National Black Child Development Week: Day 5

We hope you enjoyed yesterday's NBCDW 2021: Preschoolers and the Arts featuring Do You Love The Dark? by Maya Lawrence. Today's focus is School-agers (ages 5-8) & the Arts.

We've reached the final day of NBCDW 2021; however, let's continue advocating for culturally responsive creative development experiences for young children all year long! The read-alouds and resources we've shared this week will live on our Blog for future reference. We'll also share a recap in our June newsletter.
Daily Tip: Creative Development & School-agers

While creativity is recognized and valued in early childhood education, as evidenced by early learning standards, once children reach grade school, the visibility of creative development is largely reduced in the general education curriculum.

What can YOU do?
Encourage school districts to provide professional development to educators on integrated curriculum approaches, to normalize:
  • Regularly incorporating the arts in general education.
  • Relating core subject matter (math, science, social studies, literacy...) to the arts.
  • Providing open-ended opportunities for artistic expression during units/topics of study.
  • Hosting field trips to fine arts facilities, such as art museums and performance theaters.
  • Inviting local fine arts professionals and performers to discuss and exhibit their talents.
Storytime Feature
Creative Development Experiences

Before and/or after the read-aloud of J.R.'s Biggest Fan by Dr. Sheila Thomas, consider engaging children in any of the following experiences, adapting them according to age group or grade level.

  • Silly Rhymes: Provide alphabet cards and/or art materials for children to create silly words that rhyme with FAN, CAN... To make this activity fun and spark creativity, worry less about whether the word can be found in the dictionary.

  • Fine Arts Graph: Explore and study the fine arts - Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, Literature, Music, Performing, and Film. Ask students which interest them. Allow each student to vote for as many as they like. Facilitate a tally to find out which are most popular amongst classmates. Provide graph creation materials for illustrating the preferences by small groups and/or the entire class.

  • Stage Bling: Engage children in creating and/or decorating an area to use as a stage - indoors and/or outdoors. Host events related to the book, such as a weekly Spelling Bee, talent show, and/or Show-and-tell for children to exhibit what they can do.

  • Music-story: Discuss the history and craftsmanship of musical instruments from diverse cultures. Encourage students to partner-up or work in small-groups to research, design and/or present instruments of choice.

  • Dramatic Play: Create a space and provide time for dramatic play - both indoors and outdoors. Equip the areas with props from the book, such as a band uniform, toy drum, drumsticks, and other instruments, so children can role play and pretend.

  • Author's Corner: Provide art and writing materials for children to create their own picture books. Engage them in developmentally appropriate writing and editing. Consider publishing their stories using online book creation tools.

  • Fan Out: Provide art materials for children to create their own "I'm Your Biggest Fan" cards or posters to keep in their desks or under their seats. Whenever anyone in the class does or says anything warranting praise, students may hold up the card or poster to show support.

  • Please send us pictures or videos to Just type NBCDW 2021 in the subject line and include a description of your photo(s) or video(s) in the body of the email. We'll send a special package of goodies to anyone who shares their NBCDW media footage with us.


In honor of BCDI-Atlanta’s 40th Anniversary, the first 40 stakeholders to complete this Giveaways form TODAY will receive a FREE J.R.'s Biggest Fan children's book, thanks to our Read to Succeed program and partners.
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