As part of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion curriculum in Junior Kindergarten, we have introduced Persona Dolls to each JK classroom. They are large, almost life-size dolls, which serve as a tool for helping children strengthen their developing skills for getting along with each other, working out conflicts and making friends. They also help them learn to be comfortable with all kinds of differences. The students in JK103 made their persona doll, DeShawn, feel right at home in their classroom. One student suggested we get him a rest mat for rest time. We decided to make one out of felt. The students came up with more ideas including a pillow, blanket and sleep mask!
After they designed a rest mat, some students suggested that we make him a backpack as well. So we used our recycled materials to create a backpack, including a cupholder on the side and a water bottle! Some children suggested writing his name on the backpack, so they made him a name tag as well. Several children then suggested that we give DeShawn a classroom job on our job chart, a name tag for our check-in board, and a name tag on the chair, just like the rest of them have!
As we have been exploring Shabbat items in our classroom, we decided to design DeShawn some Shabbat items of his own. We are in the process of deciding which items to create and what materials to use. The students came up with the idea to create a kippah for him out of felt. We are excited to teach DeShawn all about Shabbat and how we celebrate!