Students explore the diversity of skin tones around the world, and reflect on (and challenge) their perceptions about skin color.
This activity supports the development of the following social-emotional skills: self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.
Engage students in a conversation about race and ethnicity. You might say: "Race refers to a group of people who might share physical characteristics, such as their skin color, facial features, and hair type. Ethnicity refers to the culture, customs, and traditions that are shared by a group of people, such as language, religion, nationality, and heritage. In short, we inherit our race, and learn our ethnicity."
Then, lead a discussion about the diversity of skin color by watching the 4-minute video below with your students. Consider using this language from "All the Colors We Are" by Katie Kissinger to introduce skin color to students: “When we think about someone’s race, we may associate it with the color of their skin. Our skin tone comes from our family and how close we live to the equator, as well as melanin, which is ‘tiny grains of coloring’ in our skin. If we have darker skin, we have a lot of melanin. If we have lighter skin, we have less melanin. When we spend time in the sun, this can activate our melanin, making our skin darker.”
After watching the video, engage students in a discussion by asking the following questions:
This activity was created in partnership with Project 2043 and the Greater Good Science Center.