In honor of Black History Month, we asked CID teachers and speech-language pathologists what their favorite resources and activities are to teach and discuss diversity with their students. Here is what they shared:
Books are a great way to introduce a theme. Here are some good ones to support the idea of cultural diversity:
- Shades of People by Shelley Rotner and Sheila Kelly
- The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler
- All the Colors We Are by Katie Kissinger
- All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold and Suzanne Kaufman
Create self-portraits and display them in the classroom.
This is a wonderful way to not only celebrate students’ similarities and differences but to also support a variety of language structures from simple (ex: “I have brown skin”) to complex (ex: “I have blonde hair, but Sarah has black hair”). These creative face cut-outs can be used or this multicultural construction paper.
Color an index card using multicultural markers with the shade the students think most closely resembles their skin.
Display the cards on a spectrum on a bulletin board and discuss the concept of “shades” and “spectrum.” This is a great follow-up activity to do after reading “All the Colors We Are” (also listed above).
Use eggs to show students we are all the same.
Present the students with two different colored eggs (typically one white and one brown). Ask the students how the eggs are the same and how they are different. Then have the students make predictions (a fantastic language and literacy task!) on what they think the inside of the egg will look like when the egg is cracked. Crack the eggs and discuss how the eggs are the same on the inside despite looking different on the outside. Apply this concept to people; we may be different on the outside, but we are the same inside.
Assign older students a different country or culture to learn about.
Have them present the information they learn to the class, including facts such as: where the country is located, popular foods and interesting traditions or holidays. This is a wonderful way to teach about different cultures, and the vocabulary and language structures that can be targeted are endless!
Use My Family Builder for students to create a wide variety of people.
This is a fun activity for following directions and can also be used to target tons of vocabulary and language structures.
While it’s timely to teach students about diversity in February, it is a concept that should be celebrated year-round. Keeping a variety of multicultural books and supplies in your classroom or therapy room is a great way to start.
By the CID Teaching Staff