Today, I taught one of my favorite lessons! The “Brown Egg, White Egg” lesson. I bring two raw eggs to school. One brown and one white. I show the class the eggs and we talk about their similarities and differences. The class writes and illustrates what they notice about the eggs. Then we crack the white one and look at what is inside. Some of them, but not many, had seen a brown egg before. We predicted what we thought it would look like when we cracked it open. Many thought that it would be brown inside. We cracked it open and saw that they were exactly the same!!
We gathered on the carpet and talked about it. I had two students come to the front of the room, one with brown skin and one with peach skin. We talked about how they were the same. Some of the answers I heard were:
- they were both five years old
- they were both Kindergarteners
- they both had on stripes
Then we talked about their differences:
- one had blond hair and one had black hair
- one was a boy and one was a girl
- one had on blue and the other had on pink
- one had a headband, the other did not
We probably got through at least five more differences before someone mentioned, “one has brown skin and one has peach skin”. I asked them what we noticed about the eggs when we cracked them open and they recalled that they were the same inside. I joked with them and asked them, what if these two children were eggs and I cracked them open. What would they see inside? They answered,
- a heart
- a stomach
until someone shouted out, “They’re just like the eggs! Same on the inside!”
This lesson, (which I teach every year and always get the same reaction), proves to me that kids really are “color blind”. They don’t see each other as a different color. They don’t us the words, “black and white” to describe one another. Their color words are so much more descriptive. Our class has tan, brown, peach and apricot colored students in it. Adults can learn so much from children. They are so accepting of one another. It is my hope that these children can help to bridge the barriers that so many adults have yet to cross.