Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Anti Bias Curriculum

Anti-Bias Curriculum

I had the privilege of going to an Anti-Bias Curriculum workshop this week at Lesley University, and I wanted to share just a sampling of the ideas I gathered for inspiration!  Even though we may be doing our "All Around The World" unit this month, it is a good time to reflect to ensure that you are talking about these things all year round

Please use this checklist to reflect on  your own classroom environment. http://www.adl.org/education/anti-bias.pdf

Take a look at your classroom library?  Do you have books that represent all cultures, family dynamics, abilities and races?   If not, check out the library or AMAZON.com!  Here are a few to get you started!

Whoever You Are   The Colors Of Us   The Crayon Box That Talked     I Love My Hair
By Mem Fox                  By Karen Katz                    By Shane Derolf         By Natasha Anastasia Tarpley

Mommy, Mama and Me     A Tale of Two Mommies   Daddy Papa and Me                                       
By Lesléa Newman           By Vanita Oelschlager                  By Leslea Newman

No Fair To Tigers/No Es Justo  Play Lady/La Senora Juguetona  Best Best Colors/Los Mejores Colores   ALL By Eric Hoffman

Egg Activity
Materials: one raw brown egg, one raw white egg, bowl, white construction paper, colored chart paper (your choice), glue, scissors
In advance copy egg shapes (ovals) on the white construction paper, one for each child. Prepare a class graph on the colored chart paper with two columns, one titled “Same” and the other “Different”.
Gather the students in a circle and examine the eggs; compare and contrast them. Next, ask the students if they think the eggs are the same or different inside. Ask them why they answered the way they did (i.e. “why do you think the brown egg has brown ‘stuff’ inside?”).
Next, have the students each cut out one paper egg and place it on the graph in the column of their choice.
Finally, gather the students in the circle again and crack the eggs into the bowl. Pass the bowl around so the students can see the yolks are exactly the same. Ask the students the significance of the outcome and how it relates to skin color (i.e. “we are all the same on the inside”)

Gift Bag Activity
Materials: one plain brown lunch bag, one plain solid colored gift bag- not shiny or fancy, and one really fancy gift bag with a pretty design and lots of “glitz” and tissue paper sticking out the top- the works. You will also need 3 of the same type of item, like 3 blocks or 3 boxes of crayons- your choice.
Place one of the 3 items of your choice into each bag and display in front of the class. Have a class discussion about which bag the students would like to receive and why. Next, open each bag one at a time in front of the class. The students will see that all 3 bags, although very different on the outside all contained the very same thing inside. This can lead to a great discussion about how people are all different on the outside, but same on the inside.

Yo Soy Unico - Matching Game
 Take photographs of each child's eyes, hair and face in your classroom.  Laminate so you have a new Matching Game to do during Small Group time. 

Block Area -
Tape photographs of your children onto your wooden blocks. Children can then re-enact family structures or whatever else inspires them!

Differing abilities:
  • Have the children try drawing a picture with a blindfold on, or with their non-dominant hand. 
  • Place large gloves in the sensory area and have them try to put together blocks or play with toys wearing the gloves.
  • Make a sensory bag and have them feel and guess what items are in the bag without seeing it. 
  • Be sure to include "people" toys representing various cultures and abilities mixed in with your other "people" toys. 
Pre-K History Lesson on Rosa Parks- (with Martin Luther King Jr. Day around the corner...)
Using a toy bus or a cardboard one that you make, re-enact the story of Rosa Parks refusing to move to the back of the bus.  When Martin Luther King Jr. heard about this, he then initiated a Boycott on the Montgomery, Alabama buses.  After the boycott, then the Supreme Court passed a law stating that segregation on the buses was unconstitutional.  This initiated the Civil Rights movement of the 1960's.  Encourage the children to act it out with chairs as well and talk about how it would make them feel. 

I Have a Dream Cloud
Materials: crayons, white construction paper, scissors, glue
Discuss with your class that Dr. King had a dream; his dream was to make the world a better place. The song of the same title above is very helpful for this activity. Discuss with your class what this phrase means and brainstorm ways that they could help make the world a better place. Next, have your students draw on the white construction paper with crayons and illustrate a way that they could make the world a better place. Cut these masterpieces out with scissors in a cloud shape and make a wall display or you can hang them from the ceiling so the clouds will appear to be floating above you.

What is Discrimination?
Materials: Signs with rules that will be enforced in each classroom area.
Description: Teach young children about discrimination by hanging signs or post signs in each center with a picture of, for example, sneakers with a circle around it and a slash through it. This means that for the next hour, no one with sneakers on may play in that center. Use your imagination, you can do girls, boys, long hair, short hair etc.  Discuss feelings during circle time.
Skin-Color Match-Ups

Set out a number of nylon knee-high stockings in various shades, tan, black, white, pink, yellow, and red. Encourage children to try them on their hands and arms or their legs and feet. Ask questions to help the children increase their awareness of skin color. For example, "Can you find a stocking that is the same color as your skin?" Or "What color is that stocking you have on your arm?" Ask the children to "Try the _________ stocking. Is it lighter or darker than your own skin?" Tell the children no one's skin color is really white, pink, yellow, or red. Emphasize that skin-color differences are interesting and desirable.

Ask parents to give you a tiny bit of hair from each child. If parents cannot do this, use photographs of different hairstyles and hair-care products for the children to use, explore, and talk about. If parents do give you the hair, paste the hair from each child on a 3" x 5" index card, put them in a box, and ask the children to identify each bit of hair. Talk about how hair has texture and curl. For instance, some people have fine hair while others have coarse hair. Some people have straight hair, and others have curly hair. Talk about how people have different hair colors and lengths. Take a photo of each child's face and make a collage of different hairstyles.

Family Finger Puppets
Using Plaster of Paris and casting tape, (or use papier mache = paper and glue/water mixture, or just paper) wrap each child's finger with the tape and let it dry.  Once it has hardened, have the children decorate their family...maybe they have two mommies, maybe an intergenerational family, or perhaps two sets of families where they live with mommy sometimes and daddy sometimes.  Use the puppets in your puppet theater for acting out important stories that you write together as a class!  It's important to recognize that everyone has their own special family and it's okay!

If you are looking for more information about Anti-Bias Curriculum, here is a good, short article to get started!
Happy Long Weekend!

Jacie Feinberg, Education Director
Pine Village Preschool

214 Lincoln Street Suite 112
Allston, MA 02135
781-710-2348 (cell)

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