The Colors of Us

Post date: Feb 28, 2014 7:03:51 PM

This week we have focused our small group time on discussions about skin color. We spent time closely examining our hands, noticing that none of our hands were one single color like "white" or "black" but made up of lots of tones. We discussed how skin color falls on a spectrum, or a "rainbow" as the children put it, and then we got out the paints to try to create colors like those we saw in our skin. We started with white, pink, yellow, and brown, and, looking in mirrors and at our hands, mixed these colors together. Our veins required blue, and one child, after careful consideration, announced, "I have purple in me!" She was right! We explained that one reason skin color is important to think about is that sometimes people with one skin color have felt that people with other skin colors shouldn't be able to do the same things or go the same places. Children at this age have a strong sense of social justice, and many of them had stories or questions to share. Once the children were happy with the palettes they had mixed, they painted self-portraits, using mirrors, an activity we worked on many months ago during the first weeks of school. We hope to keep this discussion alive in our classroom as we explore issues of diversity and identity with our children.