A Lesson in Diversity and Equality for Kids

black history month activity

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.!  This lesson is perfect for this time of the year when we are teaching about black history month and celebrating the wonderful contributions of African Americans.  I was reading the book Big Words (a story about Martin Luther King Jr.) to my kids and I don’t know how many times a puddle of tears gathered around my eyes as I was reminded of the treatment African Americans endured and the courage people like Dr. King displayed.

The materials you need for this lesson is simple but what your children will walk away with is beautiful.

A Lesson in Diversity and Equality for Kids

You’ll need:

  • 1 crayon
  • coloring sheet

Basically, you’ll ask your child to pick one color from the box of crayons.  Once they choose it you’ll explain that this is the color they will use for their assignment and only this color.  Explain that they are the people who didn’t believe in equality and that you are the person that does and hopes to change their mind.

Hand them a coloring sheet and let them color.  These were the types of remarks I heard from my two boys 10 and 7.  Can I have another color?  This is boring. This is ugly with just one color.  I don’t like how it looks.  Your picture looks so much more prettier than mine (I got to use all the colors).  I’m tired of just using one color.

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And it was exactly what I wanted to hear.  I reminded them, they had to only use one color because they were the group which didn’t believe in equality and diversity.

They finished their coloring and so did I and this is when we had the opportunity to discuss how this activity was similar to what the people back in Martin Luther King Jr.’s time believed.  They didn’t want all of the colors to be mixed. They wanted segregation and they didn’t believe that we were all created equal.

Then I had them look at the pictures and I asked do you like your one color picture.  Their response was what I expected–they didn’t like it. But they oohed and ahhed about mine because it had so many different colors all on one page.

Exactly, yes the world is a beautiful place because it’s diverse.  Can you imagine living in a world like this where everything was orange (I picked up one of their coloring pages).

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  1. That’s a beautiful message. I love that we are diverse and there is so much variety to enjoy. I come from the Dominican Republic, where we don’t have a standard color or face, and it’s just beautiful to see the racial collage on the streets. Great job, Mari!