Do you struggle with how to talk about cultural awareness with young children?
One way to do this is through picture books! The beauty of books is they help us to bridge the gap between cultures. Not only are we embarking on an academic journey of discovery, but we are learning about cultures that may connect us all. The authors of many children's books create characters that everyone can relate to through the color of their hair, what they wear, say or do in a way that can make them feel comfortable. Whether the reader is a boy, girl, parent, or educator there is a relatable quality to the characters both individually and as a whole. Everyone has a family unit of some kind, whether it is traditional or not. They are able to empathize and feel for various characters which opens a door to learning about their culture. This is how we bridge the gap and elaborate on the themes and lessons that are brought to light in many books.
You don't have to explicitly explain what the term stereotype is to children but the more you talk and teach about differences, the more culturally aware children will become. Some of the most common stereotypes that children may notice and books may shed light upon are:
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