This is the first post in a series that tackles how to help children celebrate diversity, and feel a sense of community in the classroom. To start off, it is important for us to not only be aware of our differences, but to understand the beauty of being different, and how our contributions make our community stronger. The activity below can start off this conversation with children.
The Chain that Connects Us
by Emily Tweten
Pennock Elementary School
Expected Outcome: After participating in this activity, students will be able to identify ways they are similar to and different from peers and understand why diversity is positive.
- Tell students that you will be doing an activity in which they will learn more about similarities and differences.
- Explore with students why it is positive that we are alike in some ways and different in others.
- Point out that school and life would be boring if we were all exactly the same—we wouldn’t be able to tell each other apart.
- To begin the activity, hand each student a Chain Link Worksheet (click link or see below), scissors and glue.
- Use a protocol to assign students to talk to six different classmates.
- From each classmate, students will determine 2 positive facts — one they share and one they differ on.
- Remind students that they may have to ask each other multiple questions before they are able to find a similarity and a difference. For example: What is your favorite color? Where were you born? What subjects do you like best?
- Have students record facts on their chain link templates.
- When students have completed all six chain links on the worksheet, have them cut each link along the lines and then glue the ends together, interlocking links to make a chain.
- After they finish, connect the chains together to create one large chain. Display it in your classroom as a reminder to students of how both our similarities and our differences connect us.