Hair Love, is a seven minute animated short film about an African-American girl, Zuri, and her hair. Her father tries to help her create the perfect hairstyle for their big day. You can watch the film here. The film was also published as a picture book! I used the read aloud video on YouTube with my students.
According to the writer and director, Matthew A. Cherry, this film was "born out of seeing a lack of representation in mainstream animated projects, and also wanting to promote hair love amongst young men and women of color."
This book can be a great tool for speech-language pathologists, teachers, educators, and parents to increase representation of the black community in their libraries, classrooms, and homes. Here are some ideas for discussion topics and extension activities.
VOCABULARY + MORE
This story opens the door to discussing the concepts of hairstyles, tools for styling/cutting/fixing hair, and words that can be used to describe hair types.
Discuss with your students the different types of hairstyles that people have, what hairstyles mean to people, what hairstyles represent, and why/how hairstyles may represent different cultures, countries, and generations.
Compare and contrast different styles, styles between countries, styles between generations, or styles between men and women.
Print pictures or cut them out of magazines for students to make collages of their favorite styles.
Learn all about the different types of tools that people use to style their hair, including:: gel, curling irons, straighteners, oil, picks, brushes, combs, beads, scarves, etc.
Discuss with your students the tools that they use with their hair and the purpose of each tool.
Print out pictures of the different tools you discussed and play a matching game, charades, or use with HedBanz.
Create BINGO cards.
Play hangman with the names of the tools.
DESCRIBING + FREEBIE:
There are so many words we can use to describe hair! Have your students name colors, textures, lengths. Jot those terms down on a whiteboard for use with the next few ideas.
Categorize the describing words by color, shape, style, texture, length, etc.
Have students describe their own hair, and compare and contrast their hair with a classmates (in a positive, respectful manner).
In this story, Zuri’s dad helps to style her hair. Who helps you with your hair? Why do you think helping you with your hair is that person’s job?
Do certain hairstyles connect with certain cultures?
When Zuri styles her hair, they represent different things to her. Does your hairstyle represent anything, or mean anything special to you?
If you're interested in learning more about the film, and/or learning about further discussion topics, click here.
➡️ And if you'd like to snag your digital copy of the worksheets pictured in this post and more, click here!
Have a wonderful day!