Representation in the Home and Classroom


Done on purpose. Deliberate.

This is my “one word” for the summer. I want to be intentional with my family. I want to be intentional with my work. I want to be intentional with my time.

Currently I am trying to be more intentional with the way I decorate our home. Over the years we have tried to make sure that our kids see themselves in the books we read, toys we play with, and movies we watch. But one area I didn’t give enough thought to is the decorations in our house.

I think this can also apply to the classroom as well. What we have on our walls, on display, in our libraries, etc… it matters. It allows children to BE SEEN. It allows children to SEE themselves. It shows children that they are LOVED, they are VALUED, they are IMPORTANT.

Representation in Displays

Let’s look at this little area in Israel’s room. Previously it held some superhero toys and books. It still has those things, but I was more intentional with what I displayed. I found these fun prints from MsSupaSaiyanPrints on Etsy, printed them out, and placed them in picture frames. She also has superheroes and other athletes as well.

Then I grabbed some of Israel’s favorite stories. These were previously in our library baskets, so he had access to them. But putting them on display shows him that these books are important. He can see himself in these books. And all it took was moving them from a basket to a shelf.

Representation Little Boy Room 1

Picture Frames / Prints / Wall Shelves / Over and Under the Pond / Crown / He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands / Dear Dragon / Superhero Rock Python

Finding toys that look like my children isn’t always easy. But, it is possible. Black Panther, Rock Python, Miles Morales Spiderman, and Falcon are superheroes that I look for when shopping for Israel. He loves all superheroes, but I try to be intentional when purchasing new toys.

Representation in Books

Dr. Sims Bishop said:

“Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created and recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books.”

So what does that mean for me? I must be intentional with the books I purchase. I want the books in our library to reflect our world. I want my children to see their own lives and experiences in those books.

Here are a few of our favorite new stories we have purchased this summer.

Representation In Books 1

Rita and Ralph’s Rotten Day / Billy and the Dragon / The Girl With a Mind For Math

Representation in Artwork

The last thing I want to share is how I am trying to be more intentional when finding artwork for our home. Not just what I put in their bedrooms, but also around the house. I found these maps (from Mapiful) and knew we had to have them. I purchased maps from the cities where Joelle and Israel were born.

They were ECSTATIC when we opened the boxes. We hung the maps in our living room to honor their birthplace. I think it also creates a safe space for them to ask questions and have discussions.

After hanging the maps we began researching The Congo. It created a beautiful dialogue. And it all began with a map.

Mapiful 1
classroom representation

Mapiful Website

I will continue to be intentional, and I invite you on this journey with me. Let’s create environments that reflect our world. Environments that represent our children. Environments that allow everyone to be seen and heard.

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Hi, I'm Amy

Hey, y’all! My name is Amy Lemons and I am passionate about providing students with both engaging and effective standards-based Math and ELA lessons.


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