Last week our school took the chance to both, observe and also to celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. In addition to taking Monday off, our very own Miss Layne planned out a truly beautiful and important lesson for us to walk our way through for the rest of the week. In addition, midway through our school year, we had Miss Layne guest teaching for us for this lesson and week, which gave me the chance to take a step back and actually spend some time in observation, reflection. I loved this time, sometimes the busy nature of our toddler classroom robs us of the chance to pause and take in how much your children have grown and changed and appreciate the amazing people they are!
This past week, we read two books that helped us build the week and lesson around learning about and gaining an appreciation and value for diversity and equality. One of the books we explored last week was “The Sneetches” by Dr. Seuss; we also used a more serious book called “Martin’s Big Words” by Doreen Rappaport. We believe that the conversation about diversity and equality is vital at the stage of development that we are working with children, which is why these books are such a beneficial tool for a lesson plan such as the one we used last week, about diversity and equality. The Sneetches story helped us introduce the very important lesson that we may look different or similar on the outside but we are all important. “Martin’s Big Words” explores the true story of Martin Luther King Jr. and the struggle that he undertook many years ago, for equality.
We paired some important collaborative activities and art lessons with these wonderful books. I loved the activity we did to create a mural of our handprints, this involved each student getting a color on their hands, and they then mixed these with a partner to create their own unique and NEW color! We talked about how we need each other to work together and create new and unique things. We spent time together talking about how eggs and apples can look different from each other, in size, shape and color , yet when you crack them or cut them open, they are all the SAME on their inside.
Finally, we worked on a finger painting project, collaboration where two students patiently worked together to create a dove with different colors that represented collaboration, color mixing and togetherness. This also provided a fun artwork sensory experience.