Student of EPI teacher Juliana Branco, pointing to Brazil on globe

The highlight of the day was preparing a delicious Brazilian carrot cake. A mouthwatering aroma filled the air as Juliana and her students worked together to bake the traditional treat. Students’ faces lit up when they sampled their creation. “They loved the cake and wanted to take it home,” Juliana says. “They also asked if we could do it again.”

By sharing more about her background and experiences, Juliana revealed her personal side. She allowed her students to fully see her and her culture, fostering empathy and understanding among the students. “Sharing a little bit more about myself with my students made them look at me as a real person,” Juliana notes. “It made them understand that I’m far from my family.”

Since then, the students have even sometimes told her that they hope she can see her relatives when school is out of session.

Through an engaging presentation, interactive games, and EPI Teacher Juliana Brancothe delightful taste of Brazilian carrot cake, Juliana provided her students with a glimpse into the vibrant world of Brazil. By creating these meaningful connections and fostering empathy, Juliana not only expanded her students’ horizons but also discovered a renewed sense of belonging and pride in her own roots. Her inspiring dedication serves as a testament to the profound impact teachers can have when they embrace their cultural heritage and create meaningful cross-cultural experiences for their students.


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