K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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Learning outcomes

Students will enhance their self-esteem by learning that all people have similarities and differences. Students will learn to be accepting of differences in other people.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

45 Minutes


  • People by Peter Spier, Doubleday; Reprint edition (May 1988) ISBN: 038524469X
  • Chart paper with Venn diagram
  • Markers
  • Drawing paper
  • Crayons


The teacher may find these pre-activities useful:

  • Create self-portraits. Use mirrors so that the children can explore their individual characteristics.
  • Read and discuss the book, I’m Terrific, by Marjorie Sharmat.
  • Discussion of favorites, including foods, colors, books, toys, games, etc.


  1. Gather the children around you on carpet. Read and look at the book People. Talk about things that are alike and different about the people in the book.
  2. Ask for two student volunteers to come and stand in front of the class. Use a Venn diagram to compare the likenesses and differences of the two students. Have the other students ask the volunteers questions about what they like, such as their favorite color, food, toy, etc. During the comparison, focus on the differences. Say, “It is the differences that make us unique and special.”
  3. After the Venn diagram has been completed, have the children think of the ways that they are different and special. Have the children return to their seats and draw a picture of one way that they are different from their friends and peers.
  4. Students will share their pictures with the class telling one of the ways that they are different that makes each one of them special.


Each student’s understanding of likenesses and differences will be evident in the conversations that take place during the activity and in the sharing of each individual picture.

Supplemental information


This is a positive way to acknowledge individual differences of people, especially friends and peers.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Guidance (2010)
      • Readiness/Exploration/Discovery

        • RED.SE.2 Understand the relationship between self and others in the broader world. RED.SE.2.1 Identify ways of making and keeping friends. RED.SE.2.2 Understand how to support positive relationship building (e.g., managing impulsivity, adaptability, and flexibility)....

    • Healthful Living (2010)
      • Kindergarten

        • K.ICR.1 Understand healthy and effective interpersonal communication and relationships. K.ICR.1.1 Explain reasons for sharing. K.ICR.1.2 Compare people in terms of what they have in common and how they are unique. K.ICR.1.3 Summarize protective behaviors to...
      • Social Studies (2010)
        • K.C.1 Understand how individuals are similar and different. K.C.1.1 Explain similarities in self and others. K.C.1.2 Explain the elements of culture (how people speak, how people dress, foods they eat, etc.).

North Carolina curriculum alignment

Guidance (2001)

Grade K–5

  • Goal 7: Acquire the attitudes, knowledge and interpersonal skills to help understand and respect self and others.
    • Objective 7.01: Develop a positive attitude toward self as a unique and worthy person.
    • Objective 7.09: Consider individual differences.

Healthful Living Education (2006)


  • Goal 3: The learner will develop healthy and effective interpersonal communication and relationship skills.
    • Objective 3.02: Conclude and acknowledge that each person is unique and special.

Social Studies (2003)


  • Goal 1: The learner will investigate how individuals, families, and groups are similar and different.
    • Objective 1.01: Describe how individuals are unique and valued.