LEARN NC

K–12 teaching and learning · from the UNC School of Education

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Learning outcomes

At the end of the lesson the student will be able to articulate a beginning knowledge of diversity and stereotype.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

35 minutes

Materials/resources

  • The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss
  • green construction paper stars
  • masking tape
  • play money (either commercially produced or pieces of colored paper with a $ symbol on them)
  • basket or bag to hold the money
  • two library tables draped with tablecloths or sheets

Technology resources

  • None, though an Ellison cutter is handy for making the stars, and a computer draw program can be used to make the play money.

Activities

  1. Select any two children from the group—I use two who are sitting side by side--and ask the others, “What is different about these two students?” Then ask “What is the same?” There will almost always be more same references, especially if the teacher’s class and school are mentioned, i.e. they’re both students in Mrs. Boltz’ class, both students at Creedmoor Elementary.
  2. Explain that you will be reading a story that deals with characters who feel they are different in the beginning, then recognize that they are more the same than they are different in the end.
  3. Read The Sneetches.
  4. Lead a discussion about the book: were the star-bellies right to treat the plain-bellies the way they did? What do you think the Sneetches learned from their day on the beach with Sylvester McMonkey McBean? Was Sylvester right when he said, “You can’t teach a Sneetch?”
  5. Explain that after hearing the story a second time, the students will be acting it out.
  6. Read the story a second time, pointing out the lines that the children will be saying—“We’re the best Sneetches on the beaches,” Sylvester McMonkey McBean’s “I have what you need” and “What you need is a trip through my star-on machine” and any others you may wish to use.
  7. Put paper stars on about half the class’s shirts with masking tape.
  8. Pass out play money, giving different amounts to different students.
  9. Choose a volunteer to be Sylvester if you wish, or the teacher or assistant can play this part.
  10. Allow the students to act out the story—the star-bellies can gather in a circle and have a party while the ones without look sadly on.
  11. Sylvester arrives, and tells the Sneetches without that they can go through his star-on machine if they pay him part of their money. The students crawl under one of the tables while the teacher shakes the table to resemble the star-on machine in the book, and upon exiting, a paper star is taped to their shirt.
  12. The star-bellies are then invited to pay to have their stars removed.
  13. In-again/out-again continues until all the Sneetches are out of money. At the end, some will have stars, and some will not. Have them look at one another and proclaim, “We’re ALL the best Sneetches on the beaches!”

Assessment

I use the following rubric:

  • Unacceptable: Student does not take part in the play and is a distraction to others.
  • Beginning: Student participates in the play only.
  • Accomplished: Student participates in the play and in the discussion.
  • Exemplary: Student participates in the play and in the discussion, freely offering comments.

Supplemental information

Comments

My students love this lesson. They enjoy acting out their parts, and especially getting to move around. I also use the lesson with my Pre-Kindergarteners.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Reading: Literature

        • Grade 1
          • 1.RL.10 With prompting and support, read prose and poetry of appropriate complexity for grade 1.
        • Kindergarten
          • K.RL.10 Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • Grade 1

        • 1.C.1 Understand the diversity of people in the local community. 1.C.1.1 Compare the languages, traditions, and holidays of various cultures. 1.C.1.2 Use literature to help people understand diverse cultures.
      • Kindergarten

        • 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

Information Skills (2000)

Grade 1

  • Goal 1: The learner will EXPLORE sources and formats for reading, listening, and viewing purposes.
    • Objective 1.01: Participate in read-aloud, storytelling, booktalking, silent and voluntary reading experiences.
    • Objective 1.05: Demonstrate sense of story (e. g., beginning, middle, end, characters, details).
  • Goal 3: The learner will RELATE ideas and information to life experiences.
  • Goal 5: The learner will COMMUNICATE reading, listening, and viewing experiences.
    • Objective 5.01: Respond to reading, listening, viewing experiences orally, artistically, dramatically through various formats.

Kindergarten

  • Goal 1: The learner will EXPLORE sources and formats for reading, listening, and viewing purposes.
    • Objective 1.01: Participate in read-aloud, storytelling, booktalking, silent and voluntary reading experiences.
    • Objective 1.05: Demonstrate sense of story (e. g., beginning, middle, end, characters, details).
  • Goal 3: The learner will RELATE ideas and information to life experiences.
  • Goal 5: The learner will COMMUNICATE reading, listening, and viewing experiences.
    • Objective 5.01: Respond to reading, listening, viewing experiences orally, artistically, dramatically through various formats.