If this is your first time teaching about DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) in your elementary classroom, this is for you.
If you are used to discussing complex topics with young students, this unit will offer a natural way to open up more conversations and help your students become the changemakers that the future needs.
(This unit is also available in Spanish)
In this unit, you will find six lessons, one for the teacher and five created for students K-2. (The first part you will also find in my free ‘Share More Stories’ unit)
The lessons work best in combination with the digital One Globe Kids stories. One Globe Kids is a non-profit anti-bias education program created based on intergroup contact research. Two stories are available at no cost on their website: Valdo in Haiti and Larasati in Indonesia. These are photo stories about real children from around the world, told child-to-child, narrated by peers. The stories stay away from stereotypes, are always positive, and are designed to explore similarities.
Tailor: The lessons are designed for K-2, but may need tailoring for your specific group of students, age, and time. While the lessons were created with the current situation in the US in mind, the activities and objectives can be used anywhere in the world, even though conversations might be different. No group of students is the same. The outcome will differ depending on what the students are most interested in.
Time: You can do each lesson in about 40min. Depending on how many One Globe Kids stories you introduce and how much time you like to see, think, and wonder about them. All five lessons can be done in one week or spread out over a longer period of time. Take as much time as you need, as your students need, to learn together about racism and what to do about it.
WHY USE THIS RESOURCE
Young children see color, hear about race, and observe how grown-ups struggle to explain what recently happened in the United States. If we do not start the conversation early, children will make up their own stories.
Anti-racism education with young kids doesn't need to be complicated. If you keep it to something as simple as knowing more than a ‘single story’, you help eliminate biases from the beginning naturally. Learning more stories feeds a child's curiosity, empathy, and openness to others.
I created this unit, believing that...
- Anti-racism work starts with self-education - the first part is for you, the teacher.
- Anti-racism work is never done - see this resource as a piece of the puzzle, your puzzle to help raise a generation of anti-racist citizens.
- Children are never too young to talk about race - the lessons are for the youngest students, K-2.
- Being an anti-racist educator is not only about talking - this unit is also about listening, sharing, and doing. Let your students lead the way.
WHAT ELSE YOU NEED
Technology: The lessons can be done in person or remotely. Read or listen to the One Globe Kids stories with your remote students by sharing your screen and audio. Read or listen to the One Globe Kids stories in your classroom on a smartboard or individual devices.
Stories: The teacher will need a (free) subscription to access the digital One Globe Kids stories. Any of the stories can be used for the lessons. Currently, you will find ten stories to work with on the One Globe Kids website and iPad/iPhone app:
- My Indonesia: Larasati (FREE)
- My Haiti: Valdo (FREE)
- My NYC: Luna
- My NYC: Lucian
- My Burundi: Jenissa
- My Netherlands: Lars
- My Netherlands: Floor
- My Indonesia: Aji
- My Israel: Maya
- My Haiti: Gabou
- My Norway: Nora
- My Palestine: Layth
WHAT YOU WILL GET
For the teacher - Teacher Prep: A Single Story
You will find an activity for yourself because it is impossible for adults to engage kids in learning about anti-racism without understanding these topics themselves. You will not have all the answers, and it is OK to learn along with your students.
Inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TEDTalk ‘The Danger of a Single Story’, this activity will offer you insight into how you can lay a foundation for anti-racism with the help of diverse stories in K-2 classrooms.
For the students
Lesson 1: A World of Stories
FOREIGN - FAMILIAR - SIMILAR
In this lesson, anti-racism education for the youngest students starts with awareness of themselves and others and how they experience interactions. This lesson has kids share their stories after being introduced to a ‘new friend’s’ story. In light of ‘the more stories you know, the more friends you can make’ this lesson lays a foundation for openness to others.
Lesson 2: Your Name Tells a Story
IDENTITY - CULTURE - LANGUAGE
This lesson will introduce students to how names are tied to a person’s family, language, culture, and identity.
Lesson 3: The Story of You
SKIN COLOR - DIVERSITY - COMPLIMENT
In this lesson, students will paint their self-portraits and their friends’ portraits to explore skin colors. They will begin to understand that we all have skin color from the same base, that the shade can be different, and why that is. They will become familiar with some of their own features and those of others and practice giving compliments.
Lesson 4: Be the Story
EMPATHY - KINDNESS - UNDERSTANDING
In lesson four, students will demonstrate their ability to connect to others using empathy, kindness, and understanding through pretend-playing. Together they will create and practice a ‘Travel Declaration’, determining guidelines for being kind, considerate, and respectful to others, locally and globally.
Lesson 5: Stories of Friendship
FRIENDSHIP - RACISM - INCLUSION
In this lesson, students will start to understand the impact of having diverse friendship(s) through reflective writing/drawing and dialogue by sharing what they liked and what they learned. The lesson includes a conversation about racism and what to do about it.
Wrap up the unit by practicing contact interactions made with the One Globe Kids friend(s) using verbal and non-verbal communications, including saying goodbye.
RACE might come up as something the students like to learn more about in any of the lessons. Listen first, and you will be surprised how much they know.
At the end of each lesson and at the end of the unit, you will find lots of links to great resources to help your students understand and create their 'World of Stories'.
If you have any questions, please find the Q&A below. And please reach out if you have feedback on how to make this ‘Stories for Change’ unit better for teachers or students.
Thank you for being part of the change,
Phoebe - World of Stories
** 50% of the sales of this unit will go to support the non-profit behind One Globe Kids.