Throughout the year in Kindergarten, as an integral part of Social Studies, Teachers Jaime and Stephanie have focused on an in-depth multidisciplinary study of identity. Through this unit, the students have explored and discovered ways they are similar to and different from their classmates and, specifically, what makes them unique and special. The students explored topics such as hair and the importance it has within different cultures, eye color and the science of genes, gender stereotypes and how we can break away from them, and completed a project highlighting attributes that the students think are "the best" about themselves.
On one such project, the Kindergarteners worked on life-sized self-portraits which are now displayed around the class. While creating these beautiful pieces, the students learned about skin color and some of the science of how melanin and the sun help make each of our skin tones unique. While mixing paints, the students discovered that even though they all started with the same base colors, their skin tones varied, echoing the message that we are all different shades of tan. The students then compared their skin colors to different spices and foods as a way to use other words to describe different skin pigments.
Most recently, the students learned about family structures. Rather than just creating family trees that tend to favor a "nuclear" family, the students created their family circles that included all the individuals who help create their special family identity - core family, extended family, family friends, neighbors, or anyone else important to their family structure. The students were excited to share all of the amazing people in their lives and how they are important to them!
Thank you Teachers Jaime and Stephanie for all of these amazing lessons about individuality and what makes us all unique!