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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Activity Ideas Page 4 Activity Notes Here are ways to identify and compare skin tones with children: Gather a wide range of skin-colored paint swatches from your local paint or hardware store. Ask the children to look at them and to choose the one that most closely matches their skin color. Mix paint with the children using brown, black, white, and red paint or powdered tempera. Talk about how no one is black, white, or red, but that those colors help make shades of brown. Mix and experiment until you reach a shade that each child believes most closely matches his or her own skin color. This activity helps demonstrate that we are all shades of brown. 30 Ask the children to come up with different names for the color of their skin. Because our vocabulary is limited in naming shades of skin color, en- courage creative thinking. Here’s a list of some creative words that could describe a variety of skin colors. (Hint: the names on the paint swatches can be a helpful starting point.) toasty cinnamon creamy cork dark oak sand castle tortilla smooth peanut butter gingersnap pearly seashell root beer golden wheat molasses redwood vanilla ice cream soft olive brownie coral cool caramel light coffee ecru sienna amber peachy salmon This activity gives children the power to describe who they are in the world as well as the knowledge that they have their own special color. Page 5 Activity Note This activity incorporates science (predicting, guessing) and language (recording children’s comments encourages language development). Ask the children how they think skin color is determined and write down all their guesses and ideas on a large sheet of paper as they vocalize them. Here’s an example of what your list could look like. Where Do We Get Our Skin Color? Anna: my mom Pierre: my birth mom Abdullahi: my mom and dad Page 11 Activity Note Have the children try to sequence their skin color ranging from dark- est (melanin most busy) to lightest (melanin not busy). They can do this either by using paint swatches or by actually lining up their own bodies. Place a poster on one end of the space titled “Not Busy Melanin” and at the other end of the space titled “Very Busy Melanin.” Ask the children, “Who do you think has the busiest melanin in our class?” “Who is the most protected from the sun?” This activity helps reframe everyone’s thinking and reinforces the fact that we have different colors of skin to protect us from the sun. Melanin Dark skin: very busy < > Light skin: not busy COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL