There’s a great big wide world of colors out there. And we’re not just talking about your kiddo’s box of Crayolas. When second grade teacher Aeriale Johnson wanted to help her kiddos better understand the beauty of diversity, she helped them to create a unique skin color paint for each of her students.

Think about how a kindergartner paints: when it comes to painting people, they tend to go settle on the closest color they can find. But, as we all know, that’s not how real people are. Johnson, a second grade teacher at Washington Elementary School in San Jose, California, got her students thinking with a colorful lesson based on the Bell Hooks’ books Skin Again and the The Skin You Live In.

Johnson used prompts such as, “In what ways does the color of our skin influence who we are and what our place is in the world?” to get her little learners thinking. She then had them mix up batches of skin-toned paint that matched their own skin tones—real shades for real kids.

The second grade teacher told Yahoo Lifestyle that the lesson grew out of personal experience. While teaching kindergartners last year, one child told Johnson, “You don’t belong with us because you’re black.” This got the teacher thinking about how, as she puts it, they could, “discover the rainbow inside of their beautiful skin.”

Now that’s a powerful lesson for any kid.

—Erica Loop

Featured Photo: via Pexels



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