We started with a discussion about how each of us are different in many ways. We read several books on the topic, including It's Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr, which has simple drawings that depict different features of people and animals.
Then we started a discussion about our skin color. Several of our books taught us that while skin is often called "black" or "white," we are actually all various shades of brown. We read and talked about how our skin pigment comes from the amount of melanin we were born with, as well as who are biological parents and ancestors are.
We looked at paint chip samples in all shades of brown, and picked out ones that were closest to our skin shade. Then we put together pictures of ourselves that displayed our skin color's name (such as tan, cocoa, etc).
It was fun to compare and notice how many different shades make up our classroom community.
We also read a book about how everyone's hair can be different, and compared ours to other people's. I took pictures of the students' faces and hair, and we made it into a game they can play, matching the hair picture to the appropriate classmate!
We also made self portraits during station time, using skin and eye color crayons and yarn for hair.
Our school celebrated Black History Month, and we learned about several African American figures in history who contributed to fighting for fairness and human rights for all. We got to read and present to the school about Sojourner Truth! Here is the poster we made:
Last, we had a "thinking circle" about a quote that I hung up in the classroom. I was amazed and humbled to hear the insight that these kindergarteners had on this complex quote. If you have a chance, ask your child what it makes them think about!
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