“Sunflower leaf, big and wide– Who does it hide?”A child hides behind a sunflower leaf while we sing. We move the leaf to the side revealing a classmate’s face. When they peek out, we call out their name. This variation of hide-and-seek helps children to notice their classmates and to learn their names.This is a key to building classroom community.
After I introduce the Sunflower Leaf interactive song, I use the Family Share to invite children to consider: When we look to find you behind the leaf, what color eyes will we see? What type and color hair will we see?
I then invite small groups of children to draw themselves. Most start by picking the oil pastel color closest to their own eye color and the shade closest to their own hair. I ask each child to look in the mirror and notice, What is a part of your real face that’s not yet a part of your drawing? Children notice more facial features and details, adding them as they continue to compare their reflection with their self-portrait.
I’ll encourage children to look closely at themselves, their families and their peers throughout the school year. We’ll appreciate our physical similarities along with our physical differences. In this way, we support each child to delight in themselves, appreciate common traits, and to be comfortably curious about physical differences. This simple invitation paves the way for relaxed, open and honest observations of differences, rather than seeing it as taboo. Valuing difference is fundamental to an anti-bias education.