Skin Color Study in Junior Kindergarten

Kelly Bird
We want all students to see themselves as integral threads of the classroom fabric, so it is important that no single skin color is considered “normal.” To avoid having any child feel like an “other,” students need support to identify, describe, and discuss their own skin colors.
Skin Color Study in Junior Kindergarten  
 
We want all students to see themselves as integral threads of the classroom fabric, so it is important that no single skin color is considered “normal.” To avoid having any child feel like an “other,” students need support to identify, describe, and discuss their own skin colors. 
 
In one Junior Kindergarten classroom, this is how our skin color study looked: 
 
First, the teacher read books, lots of books that showcased different skin colors and described them. (Photo 1)

The students began to think about their own skin color and what it resembled. Was it like French toast, cinnamon, a chocolate cupcake? (Photo 2)
 
Ms. Bird joined the class and set-up a paint mixing station. One by one, students came to mix and name their own custom skin color paint. (Photos 3-5)
 
Ms. Ellef helped each child paint their hands and make personal handprints. (Photo 6)
  
The students then had their own paint colors when it was time to create self-portraits. (Photos 7 and 8)

We often hear the students in Ms. Ellef’s class referring to one another’s skin color and saying, “You’re chocolate cupcake”, “You’re French toast!” When everyone recognizes their own skin color and can describe it, there is no assumption that one shade is “normal.”
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  • Mary Foden
    Such a beautiful way to teach our children. Thank you for sharing this with us!

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