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Physical Differences 

Created by: Charles Ayre, Dan Pomposelli, Cathryn Calhoun
Type of Lesson: Diversity Lesson
Grade Level: Kindergarten
Length of Lesson: 60 minutes
Group Size: 6 or more students

  1. Objective:
    Students will be able to recognize physical differences such as skin color, gender, height, eyes, etc. amongst two entities (people and/or animals) through reading and discussion of The Ugly Duckling as well as a hands-on activity. Students will learn that everyone is different from one another through flashcards examples, duck activity, and discussion of the lesson.
  2. Pennsylvania Department of Education Indicators

    1.6 Speaking and Listening

    A. Listen to others.

    B. Listen to a selection of literature.

    E. Participate in small and large group discussions and presentations.

    9.1. Production, Performance and Exhibition of Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts

    E. Demonstrate the ability to define objects, express emotions, illustrate an action or relate an experience through creation of works in the arts.

  3. Materials

    • Book: The Ugly Duckling.

    • Flashcards containing people with physical differences.

    • Paper plates.

    • Googly eyes.

    • Construction paper (various colors).

    • Crayons/markers.

    • Scissors.

    • Glue.

    • Pencil.

    • Stencils of duck head, beak, and feet.

  4. Adaptations and Accommodations

    Students with visual and/or hearing impairments may sit at the front of the room near the teachers. Help will be available during the activity if needed.

  5. Procedure

    REVIEW: (Approx. 2-3 mins)

    • The students will sit down on the carpet at the front of the room.

    • Mr. C. J., Mr. Dan, and Ms. Cathy will introduce themselves to the students and distribute name tags.

    • Mr. C. J. will review the rules for good speakers and good listeners with the students.

    INTRODUCE: (Approx. 5-7 mins)

    • We will begin by asking questions such as:

    Has anyone ever read The Ugly Duckling?

    Who can tell me what the story is about?

    • We will introduce the book The Ugly Duckling and the topic of the lesson which is physical differences.

    • Ms. Cathy will read the story.

    • As Ms. Cathy is reading, Mr. C. J. and Mr. Dan will ask questions pertaining to pictures in the book to encourage participation (NOTE: 1-2 Answers per question during discussion of the book).

    • After the story we will have a discussion about the book and its meaning and obtain feedback about the story from the students.

    DEVELOP: (Flashcards Approx. 5 mins) (Art Activity Approx. 25-30 mins)

    • After discussion of book we will introduce the flashcards with people with physical differences by holding them in front of the students so they can begin observing.

    • While this activity is taking place, Mr. Dan along with the University students will set up the next activity.

    • We will ask students What is the difference between the persons on the flashcards?

    • After the flashcards Ms. Cathy and Mr. C. J. will illustrate differences between themselves such as height, hair, eyes, skin color, and gender.

    • Next Ms. Cathy and Mr. C. J. will pair students together and ask them to describe some physical differences between one another such as hair, eyes, height, etc.

    • We have learned that The Ugly Duckling was unique amongst the other ducklings, and once Mr. Dan is ready we will line up and proceed to the tables.

    • Students will line up in a single file line and proceed to the tables (They may sit wherever they choose to sit).

    • Mr. Dan will review rules for good listeners and good speakers.

    • Students will now begin project following these steps:

    • Each student will place hands on a piece of construction paper while a University student traces the student's hands which will be cut out and used for duck feathers.

    • Students and University students will cut out outlines of hands (Mr. C. J. and Ms. Cathy will get rid of scraps).

    • Students will choose one color to color plates for body of duck.

    • Students will fold plates in half.

    • University students will help glue duck feathers from hand tracings to the paper plate while students hold materials in place (Make sure University students glue feathers on each side).

    • Students will trace duck head on construction paper and cut the duck head out.

    • Students will glue duck eyes on duck head.

    • Students will then trace the duck beak on construction paper, cut out duck beak, then glue duck beak on duck head.

    • Students will place the duck head on other end of the plate while the University students help glue duck head to plate.

    • Students will trace two duck feet, cut them out, and glue one duck foot on each side of the duck body.

    • The duck is now complete and ready for display by the students.

    • While the students display their ducks, they will discuss the physical differences and compare and contrast each other's finished duck.

    ASSESS: Responses from students and observing how well they recognize the differences in the ducks will allow assessment for the teachers. During the activity, the teachers should take mental notes of whether or not the students seem to be engaged and learning. Participation and whether or not the students seemed motivated and interested will also allow the teacher to make assessments.

    ASSIGN: Students are to take their ducks home and explain why their duck is unique and discuss physical differences with their families.

    CLOSE: Give verbal praise for working hard and following directions. Mr. C. J., Mr. Dan, and Ms. Cathy will pass out fruit snacks. Mrs. Vistein will tell students when they can eat the fruit snacks.

    REFLECT: The teachers and University students will reflect on the lesson after completion up in the Multicultural Diversity class with Dr. Revilla.


    Andersen, H. (2004). The ugly duckling. New York: Backpack Books.

    Flashcards. (n.d.). Children of the world and families. Lakeshore Carson, CA 90810