This book reveals situations in which individuals may feel unaccepted by their peers because they are physically different. It highlights the kinds of situations where people feel ‘put down’ or laughed at. This book is about spreading the message to our young people to be respectful citizens and to have the courage to be themselves.
Although not all these words are in the book, continue to develop students’ language skills by directly teaching what some of these words mean.
Ask the students a number of questions:
Have you ever felt that someone may have made fun of you in some way because you were different?
Have you witnessed others being laughed at or made fun of because they were different?
Have you ever been called a name you felt was not nice?
Have you ever heard the word ‘geek’ being used? Are there any other names that you have heard or been called that were not nice?
Explain that this story highlights some situations in which people might feel sad because they are being made fun of or not being accepted by their peers.
Have students think about some basic differences:
If anyone they know wears glasses
If anyone they know has had to get braces to fix their teeth
Why it might be that kids laugh at others, or why some kids hurtful.
Have students think about differences that can be hard to understand:
When we see homeless people on the street, is it sometimes hard to look at them?
Sometimes when we see people who are a little different, like being in a wheelchair, we can be insensitive and stare. Sometimes we can even laugh and make fun of them for being different. Why?
Have students think about something that they do or believe in that is different from what their friends do or believe in. Ask them how that makes them feel.
Ask students if they have a friend who is different and what they think about the differences. What are some similarities?
Have a discussion about how it sometimes takes courage to be unique.
Being different is something I’ve always had to accept and I’ve learned that being a whale among so many boys and girls is something to celebrate. I don’t let it bother me one bit that I look different than most people.
In what ways do I look different than you?
In what ways do I look the same?
Even though I look different i’m just as smart as you, right?