culture,  diversity,  focus on the standards,  social studies

Social Studies Activities for Preschool

We’re working on social studies standards, and the timing worked out particularly well because today’s standard lends itself to Martin Luther King Day. Remember, the Standards that I use every day, and am most comfortable with are Ohio’s Early Learning Development Standards – you can review them here, however I’ve found that even if your State’s standards differ, many of these activities can still be aligned similarly. I’ve rounded up some great ideas today!

Domain: Social Studies
Strand: Geography
Topic: Human Systems

Preschool standards are most concerned with making sure that students recognize similarities and differences between people, families, as well as recognizing characteristics of different cultural groups.  Last year my class was fascinated by our discussion of skin color.  It wasn’t a planned lesson, but after reading a great book on the subject, the students wanted to know more.  

We read All the Colors We Arewhich explains where our skin color comes from in a way that is scientific and developmentally appropriate.  Then we took a picture of all of their hands next to each other so that they could look at the photo and compare

Finally, I put out paint chips in a variety of skin tones, and they attempted to find the one that most closely matched their own skin color.  Here are some other ideas for exploring cultural characteristics; 
The egg lesson provides a great visual to show children that we may look different on the outside, but we’re all the same on the inside. Visit Kids Activities Blog for more details.
Explore beans in the sensory bin is a great way to consider skin color – the beans are all different colors, but they are also all beans.  You could even make soup with different kinds of beans and discuss how they all work together to make the soup taste good. More ideas for this exploration are on My Happy Crazy Life.
What are some of your favorite activities for celebrating cultural diversity? Share them in the comments!

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