Mulitcultural Monday:Skin Color Collage & Picture Books

I've been trying to find some good projects to share with you, but since I have a 3-year-old right now, I also want them to be something she can relate to. Thus I am sharing with you lots of picture books and such. I have lots of ideas of things to do with a group of older kids, but just one, not as much. The first book I want to talk about is a classic that we all know, Dr. Seuss's The Sneetches and Other Stories.
While reading this Saturday morning, Hazel and I took the time to talk about the pictures. Why do the plain belly sneetches look so sad? Do the star bellied ones? Why are the star bellied sneetches so mean to the plain bellied sneetches? These are a few of the questions we discussed and several of them were asked by Hazel. This is a wonderful story showing that looks do not matter. You can equate the stars to so many of the prejudices in our world--skin color, sexual orientation, disability, gender, age, etc. For those who do not know the story, the star bellied sneetches think they are the best sneetches and will not talk or associate with the plain bellied sneetches. Along comes a man with a machine to put stars on the plain bellied sneetches for a price. Then he has a machine to take the stars off the original star bellied sneetches for a more expensive price. They spend all of their money and day going in and out of the machines until no one can tell who is who. The man of course leaves with all of their money, but the sneetches realize that there is no difference between them.

The other stories in this book have similar themes or at least themes that teach lessons about differences, stubbornness, etc. The second story is The Zax. There are two zax in this story. One is a south going zax and the other a north going zax. The south going zax never go any direction besides south and the north only goes north. Well they bump into each other and neither is willing to step aside to let the other go, so the world grows around them and they miss out on their lives. Talk about a great story to talk about compromising and getting along. Hazel and I took the time to really discuss this and what was happening in it.

The next story, Too Many Daves, Hazel did not seem to like and asked me to stop reading in the middle of it. It is about a mother who named all of her twenty-three sons Dave. Needless to say it is about the confusion of having the same name.

The last story is a story I remember from my own childhood. I remember in kindergarten the class always wanted to listen to it during quiet time. (The teacher had it on an album.) It is What Was I Scared Of? It is a story of a creature (it is Dr. Seuss so I don't know what type of creature it is) that meets a pair of pale green pants with no one inside them one night. The creature then tells of a few more times where he runs into the pants at night. Needless to say the creature is scared of a pair of pants that can walk, ride a bike, etc. In the last instance of them meeting the creature screams for help but then notices the pants are crying and trembling with fear as well. He comforts the pants and then whenever they meet they say hi. Again, a great story for relating how people who are different do not  mean you have to be afraid. Something I need to work on with Hazel a bit more.

Now for a few more books and a project. You may remember a few weeks ago we explored the book The Color of Us by Karen Katz. We played with mixing paints to make the different shades of skin. This project goes right along  with it and could be used with The Color of Us as well as these books.
Shades of People by Shelley Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly is about the different shade of skin color. It has different pictures of all different shades and talks about skin like wrapping paper where you cannot tell what is inside a person.

The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler is about how we all have skin and it is yours, but your skin does not make you who you are. You still dream, think, act like you not based on your skin color.

All Kinds of Children by Norma Simon is another book talking about the similarities and differences between children around the world. All children need food and live in houses and have belly buttons. The houses may be different, but everyone lives somewhere. It goes on like that. It is a nice story bringing that we are all people no matter what our differences are.

Now for our simple project. I gave Hazel a bunch of magazines, catalogs and newspaper ads and had her cut out pictures of people of different colors. I helped with some and had to do some trimming on a few. Then we pulled out one of her The Colors of Us paintings to make a collage. I wanted her to glue them over the paint colors we came up with but she did not want to ruin her painting so we glued them on the back.
This gave her great practice in cutting!! Plus recognizing the different shades of people. One of my goals has been to get her comfortable with seeing people of different colors. We tend to have a mostly white community around us, but I want to expose her to the differences so she can be comfortable with anyone.

Do you have any good multicultural/diversity books to share?

This is where I link up...

1 comment:

  1. Great Post! We love Sneetches and the lessons they teach :)


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