Hedreich Nichols

Everybody Everybody

Small Bites Friday Five 08-21-20:

PE – Adapt this lesson about being a team player and fairness from Tolerance.org to your grade level.

Math – Expose students to diverse math experts with this A Not Old Dead White Dude Mathematician list from Annie Perkins.

Science –Teach about Race as a social construct using the Smithsonian Institute’s Evolution of Human Skin Color. (Courtesy of Bonnie Nieves)

ELA – Choose great new classics from the We Need Diverse Books extensive list of, well, diverse books.

Fine Arts – Visit Tolerance.org and do a content search for theater, art or lessons like Sounds of Change for secondary music.  

On the weekend I borrowed a few historical books for my son from a dear friend. My son is more into reading notes on a page than words on a page, but this really caught his attention. As he finished the first 30 or 40 pages, he told me not only that he was learning a lot, but also that he had never learned any of what he was reading in school. By now, you may have guessed, this was a book on prominent Black Americans.

It seems that my son has learned little more about people who look like him than I did many moons ago. He’s learned little more than he would have, had we still been living in the Alps where he was born. He’s at an age where his own thirst for knowledge led him to finish the book in a record 3 days and oh the stories he’s regaled me with!

I wonder, how many students leave high school never knowing about Fannie Lou Hamer who endured child labor, forced sterilization and life-long injuries for being beaten for trying to vote; but went on to found the Freedom Democratic Party and the Women’s National Political Caucus.

How many students eat PBJs for lunch without knowing that scientist George Washington Carver found over 300 other uses for the peanut and introduced farming sustainability to the south.

How often are Black hairstyles the topic of conversation while early Black female tycoons who revolutionized the Black hair industry go unknown? How about watching the Netflix movie on Madame C.J. Walker to start you off?

The point is, America is diverse and so are her stories. Don’t wait until November to honor the stories of the indigenous peoples of North America. Don’t wait until September to honor Hispanics or February to honor Blacks. Most of all, don’t wait on your humanities department to provide knowledge that we all need to celebrate diversity and move towards more equitable campuses and communities.

Whatever your content is, you can help your students to be more knowledgeable and more inclusive. All you have to do is start.