Since race and racism are intricately related this lesson focuses on both of them.
Race: a way of dividing people by physical or genetic characteristics
Racism: Treating someone different because of their race
Required reading for the adult(s):
Teaching for Change Teaching Young Children about Race – Teaching for Change: Teaching for Change
Read Like A Rockstar Talking to My 4 Year-Old About Racism – YouTube
On being antiracist (for white parents):
Antiracist Educators to Follow
For the family:
Elmo and His Dad Talk About Racism on Sesame Street https://youtu.be/ILvJ2vX-kcc
A Kid’s Book About Racism A Kids Book About™ — Kids Are Ready
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What to say
(This is a suggestion. Please use the above links for further reference and always take your child’s level of understanding into consideration.):
“People have different skin colors based on the amount of melanin in their skin. Melanin is a pigment that gives skin its color. Those with more melanin have darker skin and those with less have lighter skin. Humans are often divided into groups based on their skin color or the amount of melanin that they have. Some of these groups, also known as racial categories, are black and white. Talking about race or someone’s skin color is not a bad thing, but it is harmful to treat someone different because of it.”
- What color would you describe your skin? Possible words: honey, cream, chocolate
- Use a book that features diverse characters and describe the skin colors you find.
- Are any of the characters treated differently because of their race or skin color? Have you seen anyone treated differently because of how they look?
- If one of your friends states they don’t want to play with another friend because they have black skin, what are some things you could say or do?
Different Colors of Paint
Use different colors of paint to create your skin color. Paint a self-portrait with the color you created. Save the remaining paint in a bottle to use for future projects throughout the year!
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