Dreaming Big: Kamala Harris & Us

Students (grades 3-6) find out about Kamala Harris's background and her election as vice president - and reflect on their own dreams for the future. Also see our MS/HS lesson.


Let students know that they will be viewing a picture of a girl.

Share a picture of Kamala Harris when she was a child, such as the first photo in this collection:


Ask students to write down what they see and or notice by responding to this prompt:

  • I see ____________________________________.  OR,
  • I notice __________________________________.

Give students a few minutes to write down their thoughts.  

Then, ask for a few volunteers to share what they saw or noticed about the picture.

Next, ask students to share their ideas, feelings, or thoughts around this follow-up question:

  • Is there anything about the girl in the picture that is familiar to you? 

Invite a few responses to this question. 

Now let students know that the picture is of a now well-known person. You might have students guess who the young girl in the picture may be. Reveal to students that this is a picture of Kamala Harris when she was a child. 

Explain to students that on Saturday, November 8, 2020, Kamala Harris became the first woman ever to be elected to be vice president of the United States. Until now, all of our country’s vice presidents were men.

Kamala Harris is also the first Black person and the first child of immigrants to be elected as vice president.

Show this image of Kamala Harris and past vice presidents:

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Dreaming Big!

Share with students the information below:

  • When Kamala Harris was a little girl, around the same age as you, she had to take a bus to school to go to a school far from her home.
  • The school was considered better than the one in Kamala’s own neighborhood. But they had never had any students who looked like Kamala in their school before. 
  • Students who looked like Kamala, with black or brown skin, didn’t have the same educational opportunities as white students. 
  • Kamala went on to excel in her studies while in school. She graduated from high school and went to college at Howard University in Washington, DC. 
  • She became a lawyer and eventually a U.S. senator.
  • Now she has been elected vice president of the United States. Her running mate Joe Biden was elected president.
  • Kamala Harris and Joe Biden will actually take office in January 2021, and will serve a four-year term as vice president and president of the United States.

Show students this image of a little girl watching as Kamala Harris making her acceptance speech on television after winning the election.

Ask students:

  • What does this picture show?
  • What does it make you think or feel?

Reflection & Word Cloud:

  • What are some things you think Kamala Harris had to do in order to become so successful?

Create word art based on the students’ responses using a program such as this one.  Reveal the word art and review the words.

Tell students that you’d like them to think about what they might want to do or be when they grow up. 


Mindfulness/Art Activity

Ask students to imagine themselves all grown up.  Tell them they will be taller and bigger in their bodies. 

Invite students to close their eyes, if they’re comfortable doing that. Ask them to get a picture in their minds of how they’d look and even what they might be wearing. 

Ask students to think about what they might want to be when they are all grown up, like Kamala Harris. 

Next, have students open their eyes. Ask them to draw the image that they saw in their minds. Give students time to create their drawings.  

While students draw, play a child-friendly  “resilient” song. (For instance: “I Can Only Be Me” by singer, songwriter, and rapper Saul Paul.)  



Have students do a one-person high five (either holding their palm up in person, or toward the screen if your class is virtual).