Different. It is a word that means so much and so little at the same time. As adults, we understand that no two human beings on this planet have ever been identical. in all of the centuries of our existence, we may have seen near-duplicates, but in every scenario there has and always will be a unique factor that distinguishes each person; making us all different. I know I didn’t just drop an atom bomb of infinite wisdom that will go on to shift our future for generations to come, but I do find it strange that if the concept of being different is so easy to understand, then why do we as humans feel the need to generalize, group and segment people by physical attributes, or any attribute for that matter?
“I’m Just Me” follows one boy’s journey as he is introduced to different young people from various walks of life. With each page turn, we follow Yabi as he meets a new character, each with a physical feature that makes them unique and different from him. Through these encounters, Yabi finds himself gaining perspective and learning that the world is a lot bigger than he knew it to be. Every single person on this planet shares one common bond; that we are all different.
Can I ask you to participate in a small experiment? It won't hurt, I promise! However, it is important in order to see this question through a different lens. Now, read the rest of this paragraph in full before performing the action. Set the timer on your phone to sound after 30 seconds. Then take a deep breath and close your eyes, and for half of a minute try to visualize what a normal person looks like. Ready? Go ahead...
To help our educators reinforce the underlying message of diversity found within the book "I'm Just Me", we have put together a comprehensive lesson plan suggested for both Kindergarten and First Grade. This downloadable set of classroom guidelines focuses on stimulating Social-Emotional Learning through ELA extension activities. The objectives are clear; students will learn that all people have unique differences, they will determine that friends and family can have physical differences and still relate to each other, and lastly, students will create a shared classroom book on varied characteristics. With the guidance of the teacher, students will have a better understanding of who they are, what makes them different from their classmates, and why that is completely normal.
Educators, this lesson plan follows the Common Core Standards which are currently being used in 42 states, as well as Social Emotional Standards which are native to Ohio. Along with the lesson plan are accompanying worksheets and extension activities with procedure steps. We would like to thank Britni L. Tudor of Fairfield City Schools for assisting us with putting this all together.