Variety and inclusion actions for again to high school

We all know that the first days of school lay the foundation for the whole year. As educators, one of our immediate goals is to ensure that all of our students from different cultures and backgrounds feel integrated and supported in our classroom so that they are ready to learn. To welcome students back to school, here are six printable diversity and inclusion activities from Read for a Better World, a new collection on literacy in the classroom, the books, lessons, and activities on Identity, Diversity, Justice and action includes.

1. Jigsaw Pieces Made by Me (Pre-K-1)

This activity uses identity as a theme. It is based on the idea that gathering all of the little things you do together is what makes you who you are. Part of your identity is made up of things you enjoy doing. The puzzle pieces in this activity encourage self-reflection and group discussion. This is another way for students to share more about who they are when you welcome them back to school.

How it works: Have students write their names on the top of the page. Then have them draw a picture of what they like to eat, what they love to do most, what they look like, and what color they are on each piece of the puzzle.

Will be printable: Puzzle pieces from me

2. Family portrait (Pre-K-1)

Much of a child’s early worldview is shaped by caregivers and family members. A student’s identity is influenced in their life by these adults, and this activity gives them the opportunity to share their families with their classmates. You can encourage them to include family members who are not biologically related to them. Ask them key questions like: What makes a family? How do family members support each other?

How it works: Have students draw a picture of their family. Then answer a few questions about their families. For example: My family takes care of me by … helping my family by …

Will be printable: Family portrait

3. Interview with Classmates (Grades 2-3)

This activity helps students discover all of the many similarities and differences. It states that, despite differences, our identity makes the world a more interesting and beautiful place. And it helps students figure out how much they have in common. Additionally, this activity is designed to build empathy by actively learning about others.

How it works: Start by talking about how we are all different from each other and how we are the same. You can write the student’s answers on a dry-erase board. Then have the students pair up and interview each other. Have students take turns asking the same four questions on the assignment sheet.

Will be printable: Job interview with classmates

4.Shaped by location (grades 2-3)

This activity explores the importance of the place and surroundings that make us who we are. This helps students understand how people are shaped by where they live. This can be an opportunity to reflect on how the places they spend their time contribute to our understanding of who they are.

How it works: Focus on the idea that a place makes you who you are. Have students answer these three questions three times: What am I doing here? Who do I like here? How do i feel here?

Will be printable: Shaped according to location

5.Outer Me, Inner Me (Grades 4-5)

This diversity and inclusion activity is great for welcoming students back to school as it invites them to explore their identity and their inner and outer selves. Invite students to think about the feelings they have within and the identities they share with the world. Remind students that identity is something people can see and that there are parts of yourself that are hidden.

How it works: Ask students to draw a realistic self-portrait. You could bring a photo to class and work on it. Ask students to draw the photo based on what they think people will see when they look at it. This would be the “outer me”. Using the worksheet, students answer questions about themselves, such as: What do people think when they look at me? My friends would say I am …?

Then ask students to draw a self-portrait of themselves based on what people don’t see when they look at them. They can answer questions like: One thing people don’t know about me is … I think I am …

Will be printable: Outer me, inner me

6. My Media (Grades 4-5)

This activity helps students think critically about diversity and representation in what they see. You begin to understand the importance of fair and accurate portrayal in film and television. Invite students to think about whether the programs they are watching represent a diverse community of people. You can take this opportunity to talk about the history of American film and television. How black characters were once played by white actors in “Black face”. Invite students to think about their responsibilities in what they see and how they could change it.

How it works: Have students answer questions about what they see, mainly focusing on the characters. Students will find out how the characters are similar to them and how different they are. They wonder if the character is personable and describe how they behave.

Will be printable: My media

Would you like 6 more printable activities for Diversity and Inclusion?

Help your students grow as readers and people with 6 more Printable Activities for Diversity and Inclusion + Tips on How to Talk to Students About Diversity, Inclusion, Identity, Justice, and Read for a Better World Action. It’s a new literacy collection for grades Pre-K through 5 that includes classroom libraries with authentic and culturally relevant texts.

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