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Teaching Diversity: All the Colors of the Earth

by Sheila Hamanaka


Grades: K-2

CASEL Standard: Social awareness:  The abilities to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures and contexts

Character Education Lesson Objective: To understand and appreciate that people look different, but that everyone can work and learn together


Part 1: 

  • Have you ever looked around at nature while you were outside?  What do you notice about the flowers and the trees?
  • The flowers and the trees all look different.  They are different heights, different colors and different shapes.  Flowers and trees even grow in different places. 
  • Even though the flowers and the trees are all different, they are all beautiful and they all grow and live with each other.
  • Did you know that people are like that too?
  • People are different heights, colors and shapes, but they are all beautiful and all grow and live with each other.
  • Let’s look around the room.  What do you notice about our friends in our room? 
  • We are all different heights.  Some of us are short and some of us are tall. 
  • We are also all different shapes and all different colors and we all work together and grow together here in our classroom.
  • Now, I am going to have you find a partner.  You and your partner should look at each other.  You will then draw a picture of you and your partner together. 
  • Make sure you show what makes each of you different and beautiful.  If your partner is very tall, make sure that your drawing shows your partner being very tall.  If your partner is shorter than you are, make sure that your drawing shows your partner shorter than you.
  • I have a worksheet for you to draw your picture on.  We will then share our drawings when we are done.

Part 2: 

  • We are going to be reading a book called, All the Colors of the Earth by Sheila Hamanaka.
  • Read the book.
  • Did you have a favorite page?  What was your favorite page and why?
  • Did you ever think about the fact that people come in all colors?  There are so many different colors that people come in and many of them are shown in this book.
  • Can you think of people you know who are different colors like in the book? 
  • At the end of the book, the author writes, “Children come in all the colors of the earth and sky and sea.”  It is so important to remember that even though people may look different than you do, we can all be friends and grow and learn together.

Part 3: 

  • In the book that we just heard, the author compares the color of different children to colors that are found in nature.
  • I am going to say the colors that the author names.  I want you to think about what color you might be most like.
  • The roaring browns of bears and soaring eagles, the whispering golds of late summer grasses, the crackling russets of fallen leaves, and the tinkling pinks of tiny seashells.  (Show the pages of the book while talking about the colors if possible.)
  • It is really neat to think that all of us are different colors and we all look like some object in nature.
  • You are now going to be thinking about what object that you find in nature you think you look like.  Try to think of something that is different from what the author wrote about in the book we just read.
  • I am going to give you a worksheet that has a sentence that starts with, “I am the color of ____.”  In the blank space, you will write down the object that you chose that represents your color. You are then going to draw a picture of you and the object that you chose, just like in the illustrations in the book.
  • When you are done, we can hang them up so that we can remember that we come in all different colors, but we can all still get along and grow and learn together.

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Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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