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I have a dream handprints

handprintsThis project is a great addition to a celebration of Martin Luther King Day, or any discussion on peace, friendship and diversity. This year Martin Luther King Day falls on January 16, 2012.

If you are celebrating MLK Day, you can talk to your child/children about Martin Luther King Jr. and explain that he was a very important man whose birthday we celebrate on the third Monday in January. You can talk about how Dr. King wanted to end “discrimination” (that’s a big concept for young children). You can explain that discrimination is treating someone differently because they are not like you. Explain that Dr. King wanted everyone to be treated fairly, no matter what color their skin is. Tell them that Dr. King “had a dream” that one day everyone would be treated fairly and have the same opportunities.

You can talk about the diversity in your classroom, how everyone has different hair, eye and skin color – and yet they are ONE community and that they are all friends. Ask them to think about a dream they have for their class, for their family or for the world.

Then, give each child a piece of white paper shaped as a heart, in the center write “I have a dream…”. Have the children write or dictate their dream and write it on the heart. Glue the white heart to a slightly larger red heart and then glue to the center of a rectangular sheet of construction paper.

Then, using multicultural skin tone paints – have the children dip a hand in one color paint and press onto one side of the paper. Then have the children dip their other hand in another color and press on the other side of their paper. Explain how this symbolizes our friendship with each other, and that we all have the same dreams for a better world!

You can hang these on a bulletin board, along with the following poem/song (author unknown):

(Sing to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”)

Let’s all live in peace,

Let’s play in harmony.

Red, yellow, brown, or white,

We’re all one family.


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