This week we will look at stories and activities that help children appreciate differences and acceptance of the uniqueness of individuals.
Today listen to the story Elmer by David McKee (read by David McKee). Elmer is a patchwork elephant that lives in a herd of all gray elephants. Elmer’s friends love to laugh at Elmer’s humor, but Elmer worries that they are laughing at his patchwork. He finds a way to change his skin to gray to fit in, but then realizes that the herd isn’t the same without Elmer the Patchwork Elephant’s presence.
Elmer and his friends learn a valuable lesson… the things that make you different are the things that make you special. This is a lesson that educators work to instill in their classes. The look that uniqueness is not a thing to be looked down upon, but instead to be seen as assets.
Chat about the things that make your child special. Look at physical, emotional, behavioral and other differences. Discuss likes and dislikes. How to these attributes make you… you?
At the end of the story, all the elephants have one day a year where they decorate themselves to show their own unique differences too. (Elmer paints himself gray on these days, to still stand out in his own way). Have your child draw an elephant, or print one off the web. Write on the top of the page “I am special because I am ME” Then around the elephant write attributes that make you… you!
Finally decorate your elephant to show off these attributes. What makes you different is what makes you special, celebrate these differences.
This would make a great family project. Have each member of the family create their own unique elephants. Show that there are attributes that are similar across the family, and ones that are special and unique to each individual.