This image is a great image for teachers to show early elementary students. This image could be projected on a Smart Board or a projector on the board. The teacher can prompt the discussion by saying how each person in this picture is unique, but no matter the color of our skin, hair color, eye color, or the type of clothing we wear, we should all be seen as equals in the classroom. The classroom is an environment where individuals should feel safe to grow and learn from one another. Sometimes it could be difficult to bring up controversial topics such as race and ethnicity in the classroom, but I do feel that this picture shines a positive light on embracing the differences between one another in order to have a respectful classroom environment.
The link above will direct you to a family guide to talking about race. This is a useful resource for parents of children that are in grades Pre-K through grade 5. Open communication about race between parents and children will bring families closer together and teach children that they should feel comfortable to talk to their parents about a controversial issue like race. Race is such a large part of American culture because it affects so many aspects of individuals’ daily lives. It is only natural for children to question race because young children observe the differences between themselves and their peers at a very young age. Also, it is important for parents to teach children the importance of treating every individual as equals regardless of their skin color. If children hold negative stereotypes on certain races from the start, they could carry these stereotypes with them into adulthood. If parents put a stop to these negative stereotypes, children will be more open minded to individuals of different skin colors and not judge individuals based off of their race.
This resource is a useful resource for teachers to look at before talking to their class about race. One of the most important things to do as an educator is to teach children to question their own assumptions. It is also essential that students are taught to ask questions about anything that they are unsure of. In this article, a Kindergarten teacher discusses the importance of a classroom as a safe place for students to take risks and challenge themselves. One way to promote the idea of equality in the classroom is to include books in the classroom library about children of all different skin colors and types of hair, as well as books that teach children how we get the skin color we have.