Don't Be a Sneetch!
This lesson is interactive and will definitely capture your students' attention. The main purpose of this lesson is to teach students about diversity and how appearances don't make the person.
Group Activity: Before I start this activity with the class, I check with the teacher to see which student might be "a good sport" or would not get their feelings hurt for being left out. Once I have selected that student, the activity starts. Every child closes their eyes and puts their head on their desk with their fist sticking out. I walk around the classroom placing different colored stars on the back of each child's hand. (Some received red stars, some blue, some gold, some green and only ONE person received the silver star.) The picture below shows an example of where I placed the sticker on each child's hand.
***Once I was finished handing out stars, I instructed the kids to lift their heads and then get out of their desks to look around the room and find their matches. Once they found their matches, they were supposed to form a group. The student that received a silver didn't have a match and didn't have a group. He/she was left out. I asked the student how that made him/her feel and some of the responses I received were, "Sad", "Lonely", "Bad", "Upset", etc. I was very proud to hear some of the kids from the other groups say, "You can be part of our group!" (I almost had to run and find my Kleenex... So sweet!) This opened up the floor for all kinds of discussion and it also allowed me the opportunity to introduce the video we were going to watch for this particular lesson... The Sneetches
This video is rather long (especially since I'm only with my kids for 30 minutes), but it's definitely worth it. The students love this story and it teaches a valuable lesson about including others no matter what their difference may be.
Closure: I usually ask two girls from the class to help me with the last activity since they seem to be a little more open with their feelings and don't mind describing what they like about each other. I often have the more outgoing girl tell me what she likes about the other female student and then I get both of them to describe to me how they are the same.
Once they are done describing similarities, I ask the class as a whole what is the purpose of wearing reading glasses. (The response is usually, "to help you see better".) Then, I take out a pair of glasses that have colored lenses. (The ones above can be purchased at Party City.) I have one of the girls put on the glasses and then I tell her to look at her friend that she just finished describing. I ask her if her friend still has all of those wonderful qualities... of course, the answer is always, "Yes". I remind the student that the glasses she is wearing is suppose to help her see better and her friend should be pink now. Then I pose the question, "Since she is now pink, is she still your friend and does being a different color make her different on the inside?" At that point we close the lesson discussing outward appearances not being important and that it is what's on the inside that counts!