Elementary Lesson Plans on Diversity

Dr. David Childs, D.D., Ph.D.
Northern Kentucky University

We will continue our theme of providing teacher resources for K-12 classrooms. In our latest article we highlighted resources from PBS Learning Media for elementary social studies teachers. In this article we want to highlight a number of teaching resources for educators that want to teach on the topic of diversity to younger children. Many educators shy away from teaching about diversity and inclusion in their classroom because it is such a controversial topic and they may also feel inadequately prepared to discuss it with students. Furthermore, there is even legislation at the state level that regulates what can and cannot be taught as it relates to the topic of diversity. Below we provide some lesson plans and resources that teachers can use to address the subject matter in a meaningful, creative and effective way.

Lesson Plans and Resources on Diversity and Inclusion
Activities that Promote Racial and Cultural Awareness
Looking Closely at Ourselves
Tolerance in Times of Trial
YWCA is on a mission to Stand Against Racism!
Diversity: Differences Make us Unique- Kindergarten
Diversity Lesson Plan- Kindergarten
Kindergarten Diversity
I Am Special and You Are Special Too Lesson Series
15 Cultural Diversity Activities For Elementary Students
Teaching Tolerance ~ Elementary Lesson Plans
5th Grade Diversity Lessons
Diversity Using Literature- Elementary
Culture and Change: Black History in America

Please share what resources you find useful for your teaching.

We are open to feedback and discussion. If you see any typos or grammatical errors please feel free to email the author and editor at the address below:

Dr. David Childs


  1. This article is especially relevant in today’s world as things slowly become more progressional and inclusive. We still have a long ways to go, and the best way to continue this growth is to implement cultural education and appreciation into the curriculum at a young age. This minimizes the taboo feeling of what some see as uncomfortable topics. Conversations and lessons of diversity should not be considered uncomfortable, and should become more normalized. This article of resources does a good job of suggesting age appropriate activities to get the idea of inclusion started within the curriculum. As an art education major myself, I definitely will learn from these and may even implement some into my own instruction one day.

  2. I think that these resources are are very useful. As someone who is majoring in elementary education I was looking for an article that could provide me with information that could potentially help me in my future career. I wasn’t sure of the best way to talk about diversity in the classroom especially with younger students but reading through the resources in the article helped a lot. These resources provided me with lesson plans on diversity for multiple grade levels and gave me an idea on how to talk about diversity with younger kids.

  3. I think that this article is relevant and informative for teachers who are looking for resources to teach diversity and inclusion in their classrooms. It is essential to encourage teachers to embrace teaching about diversity and provide them with the necessary tools and resources to do so. The article mentions PBS Learning Media as a source for elementary social studies teachers, as well as other teaching resources for educators that want to teach diversity to younger children. It also acknowledges that some educators may feel hesitant or unsure about how to approach the topic and provides them with lesson plans and ideas to address the subject matter in a meaningful, creative and effective way. Overall, this article can serve as a useful guide for teachers who want to create a more inclusive and diverse learning environment for their students.

  4. I chose this article because I am an elementary teacher in a diverse school. I really liked the PBS article and the idea of asking families to share music they enjoy. My students love when we discuss or bring in their families and sharing their home life with one another is a great way to teach them about different cultures. I also think I could use the thumbprint lesson – to show that no matter what we look like we are unique to ourselves! I also would use the Kindergarten lesson – I love to use books to teach and extend our ideas. The group mural/puzzle would be awesome to display.

  5. Looking into having resources as such to use in guiding lesson plans is a so useful when it comes to promoting diversity in a preschool setting. We advocate for teachers to incorporate multicultural materials, pictures, and even the material labels (in different languages) we use but actually discussing the topics can make an impact. I do agree that teachers shy away from the topic due to controversy. However, if we as educator do not feel comfortable discussing these difficult topics then we become part of the problem. I looked into the Kindergarten Diversity lesson plan ideas. I came across these open ended questions:
    How can I learn more about other people?
    Are people all the same?
    How am I the same as other people? How am I different from other people?
    Even by asking preschoolers, you are able to at least capture their understanding and tie it in to how they can embrace differences in the classroom. This would help build the foundation that they can carry on with them.

  6. I find this article to be really interesting, especially the lesson plans included. I think that teaching diversity to our younger generations is what is going to create a more inclusive society. What makes me worried are the recent laws and conversations that our government is having on education and diversity. It makes me nervous that lawmakers are trying to eliminate the education of diversity. What are our schools going to look like in the future? What is going to be taught and what is going to be ignored due to the people we put in power? The future is concerning.

  7. I chose this article because of how important it is, especially with current efforts to impede diverse books and lesson plans in classrooms, to ensure current and future educators are exploring diversity in their classrooms. With the pushback that we have discussed in class, like the legislation banning critical race theory and other courses for diversity and inclusion within the classroom, I think this is an important time to be purposeful in ensuring a diverse curriculum. I particularly appreciated the resources on diversity within kindergarten classrooms, especially the resource “Diversity: Differences Make us Unique” and “Kindergarten Diversity.” I currently work with preschool and elementary aged children, and while we have been intentional in including books and activities that teach and celebrate diversity, I really appreciate having multiple resources at my disposal to aid in this effort. As this article states, there can be a hesitance to address diversity in the classroom because of a feeling of inadequacy in handling the subject or fear of pushback, but it is our responsibility to ensure we best serve our students, and this includes creating an inclusive curriculum and environment.

  8. I selected the “Culture and Change Black History in America” lesson plan and the topic was about Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks’ story was one of the first Black History stories I was told as a student so I think it is a great story to tell younger students as well, and it’s a great story to start with when teaching and discussing Black History. This website does a great job of explaining what Rosa Parks did and the impact she had on Black People then and today, so it would be very helpful in making a lesson plan. I looked at other resources and lesson plans that are linked in this article and I think that those are also very good lesson plans to explain and teach Black History.

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