The Day You Begin:
Unlimited, Removing Barriers:
Kid President: How to Disagree:
Access the student reflection APP which provides an opportunity for students and teachers to reflect and respond to topic-specific prompts.
Respecting others includes understanding ourselves, treating others kindness, and celebrating how we are the same and how we are different.
Identity is concerned largely with the question “Who are you?” which can be broken down into our sense of self, or the global understanding a person has of themselves; this includes roles, attributes, skills, abilities, disabilities, behaviors, and associations that we consider most important to us.
Once we recognize our own culture and identity, it becomes important to respect the diversity and identity of others. Everyone has unique experiences and backgrounds that shape their opinions and ideas. Approaching these similarities and differences with an open mind shows respect and improves feelings of compassion and community.
Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities.
Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.
In the image below, there are 3 kids who are trying to look over a fence. There are some barriers that are preventing all of them.
Equality: In the first picture, in order for them to all have access to view the game, they were given equal support—a box that is equal in size that they can stand on to see the game. The problem is, in this case, equal doesn’t help all kids to look over the fence. If you look at the first and the second students, they can see over the fence; but the last student still cannot see over the fence, even though he was provided equal support.
Equity: In the second picture, we see that, in order for the students to look over the fence, they were provided with equitable support, or the appropriate number of supports they needed to view the game. If we look at the first student, he was already tall enough and didn’t need any support. The student in the middle only needed one support to help him view the game. And the last student needed extra support to help him; he needed 2 boxes in order to look over the fence.
Diversity means differences. People may be different in many ways, including race or ethnicity, age, disabilities, language, culture, appearance, or religion.
We are all different, and that’s a good thing. We each bring something different to our classroom. We need to be celebrating our diversity and strengths and focusing on how we can use our uniqueness to strengthen one another instead of focusing on how we are different from each other.
Activity 1: (15 minutes) CELEBRATING WHO WE ARE
Watch the video of the book, “The Day You Begin” by Netflix Jr. Have a discussion:
Explain the difference between observable and non-observable characteristics.
Observable characteristics are visible, obvious, exposed, displayed, or exhibited.
Non-observable characteristics are sheltered, hidden, or concealed.
As a class, discuss how to sort the following characteristics into observable or unobservable (some may fit in both categories, which is a good discussion):
Activity 2: (15 minutes) EQUALITY VS. EQUITY
Place 2 rewards high on a shelf, high enough that only the tallest student can reach them, even if it takes some stretching or a little jumping. Ask for volunteers. Say, “Anyone who can reach one can have it, no strings attached.” When the hands go up, choose the tallest person first.
Ask for a second volunteer. Ignore the hands and select the shortest person in the room. After a few unsuccessful attempts, they will most likely go for a chair or table. Say, “You may not use a chair; that would be unfair. The first student did it without a chair, so you must do the same.” Participants will likely complain: “That’s not fair! He can’t help that he’s small.”
Ask your class what the best reasons are for allowing the second person to use a chair to help reach the reward when the first person had no help. How can that be fair?
Listen to participants argue their case, relent (which is what you were going to do anyway), and let the student use the chair to grab the reward. Display the graphic and ask students what the differences between equality and equity are.
Show the slide examples of 2 seed packets. Watch the video, “Removing Barriers,” by Unlimited. Have a discussion:
Activity 3: (10 minutes) STUDENT SURVEY
Hand out a survey for students to take. You can read the questions together as a class, or have students take it independently. If you do, make sure to pull back struggling readers and read the questions together.
Activity 4: (25 minutes) EQUITY & DIVERSITY GALLERY WALK
Read the definition and quotes about diversity.
Diversity means differences. People may be different in many ways, including race or ethnicity, age, disabilities, language, culture, appearance, or religion. When someone thinks negatively about another person simply because they’re different, this is called prejudice.
“Building positive identities and a respect for differences means weaving diversity into the fabric of children’s everyday lives.”
Ola Joseph once said: “Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.”
Hang up several pieces of art around the room. Divide students into groups of 4–5. Have them participate in a “gallery walk,” where they rotate around the room, visiting every painting and answering the following questions:
Piece #1: “Kindred Grace” by Leanne Poellinger
Piece #2: “Celebrate Diversity” by AnAngelia Thompson
Piece #3: “This One is For You” by Jennifer Amador-Gonzalez
Piece #4: “Equality in Bloom” by Micah Terry
Piece #5: “American Gothic” by Grant Wood
Piece #6: “Land of Plenty” by Tammy deGruchy
Come back together and discuss:
Activity 5: (20 minutes) DIFFERENCES & DIVERSITY
There are lots of things that make us different. As a whole group, brainstorm differences that we may have under each of these categories. Here are some ideas if students need them.
Family: single parents, twins, less money…
Culture: race, religion, nationality, clubs…
Friends: lots of friends, only a few friends…
School: reading is hard, excels in math…
Community: sports teams, volunteer…
Other: attitude, habits, preferences…
Differences can lead to arguments, but they don’t have to divide people. Watch the video, “Kid President How To Disagree” and have students summarize his main points by writing on the back of their handout. Have students share some of the notes that they wrote. Have a discussion:
Read these quotes and have students restate them in their own words:
Activity 6: (60–120 minutes) A CELEBRATION OF CULTURES
With a partner or 2, students will select a culture that is different from their own to research. They will create a digital collage on a shared slide that will be presented to the class. For each chosen image, students must have a fact prepared to share with the class. They should include no more than 15 images on their slides. Give students a time frame and the guidelines for their research project. Remind students to use safe image search engines and to pull from reputable sources.
Ideas for images in your digital collage:
Invite students to share their presentations with the whole class. As students are watching their peers present, invite them to take notes on new things that they learn. Those notes will be turned in at the end of the presentations.