This book is about a little puzzle piece trying to figure out where he belongs. He tries to fit into other groups but is rejected for being different. Oliver changes himself to fit in and is accepted but is unhappy for not being his true self. Leaving the group, Oliver soon discovers that there are others trying to find their place as well – that he isn’t the only one – and delights in finding the perfect fit for him!
Hold the book up in front of the students and read the title aloud to them and ask:
Have you ever wondered where you fit?
What do you want to do that you think would be exciting?
Are our ideas all the same?
Is it okay that we have different ideas/dreams?
Have you ever been told you can’t play with a group because you were considered different?
Have you ever witnessed others being excluded because they look or act differently?
Explain that in this story Oliver is looking for a way to fit in and tries to change who he is to fit with a particular group only to find that they don’t want him because he looks different.
As you read the story, have students think about differences:
needing braces to fix teeth
having different skin colours
wearing different clothing
why it might be that kids exclude others, or why some kids say hurtful things.
Have students think about something they do or believe in that is different from what their friends do or believe in. Ask them how that makes them feel.
Do they feel they need to change because they do or believe in something different from others?
Ask students if they know someone or have a friend who is different than them and what they think about the differences. What are some similarities?
Have a discussion with students 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 or act different than you?
In what ways do I look or act the same?
Even though I look different or act different does that mean I can’t be included?