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Presenting Adoption to the classroom
Posted: 28 September 2009 09:47 PM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  112
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Next week, I am giving an Adoption presentation to my Son’s 1st grade class.  I am currently looking through the material available on the Adoptive Families website but would also like to hear some advice/tips from those who have actually done it.
I know that I’m going to focus on “adoption” and not my son’s adoption.  I also wanted to read “A Mother for Choco” as I love it and think it really shows that physical characteristics don’t make a family.
I only have about 10-15 minutes to run through this.
What questions do you think the kids will be thinking?

Posted: 01 October 2009 03:58 AM   Ignore ]  
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I know you are wanting to do a generalized presentation, but I found that bringing in my children’s life book really brought the children’s attention.  They all love pictures and wanted to see the pictures.  It doesn’t matter that they don’t know anyone in the pictures, kids love pictures. It was a really big hit and it made my children that much more proud of themselves.  They really enjoyed sharing that with their classmates.  It also seemed to answer a lot of questions on its own as I didn’t have many questions.  The only questions I received were questions from the teacher and that was if we still had contact with their birth family and do the children know who the birth family are.

Posted: 02 October 2009 03:02 PM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  16
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May I inquire about the reason for actually doing the presentation?  That is, what are you hoping to accomplish?

Posted: 02 October 2009 03:27 PM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  112
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Last year when my son was in Kindergarten I assisted at their class parties and volunteered some days.  The first few times I would go in, the kids would look shocked and say, “SHE’S your mom?”  You see, I have blond hair, fair skin and blue eyes while my son is Full hispanic.  It was a tad too much for some of the kids to understand.  Luckily, his Kindergarten teacher was adopted as an infant and even celebrates her “forever family day” with the class.  She saw the kids reaction to me and did a mini-lesson on adoption.  I knew she’d get the language and all of that correct.  After her lesson, there were no weird looks/questions from the other children when I came in.

This year there is only one child from my son’s Kindy class in his 1st grade class.  Again I will be volunteering so I thought I’d do a presentation on adoption now.  The teacher told me she knows nothing about adoption so she was thrilled when I asked to come in.  I’ll be educating her too and since it’s her first year teaching I hope this is info. she’ll use in future years.

So what I want to accomplish is to familiarize the classroom to adoption.  Make sense?

Posted: 04 October 2009 11:45 AM   Ignore ]  
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Now that more and more adoptions are open, I was wondering how your presentation would handle the feelings of a child who has a sibling who was relinquished for adoption.  Odds are pretty good that there might be a child in the class who is in that situation.  I have never seen a book for young ones that addresses those feelings.  Does anyone know if there is one?

Posted: 06 October 2009 07:23 PM   Ignore ]  
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I personally have never done an Adoption presentation at my children’s school. For me and talking with my now 9 year old it opens up a door that she doesn’t wasn’t open. It puts the spot light on her and she doesn’t want that. I too would get “You are her mom but she is darker than you are”. At the time I would say something simple and not make a big deal out of it. Each child and family are different so you have to do what works foryou but even my social worker who has adopted children said she never did one either. I wish you the best.

Posted: 08 October 2009 05:42 AM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  15
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Danielle—I just took a look at our Adoption and School page (http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/school/index.php), and noticed that a great article we published last year wasn’t on it (though, I just added it…). We compiled “Classroom Presentation Primers” (http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/articles.php?aid=1796) from readers’ accounts of actual presentations they had given, so you might pick up a few tips from them. I think you definitely want to steer clear of any details about your son’s story and just focus on adoption in general. Reading ‘A Mother for Choco’ would be a great way to begin or end the presentation. You might also consider using toys or other props to explain adoption. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!


Lizzie—I know of only one book written for birth siblings of children relinquished for adoption, but it’s a great one. Check out AF’s review of ‘Sam’s Sister,’ by Juliet C. Bond, in our bookstore: http://www.adoptivefamilies.com/articles.php?aid=902.

Posted: 09 October 2009 08:57 PM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  112
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I did my presentation yesterday and it couldn’t have gone better.  All of the children were interested, my son was VERY proud to have me there (he kept telling me that we needed to “tell everyone that families don’t have to look alike”), and the teacher was very pleased.
There was no embarrassment and no akwardness.  I am mad for second guessing myself as to whether to do the presentation after reading posts and opinions of other adoptive parents.  For me it was such a wonderful experience that I encourage other parents to do the same.

The articles on AF online helped me SO much.  I loved (and used) all of the tips for presenting.  I also gave each child the Talking to Classmates handout provided by AF.  THANK YOU AF!!

Posted: 10 October 2009 01:15 AM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  25
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Congrats Danielle….So glad the presentation went well and that our AF materials were helpful.  Some of my all-time favorite articles are in the adoption and school section.  Especially “How I Explained Adoption to the First Grade” and the Classmates handout.  I presented in my daughter’s kindergarden and first grade classes and she couldn’t have been more pleased.  Later, she wasn’t so sure!  All best, Susan (AF editor)

Posted: 10 October 2009 01:43 AM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  4
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Thanks Eve.  I will take a look at the book ‘Sam’s Sister,’ by Juliet C. Bond.

Do you know if anyone has ever made a presentation to a classroom about a sibling who was adopted?  I know that there is still a lot of stigma associated with relinquishing a child so maybe it is a topic for older children only??  Any experience would be appreciated.

Posted: 14 February 2010 06:43 AM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  15
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My son goes to a local private school that goes from age one all the way to the ninth grade.  We plan on having him there for many years to come and want to present adoption as a normal way to be a family.  In our case it is very apparent my son is adopted.  Last year we presented a book and some pictures for his class.  This year we will do the same on our Family Day.  The class acknowledges this day by lighting a candle, letting my son hold this candle (with supervision) and walk around a globe.  He walks around three times, one for each year he has been born, and they sing a song.  It is usually done for birthdays but they adapted it for our Family Day.  The story is age appropriate, A Mother For Choco, and it is read in class.  Pictures are presented of our first days with my child.  We also have a picture of him and his birthmother.  It is explained by the teachers that my son is black because he grew inside the tummy of his birthmother who is also black.  They go on to say his birthmother picked parents out for Izzy.  No one last year asked why.  This year they might and we have an answer that is short but accurate.  Through the years, if we prepare his classmates now, it won’t really as big of a deal as it might have been if the other students didn’t have some knowledge of adoption.  It is always brief but age appropriate.  A little added each time and only as long as my son feels comfortable with it.

Posted: 30 June 2010 11:03 PM   Ignore ]  
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I did an adoption presentation this month to my 5-year old’s preschool class, right before they all were about to “graduate” to kindergarten.  She had been with these children for several years and they all know each other very well and her adoption had never come up before.  She is Hispanic and I am blond, fair skinned and well, I just knew it would surface soon and now was the time to act!


I asked my daughter what she thought about my talking to the class about adoption and she was really excited.  She wanted her personal story told too, about her foster family and the whole thing.  This is just such a great age to open up the subject, since kids want their parents there at school and feel so comfortable having you talk to their classmates.


I used the article mentioned above “How I explained Adoption to the First Grade” as well as several other wonderful resources on the AF website.  I was nervous!  Mostly because I didn’t want my daughter to be singled out as being different, but that was my own hangup, not hers.  I chose a book (in retrospect) that was too old for this group, “All About Adoption” and edited it out quite a bit to make it a lot shorter.  I think I would have been better off choosing “A Mother for Choco” or something like that, but oh well.


I started off by asking the class “Who here was adopted?”.  It was so hard not to laugh when about 8 kids raised their hands - and I knew they weren’t adopted!  It just got cuter and more fun from there.  I read my book and they were really fascinated by it all.  My daughter wanted to show some of her baby pictures from when I first brought her home and they all loved that.  Then I read Todd Parr’s “The Family Book” which is so great in so many ways and the kids really liked that.  I ended up running out of time before I got to share my daughter’s personal story - I told her we’d save that for the kindergarten presentation…


At the end of my presentation I asked the class again “So, who here was adopted?”  My daughter rose her hand high and so did about 3 other kids!  So….some got it and some didn’t, but at least they heard the proper words like birth mother and adoptive parent and had some exposure to the process.  And more importantly, my daughter felt really proud of herself and loved sharing this info with the class.


I sent a handout home that day with the parents from the AF website “Helping Classmates Understand Adoption”.  I got quite a bit of positive feedback from the parents, but here are two comments that really warmed my heart:


One child whined to her mother all night, after the presentation that she wanted to be adopted.  How come I wasn’t adopted?
When other parents asked their child about the adoption presentation, she replied It’s all about the earth mother, who can’t take care of a baby.  When the earth mother has a baby, she gives it to the new parents.

Posted: 05 August 2010 03:47 AM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  25
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Love the “earth mother!”  Hilarious.  So glad AF materials were helpful.

My daughter (now headed off to college) was fine with adoption presentations until about second grade when the questions from other kids became really annoying to her.  There were a couple of rocky years (about 2nd to 5th grade) until she figured out (with alot of role playing with us) how to handle kids who asked her repeated annoying questions, “Where is your REAL mother?”

I later found out (much later, when she wrote her college essay!) that one of the things that really bothered her was that she didn’t always know the answers herself to the questions kids asked….In any event, she mastered it, she’s fine with all the adoption information now and all the prep work that you are doing in kindergarden and first grade will help so much when the going gets tougher.

Susan (AF Editor)

Posted: 05 February 2018 09:32 AM   Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  1
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It can be sometimes part of classical education curriculum to some christian schools. Students finds these activities amusing and fun.

 
 
 
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