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Hands of Many Colors: Teaching Elementary Students About the Meaning of Diversity

How might we as teachers discuss complex topics like diversity and racism to younger students in a way that's not upsetting or scary? This Collections will help you do just that! Perfect for elementary school, these links will encourage you to help spread awareness for the younger generation about how to embrace people of all different backgrounds, personalities and abilities! Enjoy!
A Collection By Sara Kaplan
  • 9 Collection Items
  • 9 Collection Items
  • Discussion
Hands of Many Colors: Teaching Elementary Students About the Meaning of Diversity
  • Sara Kaplan says:
    Before you introduce a topic like racism to your young students, you might want to have them watch other kids talk about equality. Equality is a great way to introduce the topic of racism, because embracing equality is the foundation for extinguishing racism.
  • Sara Kaplan says:
    Inspire your older elementary school students to think about what creates a person's identity by sharing this essay written by a student from Saint Mary's College in Indiana. The student discusses what she is beyond her skin color. I would encourage your students to write their own short essay about how they are "much more than the color of [their] skin".
  • Sara Kaplan says:
    Invite your students to meet two individuals (puppets!) who teach all about diversity, what being different means, and why being different is OK!
  • Sara Kaplan says:
    Take the advice of this article when talking to your students about race, and encourage parents to read this article as well, because learning about race starts out in the real world outside of the classroom doors! I especially appreciate the tip, "Don't overreact" because kids pick up on others' emotions and actions, and are far more aware than we give them credit for!
  • Sara Kaplan says:
    “Sharing Our Colors: Writing Poetry” helps young kids comprehend difficult complex topics like “beauty” “racial identity” and “skin color” how the act of writing a poem can help them express how they see their own identity, as well as understand the common bond of these three topics. Through writing and a small arts and crafts activity, this powerful lesson will help young kids appreciate the beauty of individuality.
  • Sara Kaplan says:
    Teach your students about the ways in which we are all different! These lessons are subcategorized into different types of diversity: i.e. you can teach about disabilities with some, while others are focused on gender differences. These lessons are perfect for elementary school age groups, and are designed for different grades.
  • Sara Kaplan says:
    This kindergartener teacher learned early on as a mother that you have to be very aware of how you talk to kids about topics like racism. (Kids are much more aware of differences than we might know.) So, how would you teach a subject like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. without it being disturbing? That's exactly what this article is all about!
  • Website
    tolerance.org
    tolerance.org
    Sara Kaplan says:
    “Starting Small” is all about how we as educators can impress upon and continue to encourage the values of having empathy in our students at a young age, when they are most impressionable. Short chapters focus on diverse but linked topics, such as “Respecting All Families” and “Responding to Special Needs”.
  • Sara Kaplan says:
    This activity for grades 1-5 utilizes the popular, well-known Dr. Seuss book "The Sneetches" using discussion, problem-solving and whole-class and group activities to work together on coming up with ways to prevent racism. It's a great way to teach younger kids how racism develops and how to recognize their own perspectives and feelings regarding racism. A great introductory lesson about why racism occurs and what we can do to change it!
BloomBoard SparkOther Cross-Curricular
BloomBoard Asks:How can we teach younger kids about difficult and complex topics like racism and diversity in a compassionate and understanding way?