Teaching Tolerance and Talking to Children About Racism
Use the suggested resources for teaching tolerance, and discussing diversity and inequalities. They present a powerful starting point for challenging discussions about prejudice, racism and intolerance.
Discrimination is all around us, so it is vital to raise tolerant and open-minded children. As educators, we can support children in responding to discrimination whether aimed at themselves or others. This could involve standing up for people unfairly treated and not following the crowd displaying negative behaviour. This is difficult enough for adults, nevermind children.
Starting in pre-school on up we can use books and resources like the ones below to discuss diversity and inequalities. A safe, non-judgemental classroom supports students in communicating their questions, fears and confusions. We don’t have all the answers, but we can work with our students for a greater understanding of racism and inequality.
The resources in this post are from a diverse range of organisations and educational websites. They will help you look at current events through history, bias, cultures and social-justice.
Teaching Resources about Anti-Racism and Tolerance
In this section, you will find a wealth of resources to support your students innunderstanding anti-racism. You will find a list of short videos, online resources and places to find ant-racist books.
- Anti-Defamation League: How Should I Talk about Race in My Mostly White Classroom?
- Facing History: Educational Resources
- The Guardian: ‘No reader is too young to start’: anti-racist books for all children and teens
- Kids Health: Talking to Kids About Race and Racism
- KQED: Ming Shift – Teaching 6-Year-Olds About Privilege and Power
- Living Room Conversations: Race and Ethnicity Conversation Series
- Medium: A Detailed List of Anti-Racism Resources
- National Education Association: Talking About Race in the Classroom
- National Geographic: Talking to kids about race
- NPR: How Can Parents Make Their Kids Understand How To Be Anti-Racist?
- Parents: Anti-Racism for Kids: An Age-by-Age Guide to Fighting Hate
- Psychology Today: Teaching Children Tolerance
- Scholastic: How to Teach Your Child About Tolerance and Respect
- Social Justice Books: Children, Arab Heritage, and Anti-Bias Education
- Teaching Tolerance: White Anti-Racism: Living the Legacy
- Tolerance: Speak up! calls on everyone to take a stand against everyday bigotry
- USC Rossier School of Education: SPEAK UP Opening a Dialogue with Youth About Racism
- Vox: What it means to be anti-racist
- Anti-Defamation League: Diversity, bias and social justice lesson plans
- Black Lives Matter at School: 2020 Curriculum Resource Guide
- British Columbia Teachers' Federation: Anti Racism Lesson Plans
- Cooperative Children's Book Center: 50 Multicultural Books Every Child Should Know
- Education World: Teaching Tolerance
- Facing History: Facing Ferguson: News Literacy in a Digital Age
- Kick It Out: Toolkits and resources
- Museum of Tolerance: Teacher’s Guide and Resources
- The National Museum of African American History and Culture: Talking About Race
- Northern Ireland Curriculum: Living, Learning Together Lesson Ideas
- One World One Heart: Teaching Tolerance Lesson Plans
- Racism No Way: Anti-racism education for Australian schools
- Scholastic: Tolerance: The Fifth Core Strength
- Scholastic: It's Not So Black and White: Discussing Race and Racism in the Classroom
- Teaching for Change: Teaching Young Children about Race – A Guide for Parents and Teachers
- Teaching for Change: Early Childhood & Elementary Resources
- Teaching Tolerance YouTube Playlist
- Teaching Tolerance: Toolkit for “What Is White Privilege, Really?”
- Teaching Tolerance: Let’s Talk! | Discussing race, racism and other difficult topics with students
Anti-Racism Discussion Videos
Not all these videos will be suitable for every age group. Some of them are best used for your own professional development. Watch the video before playing them to your students, then you can find snippets to share with your students.
Where to Find Anti-Racism Picture Books
Over time, I have searched out websites whose focus is on diverse representation in children’s literature. I bookmark these sites and review them regularly to discover books and authors I would not otherwise know about. I have added a list of them below and I hope you will take time to support the individuals, organisations and charities who run these sites. Look through them for advice and ideas on how you can make your school and classroom libraries diverse and representative of people in your local communities and globally.
- American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL)
- The Brown Bookshelf
- Diverse Book Finder
- Embrace Race
- Here Wee Read
- Hijabi Librarians
- I’m Your Neighbor Books
- Kids Like Us
- Knights Of
- Lantana Publishing
- Latinxs In Kid Lit
- Lee and Low Books
- New Beacon Books
- No Ordinary Book Shop
- Reading While White
- Rich in Color
- Round Table Books
- Social Justice Books and Guide for Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books
- Vamos A Leer
- We Need Diverse Books
These resources present a powerful starting point for challenging discussions about prejudice, anti-racism and intolerance. Let me know in the comments if you have any more resources I can add to this page.
Remember to check out the Fighting Prejudice with Anti-Racism Books for Kids.
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