“It’s okay to wear boy socks” – a very diverse lesson

Todd Parr Book cover

When I bring a Todd Parr book into a classroom with me, I know that I’ll hear lots of laughter, meaningful comments, and creative ideas! The colorful pages in each of Todd’s books bring alive imagination. What I love about his books is how really important topics, like appreciating diversity and being tolerant of others, is conveyed in kid-friendly words and pictures.

As part of my diversity and tolerance unit, I read “It’s Okay to Be Different” and then had my kindergarteners and first graders create their own pages for a class book. I found the idea for this here: Teacher Idea Factory. They had to draw a picture of what makes them different/unique, and then write a sentence starting with “It’s okay to…”

All of my K and 1st graders LOVED the book, as expected, but my 1st graders were definitely able to go further when making their own pages, showing a deeper understanding of the topic.

After they finished their pages, I collected each and binded them together to create a book, which I shared with them the next time I visited their class. The pride on their faces when THEIR page was read aloud was priceless!

Here’s mine – which I made to show the students for an example:

Different1
It’s okay to wear glasses!

 Here are a few of the kindergarten pages:

Different2
It’s okay to have a dog with freckles!
Different3
It’s okay to go to a disco party!
Different4
It’s okay to love your mom!

Here are some of the 1st grade pages:

Different5
It’s okay to have orange hair.
Different6
It’s okay to be really really smart.
Different7
It’s okay to be born in China.
Different8
It’s okay to have a friend that owns pigs.

This one has got to be my favorite! It makes me laugh every time I see it. So simple, yet profound. 😉

Different9
It’s okay to wear boy socks.

I’m thinking I’ll hang onto these books and show them again when they’re older – that would be fun, and not at all embarassing. 😉

Diversity and tolerance is one of my favorite units to teach because there are so many interesting books to read and activities to do. I’d love to hear how you teach diversity and tolerance with your students! Share below or on this blog’s Facebook page.

And remember, as Todd Parr tells us,

“You are special and important just because of being who you are.”