|Storytime @ The Booksmith with Todd Parr & Tiki (Photo credit: Rainforest Action Network)|
This is such a great book that I use it every year in either kindergarten or first grade for a lesson on diversity. We spend some time talking about how everyone is different, including different in abilities and interests not just in how we look. Then we talk about how important it is to respect differences since we are all different and special. In particular, we talk about how hurtful it is to be teased or made fun of because of being different in some way. After I read the book, I finish by having the children create a page for a class book on It's Okay to Be Different.
Here are some of my favorites from this year's kindergarten classes. I've added some translation, in case you don't read kindergartenese:
|It's okay to be different|
|It's okay to be bald|
|It's okay to be funny!|
|It's okay to wear glasses|
|It's okay to be little|
|It's okay to be small and big|
|My all-time favorite: It's okay to be Superman!!|
This book lends itself to a discussion of many things in addition to diversity. It is also a great way to focus on children's strengths. Here are some other conversation starters: What are their gifts and talents? How can they use them at home, at school and in the community? How can they include people who are different in their circle of friends? For older students, we can watch this excellent video on how it feels to be different and how just one person can make a difference in some one's life:
Powerful isn't it? As we say in this lesson, we're all different. Accepting and nurturing others in their differences and strengths is so important!
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