The cost of various materials for student self portraits and for multicultural studies is $1336, including shipping and <a target="new" href="http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm" onclick="g_openWindow('http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.
I'm a Kindergarten teacher at Alice Fong Yu Alternative School in San Francisco. We are the nation's first Chinese immersion public school. All of the students are English speaking and come to our school to learn Cantonese as a second language. Most of the students come into Kindergarten not knowing a word of Cantonese. But by the time they finish their first year of school, they understand simple directions, enjoy listening to Chinese stories, and even discuss current events! As a Kindergarten teacher, I often notice that some children have trouble seeing that their features are special and unique. Children watch a lot of television and they pick up on the subtle messages that blond and blue eyes are beautiful or skinny is prettier.
Over the years, I've been teaching students about differences and similarities in each other. I have students look at themselves in a mirror. We discuss what we see. We talk about what we all have in common and we talk about how we are different. During the lesson, students will see that everyone has slightly different skin color, or eye color, and/or hair color. I feel it is important for them to know that we are all the same, but different and that is a good thing!
After looking in the mirror, I have students draw self-portraits using different mediums. Often times, crayons, markers, color pencils, paints, even construction paper only come with "peach" or "brown" color for face colors. But this is not the only color we should use for our skin color! I've seen African American students use peach, or Asian American students use yellow for their hair. It would be nice to have crayons, markers, paper, color pencils, and paint in multicultural colors.
This is a great activity to learn and reaffirm their cultural identity.
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