Different Colors of Beauty

Grade Level

The overall goal of these lessons is to help students develop their racial or ethnic identities in a safe and open classroom environment. Each lesson capitalizes on a slightly different modality of learning. The lessons offer questions and conversation starters to help build understanding and community.

Because issues of skin color, race and racial identity can be complicated, each lesson offers additional guidance for teachers in a section on professional development. These sections will help you build a safe, open and accepting classroom and school community.

Looking Closely at Ourselves
Students paint self-portraits and use visual arts to begin exploring skin color.

Looking at Race and Racial Identity Through Critical Literacy in Children’s Books
Students look critically at the literature in their school and classroom libraries and develop an understanding of racial stereotypes.

Sharing Our Colors: Writing Poetry
Students explore their own sense of racial identity by reading and writing poetry.

Family Colors: Interviewing Our Families
Students develop interviewing and reporting skills. They will talk to their families and develop a historical understanding of racial bias.

Painting Beauty: Creating Self-Portraits
Students apply and continue to develop a more nuanced understanding of skin color, race and beauty by painting and critiquing more advanced self-portraits.

Students reflect on and celebrate the concepts they have developed and their growing sense of community. They set goals for themselves as community members and fighters of stereotypes and bias.