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Students will understand what bias and diversity are.
By the end of the lessons, students will be able to:
- Define diversity and bias
- Understand the importance of embracing diversity
- Celebrate what makes them unique
We live in a diverse world. Children as young as two years old start noticing differences in those around them. Thus, it is important we explicitly teach students about diversity and bias from an early age. When youth learn to respect and value all people, no matter the similarities or differences, they are able to feel more connected to others, have higher levels of social awareness, and create stronger relationships.
We start with a mindfulness practice in which students connect with their pulse. Then, choose an introduction topic that students reflect on. After that, the Munchy and Jumpy story tells about the bunnies’ reaction to their new babysitter, Scooty the skunk. After the first day is filled with bias and judgement towards Scooty, the bunnies do a double-day, give him a chance, and find him to be an extraordinary babysitter. For young students to understand diversity they must also have a sense of their own identity, which is why the activity that follows involves students creating self-portraits. We recommend having art supplies available that represent your students’ skin tones! Students reflect in their journal at the end of the class.
This lesson does not require any real modifications for online learning. Use the Munchy and Jumpy story as the anchor of the lesson. For the Self-Portrait activity, students will need to have a piece of paper and some type of art supplies at home (a pen or pencils, markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.).
For the Mindful Moment, have students turn off their cameras.
Consider adding in one or two of the videos from the lesson variations.
Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.