To let children experience prejudice first hand, in reference to Martin Luther King Day.
- Before I mention Martin Luther King, I pass out morning snacks to only half of my class. (This year I only gave them to the boys.)
- When the other children question this, I explain that only the boys are getting snacks today. The rest of the class will be quite put out at this point.
- I wait about 5-10 minutes and call them to our story rug, without any explanation for my actions. I start to read the picture book of Martin Luther King’s life.
- After I have completed reading the story, I ask the children who did not receive snacks how they felt about that. They are usually still very upset with me.
- Then I ask those who did receive snacks how they felt.
- Now I explain that I was demonstrating prejudice or unequal treatment.
- The children have a greater understanding of how unfairly black people were treated in Mr. King’s day.
- Finally, I give morning snack to those children I skipped earlier. I have a worksheet made to send home so the parents know about our lesson. I explain what we did and have each child express their feelings during my lesson.
As hard as it is to slight my children in this lesson, I feel that it is a real learning experience for them.
Grade Level(s): K
By: MB Farris, Kindergarten Teacher