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take advantage of an MLK, jr. Day playdate

So despite our family's politics, I recognize that these next couple of days are significant, and provide a number of "teachable moments" for Evyn.  Moments I want to be prepared to take advantage of.  My friend Amy is bringing her daughter, K, over for a playdate today.  This inauguration has special significance to them (Amy's husband is half black – specifically, Jamaican) and K will be watching the events on TV, so I thought we might take a moment to explain the inauguration and the significance of this election, in as simple a way possible.  I thought I'd share the resources I found and a brainstorm of ways to apply them.  Most lesson plans and activities are geared toward children older than Evyn and K, but there are a number of ways to simplify any lesson by taking the basic lesson objective and using it to start a discussion and simple activity.

And since I don't have a photo today, you get to sift through my obnoxious font parade.

Explain the Inauguration:

  • use this cheat sheet of facts and activities from Scholastic Parents
  • try a page from this guide at TeachableMoment.org – Inauguration Guide
  • use the Parents Guide from the Philadelphia School District site    
  • or use the NYC Dept of Education Inauguration 2009 Curriculum as a resource
  • Activity Idea: Help your child make an Inauguration pennant – either imagining their own ("if you were president, what would your pennant look like?") or celebrating Obama, using pictures from magazines

Talk about the move Obama's daughters, Malia and Sasha, will be making to their new house – the White House: 

Talk about equality, respect, and individuality:

  • Talk about differences and make note of some of the physical differences between family members.  Define "unique" and note what makes each other unique. (Evyn has a LOT of fun comparing the physical differences between us).
  • Read Galations 3:28 and remind your children that "…you are all one in Christ Jesus."
  • Try this "Same on the Inside" activity for preschoolers
  • or this version of "Simon Says"
  • or make an "All About Me" collage or mini-scrapbook or puppet (Evyn is really into paper bag puppets right now)
  • try an activity from this God Made Me lesson plan

Talk about Martin Luther King, and relate it to the history Obama will make on Tuesday:

  • Color and put together this Mini-Book from Scholastic.com outlining MLK's dream

Finally, explain what it means to be President, and use family prayer time to Pray for Obama and his family.
Pray for rulers and for all who have authority so that we can have quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God. (1 Timothy 2:2)

Other reads: A Most Gracious Loser and Win for Equality

Meg - Great stuff, especially that last part! It’s really important that we pray for our leaders, even if we don’t agree with them. Sometimes we all forget that in the heat of everything.
I’m bookmarking this for when we have kids!

Dayna - What a remarkable post. Thanks so much for doing the foot work on the educational links. Our five children range from seventeen to nine, so I’ll sift through and see who would like what. I had a neck issue today, so I ended up not incorporating anything about the inauguration into our home school. Instead, I spent the day wincing, moaning, resting, and guilting my daughters into massaging my neck. 😉
Of course, the media will continue covering today’s events beyond this date, so we can, too! Our politics are different, as well, but we appreciate this huge step for blacks. My husband and I haven’t experienced a fraction of what our parents endured in the Civil Rights era, but we still want our children to understand what a huge step this has been.
I’ve enjoyed following your blog for several months. I especially love reading about your memories of your sister, and how that relationship affects your mothering. Your daughters are precious little dolls!
The Lord bless you.

Amber - This comment is not related to your post. 😉 But, I used your swaddle sheet & burp cloth patterns to make a baby gift for my sweet friend’s shower. They turned out great! Thanks for posting your patterns! I posted pics of them on my blog if you’d like to see my first try.