My daughter had to do a project for Women’s History Month recently. She had to choose a famous woman, find some facts about her, get a picture of her, and bring in supplies to make a paper doll of her.
These are kindergarten students, ages 5 and 6. Doesn’t that seem a little advanced? When I was in kindergarten, we made things with Play-Doh and colored. Kids of that age don’t watch the news, they don’t read newspapers or the encyclopedia (they still make those, right?) How are they going to come up with a famous woman who has accomplished something?
Obviously, the parents are going to influence the kids, or everyone is going do reports on Doc McStuffins’ mom, Kiki from the Fresh Beat Band or Sleeping Beauty, which someone in Nugget’s class did.
Not to go too much on a tangent, but what did Sleeping Beauty (Princess Aurora) actually do? She was cursed as a baby. She lived in the woods with her fairy godmothers. She pricked her finger. Fell asleep. And was awoken by Love’s True Kiss. And the LTK was by a prince who she was arranged to marry from the time she was a baby, so it may not have been true love. I am just saying.
We decided that Nugget would do her report on Malala Yousafzai, the little girl who was shot by extremists in Pakistan after it was discovered that she had been writing a BBC blog about the condition and availability of schools for girls in her village. She lived, has been honored by human rights groups and now lives in the United Kingdom. And Malala is a fun word to say.
We sent in our name request since the teacher didn’t want duplication. We got a note back that asked us to pick another person. Don’t get me wrong I think her teacher is great and is working hard to help Nugget get out of her shell and be more confident.
Is Malala’s story too rough? Too real? We assured her that Nugget would be going very top-line.
We assured her that the phrases “Muslim fundamentalist” and “shot at point blank range” would not be uttered. She agreed and, according to Nugget, it went well.
Malala is a little girl like me.
She is Brave.
She wants all girls and boys to be able to go to school.
And, apparently, another child also did their report on Malala.
I think anyone who is worthy of being a subject of this kind of project has had some tough times and has had to overcome them. Would a report on Christa McAuliffe end right before she buckled into the Challenger?
There are some people who you should do a report on someone that featured no true suffering. I guess if you did your report on Lena Dunham, you could talk about how hard she’s had it since she didn’t get a movie deal, only a contract with HBO. Poor Princess Kate, she had to marry a guy who one day will be King of England.
If we are asking our young children to do projects like this, we have to let them know that all stories have warts and they are part of the story as well.