This year, our family, along with a group of families, toured the exhibition RACE: Are we so different? during its stay at the South Carolina State Museum. Developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota, this traveling exhibition tells the stories of race from the biological, cultural, and historical points of view.
The exhibition brings together the everyday experience of living with race, its history as an idea, the role of science in that history, and the findings of contemporary science that are challenging its foundations. — understandingrace.org
Because the exhibit was interactive–comprised of compelling photographs, graphic displays, historical artifacts, and multimedia presentations–our children (ages ranging from four to nine years old) remained engaged and captivated.
We highly recommend that you tour the exhibit when it is near you. Whether you get to tour the exhibit or not, you should visit the accompanying website, which features great resources for families and teachers!
This site engages kids in interactive games, quizzes, a timeline movie and short films.
Focused on younger children, ages 3 to 10, this companion resource offers guidance for parents and caregivers on how to talk to their children about race. It features lesson plans and activities, and addresses how to deal effectively with the challenges that accompany conversations about race. The guide also addresses common question like Why is it important to talk about race with our child? What are the outcomes? How can I best approach the topic of race with my child?
RACE: A Teacher’s Guide
This guide, which meets national and select state standards for science and social studies, assists educators in addressing race and human variation in the classroom. Teachers can use the featured lesson plans to develop a module on race and human variation for biology, social studies or social science classes.
Our fourth grader, who is normally reserved in the classroom, was really excited to share what she had learned during her tour of the exhibit. Her teacher even asked her to bring more resources to share with her class. Her willingness to share openly with her peers signifies that our fourth grader is confident in her understanding of human variation and race. Furthermore, the fact that her teacher made space for the conversation affirms the importance of the subject to our child. HOORAY for awesome teachers!