The joy of pretend and dress up activates imaginations and exercises language skills. When kids pretend to be other people, they are experimenting with new ideas and behaviors and exploring the elements of identify.
This can be a strong lesson in empathy. Have students talk about the expression “walking in someone else’s shoes.” Ask students to think about how they can use their imaginations to learn about and understand the experiences of others. Have them generate a list of “shoes to walk in,” research a related issue, and come up with ways they can communicate their new understanding.
How would you describe yourself? What makes you you?
What makes you happy: What do you do? Who are you with? How do you feel?
How do you like to or want to express yourself?
Does what other people say about how you express yourself affect how you express yourself?
How do you feel when you make your own choices without wondering what others will say?
Do you have a special friend who you feel comfortable just ‘being yourself’ around? What
are some of the things you like to do together?
How do you describe yourself? How do your friends and family describe you?
Jessica Love on The Children’s Book Podcast
I Can Do Anything lesson plan from Scholastic
Identity Self-Portraits activity from Teaching Tolerance
Our Selves, Our Classroom, Our Families video from the Teaching Channel
Reading Is Fundamental support materials
What I Am from Sesame Street and Will.I.Am
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
Hat by Paul Hoppe
Sparkle Boy by Lesléa Newman
Lucía the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza
Jamela’s Dress by Niki Daly
Be a Friend by Salina Yoon
Bee-Wigged by Cece Bell
Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match / Marisol McDonald no combina by Monica Brown
My Colors, My World / Mis colores, mi mundo by Maya Christina GonzalezMore
Join NEA President Lily Eskelsen García and Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David Jazz as they read Read Across America recommended books Julian is a Mermaid and I am Jazz to celebrate the Jazz and Friends National Day of School and Community Reading.
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