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  • Writer's pictureAlways Upper Elementary

4 Reasons Why You Need to Read (& Watch!) Hair Love in Your Classroom

Updated: Mar 9, 2023

Read alouds are an amazing way to make connections and build community in your classroom. One of my favorite read alouds is also a short film called, Hair Love.

Here’s why you need to read and watch Hair Love in your classroom:


1. It prevents arguments & hurt feelings!


Last year, I had an incident happen between six of my students where feelings were deeply hurt because of horrible comments made about each other’s hair. I ended up canceling the lessons I had planned for the day and we all read and watched Hair Love together. The message is what we all needed: Each person’s hair is unique and no matter what someone’s hair looks like, they are beautiful. The conversations we had about the book and short film were transformative! From that point on, I decided that I would read Hair Love at the beginning of every year to prevent "hair issues" like this from happening again.


2. There is an AMAZING short film based on the book that ties the whole lesson together!


Whenever I teach this lesson, I read the book first and facilitate a short discussion about key takeaways. Then, we watch the Hair Love short film together as a class. The film reinforces the moral of the story and students enjoy interacting with the story in a different way.

The short film is absolutely incredible. It weaves in additional details to the story that students really enjoy. In the film, you find out that the mom is bald because she has cancer. It really reinforces the concept that no matter what hair you have (or don’t have!), you are still beautiful!


If you haven’t watched the short film, you need to! Click here--it's free on YouTube!


3. For the rest of the year, you can reference the book!

After reading and watching Hair Love, whenever a student’s hair style, cut, or color is mentioned by other students, I say, “Amazing! Hair love! You are beautiful!” Every year, my students also adopt the phrase, “hair love!” and say it to each other as a compliment! The book Hair Love gives us the foundation we need to have positive conversations about each other’s hair.


4. You can teach about accepting & celebrating everyone’s differences.


The reality is that hair is a huge part of our identities. Students (and all of us!) are sensitive about our hair (or lack thereof!) because it is a part of us. It is a part of our self-expression.


Think about it. Throughout the year, students are constantly changing their hair. Whether a student gets a drastic haircut, changes their hair to a different style, gets new braids, or dyes their hair, there are always changes being made to our student’s hair.

As educators, we need to actively teach students how to accept and celebrate one another’s differences. Considering that everyone’s hair is unique, we need to teach our students how to accept each other’s different hair styles!


Hair Love helps me teach my students how to accept each other’s differences and celebrate everyone’s unique self-expression. I find it so valuable that I will definitely be reading this book during the first few weeks of school forevermore!



If you end up reading and watching Hair Love, let me know what you think by sending me a message on Instagram @always.upper.elementary or tagging me in your posts! :)


Also, make sure to follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers at this link! You will be the first to know about my sales, freebies, and newest products.


Happy teaching!


Natalie


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