This literature-based unit from Teaching Tolerance offers natural connections to science, arts and preliminary service learning.
Target Grades: K, 1, 2
Rationale: Children ages 2 through 4 often begin noticing differences between their hair and the hair of other children. At the same time, they remain fascinated by animals of all sorts. Who Has Hair? encourages educators to combine these developmental curiosities and teach that, while hair can be different, hair is something mammals share in common.
Only mammals have hair.
All mammals have hair.
Hair can be different:
- white, orange and other colors
- long and short
- straight and curly
Teaching the Lesson
- Read the story to the class all week, and develop various centers to support the lesson. Click on the link for the Who Hair Book?
- Click on the link for suggested activities for Dramatic Play, Literacy Center, Science and Math Center, and Art and Sensory Center.
- To explore diversity in the classroom have students create their own Hair Books. In this activity, students draw self-portraits on the title page of the Hair Book. They explore various characteristics of hair (length, texture, color) by drawing or using various art supplies. Make sure that a variety of supplies are available to help students understand that there is "diversity within sameness." For example, people with brown hair can have differences in shade.
- Once complete, the student Hair Books students are given the opportunity to share, and to display their work.
- If you decide to implement the family involvement activity below, students may also show the class their hair care products while presenting their Hair Book. These products may later be donated to a community shelter.
- Classroom newsletter announcement about Who Has Hair? unit
- Letter from parent/guardian to child honoring home hair-care practices
- Donation of a set of hair-care products child uses at home — shampoo, combs, brushes, picks, detangler spray, conditioner, hair gel, barrettes, rubber bands, beads, etc.
- Visit to or from a dog groomer or zookeeper who specializes in mammals
- Visit to or from hair stylist(s). Because hair is most often celebrated among girls, consider inviting a barber who specializes in male hair. Also consider inviting a stylist who specializes in "ethnic hair."
- Coordinate donation of Hair Bags with a community shelter that serves children