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Columbus Who? A Dialogue on Discovery with Three-Year-Olds

by Makai Kellogg, M.A.T.

Makai Kellogg is an anti-bias early childhood educator and Equity and Diversity Coordinator at School for Friends in Washington, DC.
Since urging my preschool to eliminate Columbus Day from the school calendar, I continuously contemplate how to teach about Native Americans and Indigenous People’s Day in the most developmentally appropriate way.  I’ve ordered board books, folk tales, and informational texts, but it always feels superficial.  A curriculum that went beyond the uses of foods and plants, housing, and music was lacking.  I support the growing number of teachers who share the truth about Columbus’ brutal enslavement, rape, and torture of the TaĆ­no people for gold but how does that translate into an appropriate lesson for three-year-old children?

Last October, I attended a workshop titled “Un-Columbus Day:   Reframing, Rediscovering, Relearning, Retelling, Rethinking, Unlearning the Myths!”  organized by the Friends Council on Education, …

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