We Are Different: We Are the Same

Diversity activities teach young children to respect and celebrate the differences in all people. For this activity, we used multi-colored plastic eggs to do just this.

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We initiated the activity with a discussion of what diversity is, followed by a compare and contrast of the different eggs used. What are the main difference in these eggs?  Is one color better than the other?

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Within each egg were jewels of the same color. As each child opened their eggs, they noted that all eggs, regardless of color, all had the same amount and color of jewels. This led to a discussion regarding how people are the same and how they are different, and that things such as hair color, what toys you like, and the color of your skin are not as important as being a good friend.

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Teaching diversity to preschoolers provides a broad understanding of how children are each unique in their own ways. This process helps children learn more about who they are and is an avenue for teaching respect and acceptance of others. Multicultural lesson plans should combine content with hands-on learning experiences that bring diversity understanding alive. As children are challenged with new ideas, critical thinking skills are ignited and compassion for others is developed.

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Friendship Bracelets

Children thrive in inclusive settings where each child is an important part of the community. When differences are celebrated
and similarities discovered, children learn to value themselves, appreciate their peers, and develop meaningful and significant relationships with one another.

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Often the preschool years mark a child’s introduction to the world of peers and peer relationships. Research supports the notion that children benefit in many ways from positive peer interactions. In early childhood programs, friendships foster a sense of connection and security and build self-esteem and self-confidence, helping young children adapt more readily to the preschool setting.

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For this reason, we try to introduce projects that foster these connections. Using pipe cleaners and beads, we created friendship bracelets, and then handed them out to our friends. If one child already had a bracelet from a friend, we kept looking to find another one! The overarching goal was to ensure that all students were included. Activities such as these provide important opportunities for children to learn and develop compassion, sharing, and a sense of community.

Togetherness Painting

Your little ones celebrated the joys of making and having friends with our friendship theme. They engaged in sharing and caring activities, games, songs, rhymes, and literature.

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The togetherness painting activity was a starting point for one particular discussion about friendship behaviors: the act of sharing. This behavior was reinforced when students worked together to paint a picture.

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Friendship Bags

During the 1950s and ’60s, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. recognized the power of service to strengthen communities and achieve common goals. Initiated by Congress in 1968, Martin Luther King Day builds by honoring his teachings of nonviolence and social justice.

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To integrate Dr. King’s principles of service into our theme, we decided to make friendship bags for our friends. Teaching preschoolers about friendship prepares them for success in kindergarten and beyond.

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Making friends is a learned skill and takes practice. For this activity, each student drew a picture for each classmate, and under that picture, noted something nice about their friend.

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Craft Stick Letter Making

Effective phonemic awareness instruction teaches young children to notice, think about, and manipulate the shapes in spoken language.

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Articulation and letter segmentation are two important components of this instruction. For the young child, one way to promote letter-sound correspondence is through the use of manipulatives.

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For this activity we constructed the letter M using craft sticks with velcro attached at the ends.

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Students maneuvered the sticks, using the velcro as an adhesive. Once completed, we practiced articulating the “m” sound with our mouths, noting the shape our mouths made, and the different sounds that we produced.

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