A new kid was on the horizon; my students saw him sitting in the office yesterday so they had at least a vague idea of what he looked like.
Boy 1: Hey, where’s Donald? (the anticipated new kid)
Boy 2: There he is! [Points to one of our current students as he walks into the classroom.]
Boy 1: That’s not Donald, that’s Collin!
Boy 2: Oh yeah. Well, they kind of look similar. They’re both brown.
Boy 2 again: [Looks down at arm] Wait! I’m brown too. So I guess I look similar too.
The conversation ran organically for about 4 more minutes as the group determined who else was brown. In our class, the answer to this question is far from obvious. We are blessed with ambiguity. When the group seemed to lose interest in the topic, we moved on with our typical morning routines. I’m sure though, that these wonderings will resurface soon and many times again. This is but one beauty that comes from having and making time for conversation, thinking, reflecting, community, and identity in a classroom for young children.