Regardless of your views on MLK Jr, there is no denying the role he played in the fight for equality for everyone. This is an easy concept to demonstrate to young children as they are becoming more aware that God did not make everyone the same. MLK Jr also believed in doing for others.
As a parent, I stress that even though we don't all look the same, act the same or live the same, we are all special to God and if someone is special to God, they should be special to us. Also, we should be looking to serve others whenever we can.
Side note: I don't think that it is necessarily fair to treat everyone exactly the same because God didn't make us all truly the same. For example, I agree that handicap people should have reserved parking closer to a building. While this may not seem "fair" to other people, I see it as allowing handicapped people equal access to a place they may not otherwise be able to go.
I love these first two activities as they demonstrate that it's not what's on the outside that matters, but that we are all the "same" on the inside. I found both of these ideas at www.everythingpreschool.com.
Different Eggs: Buy some brown eggs and white eggs. Let your child observe the eggs. Ask "How are the eggs the same? different?" Let your child open up one of each color egg. The message is very clear. While the eggs are different on the outside, they are the same on the inside. Explain to your child that this is just like people. God did not make us to look all the same, but basically, we are the same on the inside. Then, use the eggs to make something with your child.
Different Presents: Buy a pack of stickers (or three of some other small item) and wrap them as three different presents. Wrap one very pretty, one simple and put the last one in just a plain box. Have your child look at the boxes. Talk about how they are the same and different. Let your child pick a present to open. Ask him/her why she chose the gift she did. (How many of us have been at a White Elephant party and pick the package that "looks" nice?) Then, open the other two presents. While the presents are all wrapped different, the inside is the same; again just like people.
Take it further: Introduce the word "discrimination" and talk about what it means. Ask your child how he/she would feel if he/she were not allowed to do something because of the color of his/her eyes, hair, skin, whether or not he/she was wearing pants, the color of his/her shoes, etc. How does God want us to treat people?
This song is a nice follow-up.
sung to: “Yankee Doodle”
by: Jean Warren; www.preschoolexpress.com
Once there was a man named King
Who dreamed that everyone
Would not be judged by their looks,
But by the work they’d done.
Martin Luther was his name.
Let’s help his dream come true.
Equality for everyone.
It’s up to me and you!
Take it further: Read Sesame Street's We're Different, We're the Same. I used to read this book when I did my "All About Me" theme, but it would also be a good extender for this activity.
*Smile at someone you see
*Hold the door for someone
*Let someone go ahead of you in line
*Give a hug (make sure you ask first!)
For more books relevant to this topic, check out this link.
We all should be thankful for the sacrifices and advancements made by Martin Luther King, Jr to work towards equality for all. I hope that these activities will help your child learn more about who he was and what he stood for.
**All photos and text are property of Angela Pounders and can not be distributed without permission.
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