There’s a terrific image on Pinterest for teaching diversity:
It speaks for itself, right?
Here is an activity based on the above image that will not only help you to teach diversity in skin color, race or ethnicity, but can also include a conversation about disability.
The Egg Activity to Teach Diversity & Inclusion
1 small white egg
1 extra large white egg
1 brown egg
1-2 eggs (any color) with marks or “imperfections”
1-2 eggs (any color) with slight cracks (not enough to break the egg open)
- Display all of the eggs.
- Ask students to describe the various eggs, noting similarities and differences. Be sure to highlight the following differences:
- Size of eggs
- Color of eggs
- Direct students to guess what the eggs will look like inside.
- Crack each egg open in a separate bowl.
- Compare how, despite the exterior differences, all of the eggs are the same on the inside. Depending on students’ age; emphasize the ways we tend to underestimate people and their abilities when we judge them only by the way they look. Discuss how this might positively change the way we treat people in the future.
Variations for older students:
- If your classroom has been established as a safe space, some older children and/or teens may feel comfortable sharing their own challenges and/or disabilities as a part of this conversation. This could be the perfect opportunity to discuss such “invisible disabilities” as dyslexia, processing disorders, anxiety, etc.
- Make a list of things that are important about you that others would easily know just by looking. Make a second list of things that are important about you that others would not be able to know just by looking. Which list is longer? Which list feels more important? What can this teach us about ourselves and other people?
Lisa Friedman is Matan’s Manager of Social Media and Alumni Networks. She is also an Education Director at a Reform congregation in Central New Jersey where she oversees the synagogue’s and religious school’s inclusive practice.