All the Colors I am Inside
All the Colors I am Inside
Lesson plan developed by Aurora Tollestrup, BS Ed.
* Lesson plan objective and assessment can be adapted to use this activity with school-age children.
- Talk to the children about diversity.
- Explain that we are all different both on the inside and on the outside.
- Just because we have different skin, hair, sizes, etc, doesn’t mean that anyone is any less special.
- Read the poem Colors by Shel Silverstein to the class at circle time.
- When finishing the poem, invite the children to discuss what they think the poem meant.
- Explain that everyone has “inside colors” which may mean their personality, hobbies, culture, and more things that make them who they are.
- Invite the children to create their own inside colors.
- The children will use the black marker to draw an outline of themselves.
- They may make it a silhouette of themselves, or choose a different shape.
- The teacher should create an example for students to understand.
- Adapt this step to meet the needs of the children.
- The children can use the coloring materials to fill in the outline.
- Some children may use multiple colors, some may mix and layer colors, and some may use one color.
- Children are creating a representation of themselves and should be given the freedom to do so in whatever way they would like.
- When children are finished inventing their inside colors, they should have the opportunity to share their creations with another student.
- Pair the children up and instruct them to compare, contrast, and compliment their partner’s creation.
- Observe and assess children while comparing and contrasting their inside color creations. Were they respectful? Did they understand that it is alright to be different? Did they have reactions that you expected?
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Using Shel Silverstein Poetry in Early Childhood
When first using the poems of Shel Silverstein in the classroom, it is best to choose a poem that is short and exciting. Doing so will give children the motivation to listen attentively and strengthen their active listening skills. When reciting the same poem often, eventually children will be able to recite the poem themselves, giving you an avenue for assessment or the opportunity to scaffold that ability with a new poem or concept.
Here is an example of a Shel Silverstein poem to recite to a preschool group:
Children will understand that the snowball melted because it was too warm in the house! They will most likely want to retell this poem to others, or wish to hear it again because of the silly nature.