Since we are a few months into the school year, we’ve moved away from the getting-to-know you activities and moved into increasing self-awareness and self-love.
Now, it’s Identity, or “Who am I?”
In preparing for one of my workshop presentations, I sought out specific information on awareness so I could speak specifically about identity and how I weave it into my curriculum. Here’s what I found from both PBS Parents and Early Childhood Today….
Ages 1-2 – Aware of others
Ages 2-3 – Aware of others’ feelings
Ages 3-4 – Aware of cultural and racial groups
Ages 4-5 – Aware/Curious about physical differences
Ages 5-6 – Aware of their own personal identifying traits and those of others
This simply points up that our work on Identity should begin sooner rather than later.
In my Kinder classroom, I help them to….
- Know themselves more as individuals and community members
- Develop positive social identities
- Develop healthy self-esteem that includes valuing and respecting others
Thank goodness there are so many wonderful picture books about being oneself, liking onself and loving oneself. And, most importantly, these stories help children understand that they can be themselves while respecting others.
Two books I use regarding identity are I Like Me (Nancy Carlson) and Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed (Mo Willems)
I read I Like Me at the beginning of the year because of its message and because it’s a quick read. We’ll re-visit it now that they’ve had a chance to grow individually and collectively, and because they’ve become increasingly aware of one another within our community.
I found an I Like Me booklet activity on TPT (courtesy of Ginger’s Apples to Algebra) so we’ll celebrate what makes each of my Kinder kids unique. They’ll also stand up in front of each other and share what they like most about themselves.
We’ll also read and discuss Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed. If you read this to your kids, get ready for the giggles. I read it twice so the message of the story gets through! Also at TPT (courtesy of Mrs. Miner’s Monkey Business), I found a fun, guided drawing and writing activity that goes along with the book. The kids will get a chance to write about what they would do if they were Wilbur and why.
Stay tuned for more identity-related recommendations and activity ideas.
Until then, what do you love most about yourself?