Little Gate Ruby Elephants have been discussing how everyone looks different, and that no one is alike. Teachers talked about skin tones, and how there are many different shades. Based on the theme of the book The Colors of Us by Karen Kratz, faculty brought in all of the different colored items that were mentioned in the story -- items such as cinnamon, peanut butter, chocolate, honey, cocoa, coffee, chili powder, and ginger. The Rubies had such fun painting self-portraits to display all of the "colors of us." Self-portraits are a fantastic way for children to explore their sense of self and build their identity. To begin this multi-step project, students painted the background of the self-portrait. The class collaborated with Ms. Rita in the Tinker Studio on this project. Ms. Rita also helped the children mix different shades of brown for their skin color. The Ruby Elephants painted faces one day, hair another day, and finally they drew on eyes and a nose, and painted on a mouth.