PBS continually offers media, programming, learning materials, games, blog posts, and more on the topic of talking about race, diversity, and cultural ethnicity with kids. Here are just a handful of links we’ve identified to get you started on your journey.
PBS KIDS for Parents
Explore parent resources to help you raise kind, curious and resilient children. Find parenting tips, hands-on activities, games, and apps featuring your favorite PBS KIDS characters!
Talking to Your Child about Diversity and Boosting Cultural Awareness
Have you ever had an embarrassing moment where your child (maybe quite loudly) asked about the characteristics of another person? For example, “Mommy, why does that woman look like that?” The typical parental reaction is to attempt to quiet the child and move on as quickly as possible. By helping your children understand and respect the similarities and differences of others, you will also help them understand who they are in the context of your race, ethnic group, culture, religion, language, familial history and more. Use these tips to spark your children’s curiosity about who they and others are in their world!
Teaching Your Children about Black History Month
This article suggests fun learning activities to do with your kids during February’s Black History Month. Also included in the article is a list from children’s book author Cheryle Willis Hudson on ways to connect your children to Black History month throughout the year.
Learning to Appreciate Diversity through Play
Comparing differences between each other can be a fun way for children to learn that their differences are what makes them unique. This is a game where children will explore similarities and differences between themselves and others.
PBS Learning Media
A Tapestry of Multicultural Diversity | Global Oneness Project
With a long history of immigration, New York City contains one of the most culturally diverse populations in the world, representing a wide variety of religious and faith communities. Students view a photo essay, "Belief," by Caleb Ferguson, which explores photos of New Yorkers celebrating various cultural festivities. In this lesson, students discuss multiculturalism and the ways in which they celebrate diversity. Students view the photo essay in pairs or small groups and are given reflective writing prompts for students to demonstrate their understanding of the story.
Schools and Diversity in a Changing America | America by the Numbers
Coeur d'Alene is a majority-Caucasian community in northern Idaho. Find out how schools in the area have tackled issues of diversity, in this clip from America by the Numbers. Learn about the public middle school that uses education to promote tolerance, but has faced backlash from the community. You will also hear from teachers at a private Christian school who say they want to guard against a loss of religion in their classrooms.
Diversity in Latino Culture
In this interactive lesson, students explore the rich diversity within Latino culture using WGBY’s bilingual program Presencia. The lesson explores the variety found within Latino food, music, and art and introduces individuals who honor and celebrate their culture. Students build their vocabulary with Spanish words and expressions and grow in their appreciation of how diversity can enrich society.
Global Oneness Project: Bringing the World to Your Classroom
The Global Oneness Project collection features films, photo essays, and accompanying lesson plans which explore cultural, social, and environmental issues with a humanistic lens. These multimedia stories explore the world through real life experiences and provide students with an authentic approach to global learning. The curriculum content makes personal and interdisciplinary connections and fosters the development of active, critical thinking.
Roughly half of the Muslims in the United States are African American and the other half are immigrants and their American-born children. The Muslim American Society represents African American Muslims and the Islamic Society of North America represents Muslims who are mostly from Africa and Asia. This video from Religion & Ethics Newsweekly examines the differences between the two groups and whether the two communities can bridge the cultural gap that divides them.
African American World for Kids
An interactive website where kids can learn about famous African Americans, play games, send e cards, and interact.
Kid-Friendly Recipes from "Around the World"
Looking for an easy, delicious way to introduce your kids to new foods? Watch this recipe video of three different rice dishes from three different cultures for you and your child to make together. Rice is a staple part of the diet in many countries around the world and there are countless ways that each culture prepares their traditional version. Use this activity to open up a discussion with your child about what similarities and differences exist with each dish.
Additional PBS Resources
Precious Children (KCTS)
As a parent and an advocate of early childhood education, Washington State First Lady Mona Lee Locke embarked on a project close to her heart: encouraging a cross-cultural exchange on early education by leading a delegation of 60 U.S. teachers to China. KCTS-Seattle producer Susan Han and videographer Valerie Vozza document the 10-day visit in Precious Children, a one-hour presentation that reveals how this nation of 1.2 billion people is preparing its children for the future.
Presencia: Many Voices One Community (WGBY)
Presencia is a bilingual (English/Spanish) program capturing the stories of the Latino communities of western New England. Presencia is designed not only to inspire and inform the region about the growing Latino population, but also to engage and enhance the social spirit. “We will create a platform for dialogue that will result in uniting and engaging the community,” says show host Veronica Garcia.
PBS KIDS Programming
Daniel and His Friends
Sometimes feeling different can make kids feel sad. It’s important to teach kids that it’s alright to be different and that in many ways people are also the same. In this interactive storybook, kids can read along with Daniel Tiger as he thinks about ways that he is different from his friends and ways that he is the same as his friends.
Lupita Nyong’o: Skin
It’s important that kids love the skin they’re in. All animals and people are covered in skin. Skin protects us, allows us to touch and feel, and comes in lots of beautiful shades and colors. In this video, Elmo and Lupita talk all about skin.
Anyone can be Friends
Anyone can be friends. Even though we are all have our distinct characteristics, making friends with people who are different than us can be easy. In this video, Elmo sings a song about how we are all different, but anyone can still be friends.
Whoopie’s Skin and Elmo’s Fur
Everyone is different. It’s important to teach kids that they should be happy with who they are, while also being accepting of others. In this video, Whoopie and Elmo compare her skin and hair with his fur.
Same and Different
It’s important to teach children that in ways we are the same, while we are also very different and that’s okay. In this video, Big Bird and Zoe talk about their differences, as well as things that make them the same.
Molly of Denali
This is a newly animated series on PBS Kids that follows the adventures of feisty and resourceful 10-year-old Molly Mabray, an Alaska Native girl who lives in the fictional village of Qyah, Alaska. The show focuses on kid-related issues such as meeting new people, getting from one place to another, solving a problem, and mastering a skill. Each episode follows Molly, her dog Suki, and her friends Tooey and Trini on their daily adventures in Alaska, from fishing and building snow forts, to learning Native songs from the village elders.
Travel the Globe with Let's Go Luna!
How do we teach our children to appreciate other cultures and build global awareness? In all-new episodes, travel to Delhi, India and Sydney, Australia with Luna and her three friends - Leo, Carmen and Andy! Luna introduces your child to the food, music, art, and architecture that makes each country distinctive. Let's Go Luna! creates an authentic, immersive cultural experience for your child introducing them to life around the globe.