We are excited to be starting our 4th year of KC Kids Unite in Kansas City, MO! We enter this year stronger than ever with 13 participating classroom across the metro area. Our dedicated team of teachers met in January and April, collaborating and developing student experiences built on the foundation of shared stories and authentic connections. This work plays out across three weeks at the classroom level and culminates at the beginning of May with a 3-day, city-wide writing celebration.
During the first week students study and explore their identity from the lens of “Where I’m From.” The text, The Skin I’m In by Pat Thomas guides students to think about their nationality in connection to their ethnicity, and presents students with information to think about their race at a scientific and genealogic level. Through this activity students come to recognize that each of us are connected to countries all over the world.
With this foundation laid, students read Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester, using this book as a mentor text for writing their own story, looking beyond skin color and surface-level qualities to share with the world who they are, using their family history as a guiding source of information. The week culminates with students using only the three primary colors and white or black for shading to create their unique skin tone. This powerful project helps students realize that no matter the color of our skin, we are all made up of the same 3-4 colors. It is certainly a unifying moment that builds community within and across classrooms, as students write to one another and share the work they have done this week.
Check out the pictures below for in action shots!
Researching family history on familysearch.org
Mixing paint and adding hand prints to grade level poster to see just how many different shades of color we represent.
Stay tuned for our Week 2 work focused on “Who I Am.” #KCKidsUnite