Tonganoxie Elementary School teacher uses egg experiment to teach MLK lessons to children

Tiffany Parker, Tonganoxie Elementary School kindergarten teacher, speaks with her class during an exercise last week. Parker used eggs to help convey that everyone is the same on the inside despite outward appearances. It's an exercise she has been doing each year to coincide with Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Enlarge photo

January 21, 2019

It’s never too early to learn about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy.

Tonganoxie Elementary School teacher Tiffany Parker used an exercise again this school year to educate her kindergarteners about what King meant to the country and what his message could mean to them.

Parker brings in one typical white egg and then gets chicken or duck eggs donated for her “experiment,” with the more blemishes, size differences, colors and freckles the better.

She showed the white egg and quizzed her students on what was on the inside.

The students respond with usual yolk and “white stuff.”

Parker said she then plays up the chicken egg with the freckles and play up how it must be gross on the inside if the outside is so different.

Parker cracks the egg and, of course, the inside is the same.

She continues the process and the experiment shows time and time again that all are the same internally.

“We discover that the outsides may be completely different, but the insides are all the same, just like people,” Parker said. “Therefore we need to treat people with care like an egg because it’s not the outside that matters, it’s the inside.

“So we need to solve problems with friends peacefully like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. demonstrated because we are all different and that’s OK.”

Parker said the exercise seemed to sink in. She could hear students later comment about peace or solving simple problems like “cutting” in line peacefully more than she had heard previously.

“This lesson is never too early to learn and putting the visual of different eggs seems to drive the concept home for these kids,” Parker said.

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