Spotlight on DEI in Lower School Classrooms

Lower School Art Teacher Bonnie Goldstein spent the month of February exploring interpretations of the simple shape of a heart to discuss and explore the contributions of Black American Artists. Lower School students created their own artistic renderings of hearts using various materials. 

Physical Education
For Black History month, Lower School Physical Education teachers celebrated Black athletes through a host of activities. Each day, students were led through a discovery of Black athletes who have shaped history. They watched videos that shared athletes’ biographies. To check for understanding, students were prompted to recall specific facts by selecting from a set of three possible responses. To indicate their selection, each student performed a physical activity that corresponded to the fact they selected. Students would perform the respective skill for 15-30 seconds before the correct response was revealed—often to the cheers of the class! 

PreK Blue studied author and illustrator, Vashti Harrison. Harrison is the author and illustrator of “Little Leaders, Bold Women in Black History.” Students and their teachers read through the book and later brainstormed what it means to be a leader. Some of responses included: “A leader follows the Golden Rule.“ “A leader says very important stuff.” “A leader has a lot of jobs to do.” Each child was assigned a black leader, whom they made a poster about and presented to the class by sharing two or three facts about them. They all did a wonderful job! 

Third Grade 
To wrap up the third grade’s Chinese Lunar New Year Unit, the students wrote a paragraph about this year's zodiac, the Year of the Ox, what they learned from the Chinese New Year week, and what year of the zodiac they were born in or wished they were born in. They also colored and folded a festive Year of the Ox Agamograph, a series of images that change at different angles. Lastly, they decorated the yellow paper with pictures and words that represented Chinese culture while listening to Chinese New Year music. 

Fourth Grade
Fourth  Grade completed research projects highlighting Black Americans. Each student chose a person they were interested in learning more about.  They read several biographies on their subject, gathered facts, and then wrote three-five paragraph essay. The students learned about each notable Black American’s early life, adult life, and impactful contributions. Students read their essays aloud as images were projected onto the white board, so that their classmates could all learn about these amazing Black American heroes!


The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.