*This lesson plan and all the concepts within it may be best taught by
covering the material during a number of days/lessons.
Description of Audience:
This social skills lesson can be taught in a pre-K, kindergarten, first
grade, or second grade classroom with children between the ages of three
and eight years old with varying skill levels.
This lesson is to be taught as part of the Social Studies Unit:
“Who We Are.” It
will give students guidance and practice with regard to understanding the
similarities between themselves and others despite existing differences.
bowl/basket with different kinds of fruits
poster board/overhead slide chart of fruit
poster board/overhead slide Venn diagram of hair color
poster board/overhead slide Venn diagram of children
with and without pets
poster board/overhead slide Venn diagram of Charlie
by Eliza Woloson (for pre-K and Kindergarten)
Buddy by Audrey Osofsky (for grades 1 and 2)
Talk About It: Extraordinary
Friends by Fred Rogers
photograph of Josh, character in Let's Talk About It: Extraordinary
graphic organizer Venn diagram handouts for
drawing and/or writing
crayons and pencils
icons (Picture Exchange Communication symbols) with Velcro
Felt board designed with Venn diagram on one side and fruit chart on the
A requisite for social perspective taking is the ability to
identify with others. Emphasize
the similarities between individuals who also have differences.
Students will be able to identify similarities they have with their
classmates and with others although there are apparent differences.
Objective for the board: Today
we will talk about how we are similar to one another although we also may
have some differences.
1) Show the
class a bowl of different kinds of fruit (apple, banana, grapes, and an orange.) Ask the students what is different and what is similar about
the fruits. Put their responses on the fruit chart to show the categories
that are different (size, shape, color) and the same (taste, type of food)
about the fruits.
2) Ask the
students to think of something that is different about everyone in the
class (example: all live in different houses) and something that is similar
(all go to the same school).
the objective that is written on the board: “Today we will talk about
how we are similar to one another although we also may have some
differences.” Draw a
KWL chart on the blackboard and ask students what they already know, and
what they would like to know about what makes them similar to their classmates
and to others despite differences that they may have as well as how they
can discover some similarities. Explain to the class that the ‘L’ in
the KWL chart stands for what they will have learned by the end of the
lesson. The ‘L’ part of the chart will be filled in at the end of
the class by hair color. Students with light hair will stand in a line
at one end of the room. Those with dark hair
will stand in a
line at the other end of the room. Explain
that the difference in one’s hair color is a difference that is an
obvious one and is one that we can see about each other.
the students are standing in different groups, ask the students:
“Who likes sports?” There
may be a number of hands raised for both groups. Fill in the
Venn diagram with the similarities and point out that although some students have differences in hair
color, they still have similarities in what they like.
Then ask the two groups: “Who
likes to eat pizza?” Point
out the hands that are raised again, and add to the Venn diagram.
split up the children between those who have a pet and those who don’t have pets. Tell
the class that this is a difference we can’t see about each other.
Ask another series of questions:
“Who likes to read books? “Who likes recess?” and “Who has
been to Ocean City?” (or other popular vacation spot).
Point out again that although some students have pets and other
students do not, both groups have similarities in what they like or
perhaps where they have been. Emphasize
this visually by filling in the similarities in Venn diagram.
the end of the activity, ask the class: “What did we find out from this
activity?” (That although
two groups or two people who have differences [some which we can see right
away and some which we cannot know about just by looking at a person],
there are still similarities and things which the groups or people share
in common. (What they like to
do, eat, or perhaps where they have been).
Pre-K and Kindergarten)
the book entitled: My
Friend Isabelle by Eliza Woloson. Have a discussion with
the class after reading the story. Ask:
“What is different about Isabelle and Charlie?” Write the comments on the board in a Venn diagram
graphic organizer to show the
takes her time
carries a doll
lot of words
her words are hard to understand
“How do Isabelle and Charlie play together if they have a few
differences?” Point out that
although both children have a difference in their height [Charlie is tall
and Isabelle is short], that the two friends paint together anyway.
Isabelle just stands on
a chair so that she can reach the table to paint her paper.)
“What is similar about Isabelle and Charlie?” Write the comments on
the board in the similarities part of the Venn diagram:
play together every Friday
like to draw and paint
like to dance
both cry when they forget to share or when their feelings are hurt
eat cheerios and drink apple juice
like to go down the slide
like to slide down on their own
4) Ask the
students: “If you are a
fast runner and your friend cannot run as fast as you can, how would you play together outside?
What if your friend uses a wheelchair?
What are some ways you could play with each other during recess?” Have
the students share their ideas out loud and ask students to put a thumbs
up to how they like their classmates’ ideas.
that: “Isabelle is a child
with a condition called Down syndrome.
This means that she doesn’t look or think quite like Charlie does.
She can do many of the
things Charlie can do, but sometime it just takes her a little longer to
do them. Charlie and Isabelle
still have a strong friendship and enjoy playing together.”
First Grade or Second Grade)
1) Read the
book entitled: My
Buddy by Audrey Osofsky. Have
a discussion with the class after reading the story.
Ask: “What do you
think is different about Buddy’s master (the little boy) and you?”
Write the comments on the board in the Venn diagram graphic
organizer to show the similarities and differences.
has a dog to help him do things
muscles are weak
“What is similar about the main character in this book and his
same age (?)
gets angry and sometimes cries
never gives up
goes to the mall
goes to school
likes to play tee ball outside
plays video games
likes cars and sports
2) Ask the
students: “If you are a
fast runner and your friend cannot run fast because he/she uses a
wheelchair like the boy in the story, how would you play together outside?
What are some ways you could play with each other during recess?”
Have the students do a ‘Think, Pair, Share.’
student will first think to him/herself about his/her response.
After a minute or so, each student will pair up with a classmate to
discuss their individual responses. After
a few minutes of discussion, have some pairs of classmates share what they
discussed with the rest of the class.
that: “The boy in this
story is a child with a condition with muscular dystrophy.
This means that his muscles are weaker.
Although he can do most things that other children do, there are
some things he can’t do which other children can do.
However, he still has strong friendships with Mike and others from
his class at school.”
(for all grades)
1) Read the
book entitled: Let’s
Talk About It: Extraordinary
Friends by Fred Rogers.
After reading the book, ask the class if they have any questions
about anything they saw or heard from the book.
“What does it mean to have a disability?”
Engage the class in a discussion about how people with disabilities
may have some differences in what they are able to do or how they do
things, but they also have many similarities with people who don’t have
disabilities. (We all like to
love and be loved, we are all special in our own ways, sometimes we want
help and sometimes we want to try to do things on our own, we help each
other, we like to have fun, and everybody needs and likes to have
1) Present a
photograph of the boy named Josh who is featured in the book:
Let’s Talk About It: Extraordinary
Friends. Tell about Josh in
explaining that he is a boy who likes fire trucks, trains, race cars,
cats, horseback riding, swimming, visiting people, pizza, and telling
jokes. Explain that Josh has
a disability and uses a wheelchair to move around.
He also uses a computer to communicate with others.
2) Ask the
class: “Although Josh may
have some differences in how he does things compared to some of you, do
you think there are some things about him that are similar to you?
If Josh were in your class, or was a boy living in your
neighborhood, how might you be Josh’s friend and what might the two of
you do together?”
3) For a
pre-K/Kindergarten class, ask for feedback/ideas from the students and ask
peers to put a thumbs up to show they like the idea being shared. Students in first or second grade can do a ‘Think, Pair, and
Share’ exercise to brainstorm about their responses regarding Josh.
Students will first think on their own and then will pair up with a
classmate to discuss their ideas and responses regarding what either
student thinks. Walk around
the pairs to listen to what is being discussed and perhaps facilitate for
some groups. After the pairs
have wrapped up their discussion, students who feel comfortable might share
their thoughts with the whole class.
feedback from the students about what they have to say about Josh:
what they share in common with him and how they might be his
friend. Write some of the
responses on the board. Emphasize the point that although there are people in this
world who are different from us, we still share things in common and can
be friends based on our similarities while also learning from what makes
students the graphic organizer (Venn diagram) handouts/worksheets.
Ask students to draw and/or write about someone they can think of
who has a disability and what he/she shares in common with that person
even though he/she may be different. If the student cannot think of
someone they know, he/she can draw and/or write about someone from either
of the two books.
2) Ask the students to also draw and/or write about at least one enjoyable
thing they can think of that he/she can do together with that person.
During this time, walk around
the classroom and make sure all students understand the directions and
help any student who may feel confused by clarifying and giving prompts.
1) When students are finished
drawing and/or writing, have a few individuals share with
the class what they drew and/or wrote.
refer back to the KWL chart on the board and review what the students’
prior knowledge was before the lesson, and ask students if they
were able to find out what they wanted to know.
3) Last of
all, ask students about what they learned from the lesson about similarity
awareness: the activities,
reading the books, and the class discussion.
Write comments on the board. Students
may also write about what they learned at the bottom
of their paper.
Walk around the room as students are doing their own independent
work and evaluate each student’s individual understanding and mastery of
the social skill (identifying the similarities one has with one’s
classmates and with others although there are apparent differences.)
Also check by way of completing the KWL chart and find out what
students learned, how much of the class mastered the concept of
understanding and identifying similarities between themselves and others
despite existing differences: particularly disabilities.
You may want to plan a day when students with disabilities from another
class or school will get together with your class for a recreational
activity such as an outdoor picnic and some games.
The teachers of both classes can pair students to be buddies for
the day or put them into groups so that students can get a chance to
interact and get to know each other as well as to play together and
develop a relationship. In
this way, students will experience firsthand the similarities they have
with others despite differences: particularly disabilities and how they
can still enjoy spending time with each other!
*Present information to provide for multi-modality
The oral presentation of information is accompanied by visuals and key
points are summarized throughout the lesson visually as well as orally.
*Use manipulative materials to introduce new
During the introduction, the teacher uses a bowl/basket
of different kinds of fruits in order for students to be more actively
involved and have increased motivation.
This also will reinforce their learning by having a concrete
example demonstrated of the concept being introduced.
*Provide ample “wait time” for students who may
have difficulty answering questions or sharing their thoughts.
Some students may need more time to process and put together what they
want to say in response to a question
or when sharing an idea during discussion time. The teacher will honor
this and provide the time that is needed.
*Adapt the environment.
Students who are identified as having a physical, auditory, or visual
impairment may need special seating arrangements during the lesson to a
location in the classroom that is
most conducive for their learning. Also,
the teacher will provide proper
lighting, equipment, supports and materials that are needed.
*Use graphic organizers.
Visual-spatial displays are used such as charts and Venn diagrams to show
information to students in a meaningful way so that they can more
easily the concept of two
people/groups having both differences and similarities.
*Use BoardMaker icons with Velcro to put onto
Using Board Maker Icons (Picture Exchange Communication symbols) is a
great way to include all students in having everyone participate in
putting the symbols on the felt board (graphic organizer).
It is also an important accommodation for students who
are not able to read written words. Additionally,
the symbols can aid in participation and communication during the lesson
for students who are non-verbal.
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