KC Kids Unite Week 3 Curriculum Podcast Transcript and Resources

Podcast Transcript:

The third and final week of the curriculum asks students to envision “Where they’re going?” with a focus toward activism.  Using the text, Courage of the Blue Boy, students consider the impact of environment on our existence and behavior within a broader global society.  After reading the text, students create a neighborhood map complete with street names, landmarks, neighbors’ houses, memories and meaningful spaces that make their neighborhood unique.  They highlight each place by “zooming in” on them through artistic and/or literary means.  Students then write about a place (or two) that has particular significance to them. The priority in this lesson is to share, from a place of personal strength, what makes your space stand out from all others and why.  

Before drafting their neighborhood map, students discuss the following questions:

  • How did the author use color as a symbol to express a larger message?  
  • What does the author want the reader to understand?  
  • Have you ever been somewhere you felt out of place?  Where? Why were you uncomfortable?  

Having this opportunity to brainstorm the text and community in conjunction with one another sets the students up begin drawing their neighborhood map with greater intention, critically thinking about their use of color and what message they want their map to portray that accurately depicts their community or neighborhood.  This again layers in the conversation of stereotypes from week 1–what is it that people believe about our communities? Is that accurate? If not, why is this the image being portrayed? How do we change it?

The next day students watch the documentary, Our Divided City to gain a broader understanding of how communities are isolated and marginalized in Kansas City.  We also read the book, The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson, connecting the symbolism of the fence in the text to the Troost Wall in Kansas City. Students work more closely with Kansas City’s history learning about the injustices plaguing our city today, and the historical implications of this that we are still working to overcome.  Students return to their neighborhood map, considering where they see division and unity within their own community, what causes it, and how we can continue to spread unity and fight against division. Students get time to work on their maps on this day as well.

For the socratic seminar, students bring forward the idea of beauty from the week prior to consider their role in creating unity and beauty within their communities, which include, but are not limited to their classroom community, school community, neighborhood, sports and extracurriculars.

To culminate the week with collaborative group work, we read Maybe Something Beautiful by Isabel Campoy and The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson to continue contemplating meaningful change in our community.   Students develop a place-based writing piece focused on the impact of one’s community in shaping their identity within the world. They also analyze their map for its unseen or unrecognized beauty.  They consider what Mira did to bring beauty into her community. They consider the stories of Nadja and Rigoberto and Angelina in The Day You Begin to think about how they used their voices and personal stories to bring about change. The place-based writing students create works to the same for the youth of Kansas City, and leads them into the culminating community and art-based field trip with a passion and fire for change!



Multimedia Resources:

Our Divided City: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJS9aPW8kd4


Podcast Episode #3 Transcript and Resources for KC Kids Unite Week 2 Curriculum

Podcast Transcript:

During the second week, students navigate the present by inquiring, “Who am I?”   The text, The Best Part of Me by Wendy Ewald, guides us in the topic exploration of internal beauty and its importance over the image of external beauty projected by society.  Students spend time drawing and writing about the best part of themselves and how they are able to contribute to the broader community through these features.  The following day students watch an Ellen clip that addresses the nonsensical standards and definitions surrounding beauty in our world today. Doing it only as Ellen can, through humor, viewers see the superficiality placed on beauty through marketing, and what it means to look at and for beauty through more authentic means.  After viewing, students get in small groups to discuss what beauty means to them, how are there different ways to be beautiful, is beauty important, and where is beauty found in your everyday life. The following day, two of those questions are brought into the socratic seminar for even deeper discussion. The two questions are–what does beauty mean to you and beyond yourself, where do you find beauty in your everyday life?  This socratic seminar leads into the collaborative group work at the end of the week, which again culminates with several potential products. The first is students recording themselves on video recording site, Flip Grid, to share their answers and discussion points from their small group and socratic seminar discussions from the previous day. If you have not used Flip Grid before it is incredibly user friendly and allows a space for students to outline their notes/thoughts on screen to reference as they record themselves, making the recording feel more natural and authentic.


To connect to week one, students work with the art teacher to create a class mural representing each person’s skin tone through a painted handprint.  In this activity, students mix the three primary colors–red, yellow and blue–to create their unique skin tone. Finding it’s not possible, the colors white, brown, and black are added for shading.  As students find it necessary to use 4-5 colors to create their skin tone they realize none of us can be labeled by a single color and, that just like fingerprints, no two skin tones are the same. Two additional books that can lead into the paint project are Shades of People by Shelley Rotner and The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler.  Then using their skin tone paint, they also create a self portrait, highlighting what makes them beautiful, referring back to the work done at the beginning of the week with Wendy Ewald’s text, The Best Part of Me.  In addition to the self portrait, they also write creatively about the best part of themselves. These are hung about the room for a gallery walk, offering the opportunity for their peers to provide feedback and see the work of each student.  Some teachers have even published them into their own classroom version of the Best Part of Me and put that book in their classroom library.  Having established a strong sense of identity over the past two weeks, students enter week three empowered to take action.


Thank you for listening, and we hope you join us again tomorrow for the final curriculum episode where we’ll review week 3. Unrelated to that,  I do think there was something funky going on with my sound tonight and I couldn’t get it fixed, so if you had trouble hearing any parts of this know that I’ll post the transcript to the blog and you can find the information there too along with the resources and student work mentioned here.  Again the blog URL is http://www.kckidsunite.blog. I hope you’ll check it out. Thanks!



The Best Part of Me

Ellen Clip: https://youtu.be/BCMr6BZFHzo 


Student Work:

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KC Kids Unite Podcast Episode 2: Curriculum Overview and Week 1 Resources

See below for images and links to resources outlined in the latest podcast found on Anchor, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Breaker, Pocket Casts, and Radio Public.


If She Only Knew Me


Multimedia Synthesis Resources:

Momondo Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyaEQEmt5ls

National Geographic Twins video: https://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/magazine/00000162-0d8a-dfb4-a1ef-1fdbb79f0000

Georgia Ella Lyons “Where I’m From”