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Physical Differences 

Student Teachers: Karen Bowman, Megan Tannous, Andrew Clare
Project Children L.E.A.D. Director: Dr. Vincenne Revilla Beltran
Subject Area: Diversity
Grade level:Kindergarten (Ages 5-6)
Length of Lesson: Three 20-minute lessons
Group Size: Six students

Download a printable version of the Lesson: Physical Differences in PDF format (requires Adobe Reader)

Lesson 1: Physical Differences: We're Different, We're the Same

" Upon completion of an activity on physical differences TSWBAT name at least four out of six individual characteristics that vary from person to person.
" A. Modification for Special Needs: The college students will be available to help the Kindergarten students as needed.

Related PDE Standards:
1.1 Learning to Read Independently Pre-K - K
D. Use illustrations and text to make logical predictions
1.2 Reading Critically in all Content Areas Pre-K - K
A. Recall content of informational text
Identify essential information from illustrations or text read
1.4 Types of Writing Pre-K - K
A. Draw or write to inform
1.5 Quality of Writing
B. Identify information related to a topic

Book: We're Different, We're The Same, 6 lunch bags, 6 scissors, 6 mirrors, 6 sets of eyes to be cut out and colored, 6 glue sticks, crayons, construction paper in a variety of colors

A. Review/Assessment of Prior Knowledge: The teacher will ask the students to name the facial features
that vary from person to person.
B. Introduction/Motivation: Read the book, We're Different, We're The Same
Written by Bobbi Jane Kates, and illustrated by Joe Mathieu (1992)
C. Development of the Lesson:
1. Distribute the craft supplies in advance
2. Welcome the students
3. Ask the students to name some things about their appearance that is different from the person(s) sitting next to them
4. Provide an example, such as "My hair is brown, and Colleen's hair is blond"
5. Read the story, We're Different, We're The Same
6. Ask the students questions while reading, such as, "What do you think might come next?"
7. Have the students move to the first station
8. Ask the students to pick up the mirrors in front of them and look into them
9. Next, ask them to look at the students next to them
10. Ask the students to share which things about them are same/different
11. Ask the students to create a puppet in their own image
12. Explain that the college students are available for help as needed
13. The teacher will model by making a self-puppet
14. The teacher will share his/her puppet
15. Ask the students to finish up their puppets
16. Have them share their work
17. The teacher will ask, "What do we all have that can look different from person to person?"
18. Give each student a sticker reward for their participation
19. Guide the students to the next station

Assessment: The teacher will ask the students, "What do we all have that can look different from person to person?" The students should be able to name specific characteristics (4/6)

(Karen Bowman)

Lesson 2: Physical Differences
Grade Level: Kindergarten
Group Size: 6

Objectives: After working in station two the children will be able to........
" Understand how blind people use their sense of touch in place of their sense of sight.
" Understand that we see the world by using our sense of touch, sight and smell.
" Understand that each individual has physical differences in the world.
" Understand that physical differences do not keep individual from living a normal life.

Modification for Gifted or Special Needs Students: Each exercise is with a partner and can be modified to meet any special needs.

Pa State Early Childhood Learning Continuum Indicators:

o Discuss unknown words and word meanings as they are encountered in books.
o Identify major ideas in a story
o Read both fiction and non-fiction

" I am Eyes By Leila Ward (Introduction book)
" Touch and Feel by Joy Richardson
" Six eye covers (blindfolds)
" Construction Paper
" Crayons
" Thirty-six objects for paper bags


" Students meet at station two, following the introduction session on physical differences. The students should sit in the assigned chair along the desk nad prepare for the story.
" The introduction story is read in order to familiarize the children with the purpose of eye sight.
" The class will discuss what eyes are used for.
" The class will then discuss what it would be like to be blind
" After the discussion, demonstrate to the students what it would be like to be blind.
" Demonstrate to the students that you would have to use the sense of smell and touch by objects into a paper bag.
" Blind-fold the students and see if they can use their sense of touch to figure out what is in the bag.
" Discuss what it was like to not be able to see.
" Part two is the blind art session.
" The children can remain in their seats for this activity.
" Again, use the blind-fold to cover the children's eyes.
" Have the students participate in drawing a tree with the blind-fold on and off. Make the activity by challenging by suggesting certain colors for the tree when the blind-fold in on.
" After the two lesson plans, have a discussion about modifications blind people can use in order to function every day. (ex, the sense of touch)
" Make sure the children understand that although we have physical differences, we are all the same.

" Make sure that all the children are participating in the activity.
" Evaluate, through discussion that the children understand physical differences.
" Evaluate, through observing, that the children thought it was challenging to have no sight.

(Megan Tannous)


Lesson 3: Physical Differences: Disabilities
Grade: Kindergarten
Length of Lesson: 15 to 20 minutes
Group Size: The class is 6 students; however this can be done with more students, just add more time and an activity for the inactive students to keep busy.

To have the children learn about the uses of a wheelchair and to understand why people use a wheelchair.
To have the children experience what a wheelchair is by learning how to use one and navigate it through a simple course.

Pa State Early Childhood Learning Continuum Indicators
o 1.1 E. Discuss unknown words and word meanings as they are encountered in books.
o 1.1 G. Identify major ideas in a story
o 1.3 F. Read both fiction and non-fiction
o 1.6 E. Participate in everyday conversation by turn-taking, initiating sentences and asking questions.

o 1 wheelchair (preferably equipped with a seatbelt )
o The book Extraordinary Friends by Fred Rodgers.
o An area carpet large enough for the class to sit on.
o A box or two of crayons

This is a 15 minute segment of the larger unit plan. In this segment the instructor will be teaching the children how to operate a wheelchair. The class should first assemble together on a carpet near the chair. Bring out the Mister Rodgers book and show the kids the different types of wheelchairs and how they are used. The book covers electric wheelchairs by showing the disabled child who uses one.

After the book is read, demonstrate to the children how to maneuver the wheelchair through a simple course of up one row, turning around, and coming back down the other side. Show the children the importance of wearing a seatbelt if the wheelchair is so equipped.

Have the children try the wheelchair on the same course. A teacher should be right behind the wheelchair at all times in case the child on the chair is either having trouble maneuvering the chair, or if the child is poising a safety risk to himself or the other children.

Included in this portion of the lesson plan is a picture for the children to color while one of the children is trying the wheelchair. This is purely for the entertainment of the children and for classroom management. It is to keep the children busy.

Ideally this lesson is better if a guest is able to come in and demonstrate the uses on their own wheelchair. That person could maneuver their wheelchair next to the student and demonstrate the method best.

Assessment: Just watch to see if the children are able to comprehend that movement without the use of legs is possible and that the children are able to move the wheelchair and get a sense of how it is to control.

(Andrew Clare)