Roots: Parents, communities, and
governments that work for and support
human rights for children practice applying
human rights in their daily lives to the
children in their care and work to have
equal rights honored for all children,
without exception (CRC Articles 2 and
Rights: Children have the right
to - equality, regardless of race, color,
gender, religion, opinion, nationality
or ethnic heritage;
learn about and express/celebrate their
culture and/or ethnic heritage.
Responsibilities: Children are
responsible for - treating others as they would like
to be treated;
* experience concepts of "same"
and "different," "equal"
* increase their understanding of the
importance of individual efforts when
working toward a common goal.
* explore their understandings of
equality through activity and discussion;
* discuss definitions of equality;
* learn more about embracing the differences
in their family, our society, and the
* Different colors of beans with scoops
* Balance scale, items (counting bears,
plastic or wooden objects) to weigh
on the scale;
* Paint, paint trays or pie tins, paper
to paint on;
* sponge stamps cut into shapes (circle,
triangle, squares or figures of children);
* A slim, rectangular sponge that can
be used as a stamp (two marks from this
sponge, placed horizontally, one above
the other, make an equal sign, or two
horizontal marks and one slanted over
the top makes an unequal sign);
* Grocery bags, scissors, yarn, markers,
Children's Learning Circle
* A few oranges.
* Parent Education
Handout PE #3;
* Chart paper and markers;
* Paper grocery bag with cutout spaces
for eyes (or a paper plate attached
to a tongue depressor with spaces cut
out for eyes).
Greet as usual. Make sure everyone gets
a name tag.
Parent/Child Interactive Activities
1. MASKS (CREATIVE EXPRESSION)
Masks are a way for children to
try on different roles. Children learn
to take the perspective of others
through imaginary play.
Display photos or examples of masks
from around the world.
Parents and children design masks
to wear with materials presented (brown
paper grocery bags, scissors, yarn,
markers, glue, and collage materials).
2. BEANS (SENSORY, PREMATH CONCEPTS)
Varied colors of different beans
symbolize individual differences -
such as in the varied colors of people's
skin. NOTE: If you feel uncomfortable
about using food for play, omit this
activity or use colored rocks.
Scoops, spoons, and cups are available
for sensory play with beans.
3. BALANCE SCALE (SCIENCE)
A scale gives children practice
with the concept of what it is to
be equal. The work and care of balancing
the scale symbolizes the work we need
to do and care we need to take in
realizing equality and fairness in
Place balance scale and items on
a table. Ask families to compare items.
4. ATTRIBUTE BLOCKS (SMALL MUSCLE
Gives children & parents a way
to internalize the concept of equality.
Set out attribute blocks for parents
and children to use for matching shapes
5. MIRROR IMAGE NAMES (COOPERATIVE
Gives children & parents a way
to internalize the concept of equality.
Families fold a 9x11 piece of construction
paper in half, down the middle. Then open
it back up and write their child's name
in glue just above the fold line. They
fold again and press paper to apply glue
to both sides of page. Next they open
the page again and sprinkle glitter over
the page to make a mirror image of the
child's name. Cue cards encourage families
to talk about how both sides are equal
(symmetrical or matching).
All The Colors We Are, by Katie Kissinger
6. BOOK CORNER (LANGUAGE)
Reading together promotes reading
readiness, literacy, and enjoyment
of books along with the concepts of
beginning, middle, and end. When parents
read to their children, both gain
the power to learn more about themselves
and the world.
Parents and children choose a book
to read together.
We are Alike, We Are Different, by
the Cheltenham Elementary School Kindergartners
Different and Alike, by Nancy P. McConnell
My Family, Your Family, by Kindergarten
of Westfield School
Black, White, Just Right, by Marguerite
All The Colors We Are, by Katie Kissinger
1. Transition: Early childhood teacher
speaks to each child, and/or touches them
on the shoulder and reminds them that
circle time will begin soon. After connecting
with each child, the teacher begins a
2. "I'm happy to see all of you!"
Sing: "Shake Hands With Friends and
Say Hello," and "Looking Under
The Mask" (below) using your hands
as the mask. Looking under my mask, who
do I see? I see _________ looking at me.
3. "As you know, during this class
we are learning about rights and responsibilities.
Who remembers a right we put on our Human
Rights Agreement last week?" (Take
a few responses.) "Another right
is the right to equality. Equality is
what we have when all people, no matter
how they look or who they are, are treated
the same. Equality is what we have when
we all get the same number of cookies
at snack time. Equality is what we have
when we treat others like we want to be
treated. We are practicing equality if
when everyone gets an equal turn in a
4. Punchinello game*:
"We are going to play a turn-taking
game, now. This game is called Punchinello.
We cannot play the game unless everyone
helps. We all will need to listen and
help each other, in order to play this
game successfully. Some friends will need
to wait patiently for their turn. This
is a game about equality. We can all have
an equal turn. It also is about equality,
because we do equal things.
"Remember earlier when you took
a piece of paper and drew your name with
glue on it? After you folded it and used
the glitter on the paper you had two names.
You had your name and an equal name that
was different. That was a mirror image.
In this game we get to make our bodies
the mirror images!"
Form a circle while standing. One child
enters and stands in the center of hte
circle. Everyone sings or chants: "What
can you do, Punchinello, friendly fellow?
What can you do, Punchinellow, friendly
you?" Action 1: Punchinello makes
a motion as this verse is sung. Everyone
"mirrors" the action as they
sing. Sing about whatever action the child
is doing, for example, "turn around":
All sing: "We can turn
around, Punchinello, friendly fellow.
We can turn around, Punchinello, do it
too. We can do it too, Punchinello, friendly
fellow, We can do it too, Punchinello,
he music for this game can be found
in Wee Sing and Play Musical Games
and Rhumes for Children by Pamela
Conn Beall and Susan Hagen Nipp, Price/Stern/Sloan
Publishers, Inc. Los Angeles, 1981,
Action 2: Punchinello chooses
another child to take his or her place
in the center of circle as everyone sings:
You choose one of us, Punchinello, friendly
fellow. You choose one of us, Punchinello,
friendly you." Repeat with another
child, until all the children who want
a turn have one.
5. Close with "The More We Get Together"
and "This Little Light of Mine."
NOTE: One adult may have to help a child
begin this game. As children get comfortable,
they will not be shy.
SEPARATE LEARNING TIME
Children's Learning Circle - Session
1. Invite children to the circle with
a gathering song.
2. Bring one or two oranges with you,
depending on the number of children. Say,
"I have something for us all. It's
to share equally. Here it is." Show
the children the orange/oranges. "How
can we share this orange so each of us
gets an equal portion?" Allow time
for children to think and to answer. Their
responses might be to cut it, peel and
section it or get more oranges, and so
on. After they've had a chance to answer,
peel the orange. Divide it into sections.
As a group, count how many people are
in the circle. Be sure to include yourself.
Now count the orange sections. Write the
numbers on chart paper.
3. Ask the children: "Do the numbers
match? How can we divide the sections
so everyone gets an equal share?"
You may have to cut some sections in half.
Ask one or two children to help pass out
the orange sections, perhaps on napkins.
Ask the children not to eat them yet.
4. "Do you have the same amount
as your friends? Are all the portions
equal? What are
some reasons to have equal portions?
If you had less than someone else, how
might you feel? If you had more than others,
how might you feel?"
5. Eat the oranges together.
6. Sing favorite songs the children name.
Include: "This Little Light of Mine,"
"The More We Get Together,"
"Looking Under the Mask."
Parent Education - Session
Preparation: Write the topic title,
"Equality and Differences" on
chart paper. Under the topic title write,
"Children/adults have a right to
equality regardless of race, color, sex,
religion, nationality or social origin."
1. Greeting - Surprise Entry:
Today there is no official greeting. As
soon as parents have taken their seats,
teacher enters the room with a paper bag
mask over his or her head.
2. Discussion: "Here I am
with this bag on my head. Yes, I know
our world is not made up of bag-headed
people, but for a minute let us wonder.
What would it be like if we all were put
on this planet looking externally identical,
such as we might if we all had brown grocery
bags for heads - same tan color, same
square shape, same size, and so on? Underneath
our bags we would each know that every
person was different, but how would we
find out? How would the world be different?
How would we raise our children differently?
. . . Obviously our world reality is not
"paper bag heads." In fact,
we do see and interact with differences
at all times in life."
Give parents a few moments to reflect
on the following questions and make notes
in their journals or on stationary you
provide. These questions can also be asked
orally and written on chart paper or chalk
a. Have you ever been in a situation
with someone else:
*during which you wished that you could
cover yourself up or become invisible?
*during which that person put you behind
a symbolic mask/ paper bag instead of
seeing the real you?
*during which you found that person was
not recognizing your child for being who
she or he is?
b. How did you feel?
c. Why did you feel that way?
d. How did you respond?
e. How did you want to respond?
4. Activity: Distribute Reflections
on Equality (Handout
PE #3) to participants. Look at these
quotations on differences. Invite participants
to jot their thoughts or reflections in
their Action Step Journals.
a. Our families are filled with individual
differences. What are some of the differences
that people in my family have (behaviors
that are different from mine) that drive
b. What are some possibilities in my
own family to embrace, not just tolerate,
c. What are some examples of what we
can do and how we can speak to our children
that gives them messages of celebrating
and embracing, NOT just tolerating differences?
d. There has been a lot of research done
over the years that shows the effects
of expectations and labeling on children.
We usually get what we expect. Can you
see ways that you inadvertently label
your child in a negative way? How might
it impact his or her life?
6. Summary: "In our world there
are many instances where people feel they
are not accepted or embraced because they
are different from those in the mainstream/in
power/who represent the status quo. In
fact, many historical travesties that
have affected individuals and families
throughout time have occurred because
people were not able to live peacefully
with differences." Ask for examples
from participants. Here are a few possible
World: Holocaust during World
War II, Vietnam War, Ireland's civil uprising,
ethnic struggles in the Balkans.
Community: Problems with acceptance
of the gay/lesbian community, gang wars,
availability of handicapped accessibility.
Family: Put-downs among family
members: only one right way to do things,
escalation of differences ending in divorces
or physical/emotional abuse among family
members. "The United Nations Convention
on the Rights of the Child says that being
accepted for our differences is a basic
human right. ďA right to equality regardless
of race, color, creed, sex, religion,
nationality, or social origin.' Our goal
is for you, as parents, to know the right
to equality is inalienable and we have
a responsibility to ourselves and our
children to create an environment in our
homes, communities, and society that ensures
that this right is respected."
7. Closing and action steps assignment:
"What are some possible action steps
that you and your family can do to work
toward a more equitable world for all?
As you work in your journals this week,
pay special attention to what you can
do in your home. The home is the most
difficult arena in which to accept differences
because our children are so close to our
heart and we want them to embrace our
values. However, accepting them for who
they are opens the door for them to accept
others for who they are, and so on. Thus,
one family, one child at a time, we begin
to create a world that honors differences
and celebrates equality."