George Lucas Educational Foundation

Helping Kids Celebrate Diversity Through Authentic Portraits

When educators are intentional about teaching kids to see and represent differences, the students—and their works of art—blossom.

September 30, 2021

Why do kids often draw self-portraits that don’t look like them? Says art teacher Libya Doman, kids internalize messages early on “that thin bodies are to be celebrated... that straight hair is the norm” and that “white is right.”

What can teachers do to help their students, especially BIPOC kids, draw themselves, and others, more authentically? Doman offers several practical strategies for helping kids “slow down the looking,” so they can see and draw differences. She also stresses the importance of stocking inclusive art supplies.

For additional tips on supporting kids to see in “more color-expansive ways,” download this comprehensive action guide from EmbraceRace, a nonprofit that provides resources for parents who want to raise their children to be more thoughtful and informed about race.

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Filed Under

  • Culturally Responsive Teaching
  • Diversity
  • Arts
  • Pre-K
  • K-2 Primary
  • 3-5 Upper Elementary

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