Inclusion activities are designed to include all voices in the room. They build community in a quick and lively way, with each participant contributing to the task. They cultivate equity, trust, and rapport and can range in time and complexity. Inclusion activities are best implemented before the start of a meeting, lesson, or lecture. They provide a nice transition into the day’s agenda. Inclusion activities strengthen a system by placing “we-ness” and a collective sense of belonging at the center of learning. While they are easy to implement, they require intentionality. Regardless of how much time you have to facilitate, teach, or lead a presentation/meeting, inclusion activities are non-negotiable. They are embedded in every agenda because every person deserves to be heard, seen, and included.
Inclusion activities foster a culture of validation, appreciation, and respect for diverse voices and perspectives. Access over 40 Inclusion Activities from my Teachers Pay Teachers website. Some examples include making a COVID-19 model, oreo cookie challenge, mood candy, feedback for the baker, my rock, success iceberg, scavenger hunt, mint to teach/learn, traffic signs, salsa line up, cultural artifact, Black Lives Matter and more. These activities are engaging for students and adults!
Research says that inclusive education is about looking at the ways our schools, classrooms, programs and lessons are designed so that all students can participate and learn. Inclusion activities aid students (and adults!) in finding ways to develop friendships, relationships, and mutual respect for all people. Student participation is not something that is earned – it is a right that all students deserve. Inclusive education inspires educators to push the boundaries of what’s possible in classrooms and schools.
I have used Inclusion Activities in every aspect of my work with students and adults over the past decade. Inclusion Activities have the power to transform pedagogical spaces because they humanize classrooms and work spaces. I have interacted with hundreds of educators and students and they appreciate the purpose behind Inclusion Activities. These activities are highly engaging and meaningful. In many settings, Inclusion Activities are the ONLY time that ALL voices are heard and validated in the room.
School communities can easily adopt, adapt, and implement Inclusion Activities into their culture. If schools are intentional and passionate about placing equity and collaboration at the center of learning, Inclusion Activities are the way to go. Schools can use the slides provided in the Google presentation on my Teachers Pay Teachers website, or they can create their own. Either way, school communities stand to benefit from the feasibility and collective nature of Inclusion Activities. To see an example of how to be more intentional about creating inclusive spaces in academia, click here. Let’s do our part in making inclusive spaces a right, and not an option.