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Jumpstart: Diversity - Universal


CASEL Competency Focus: Social Awareness
Time: 20-30 minutes
Materials: Chart Paper, Board, Old Magazines/Old Book, Writing Utensils, Scissors, Glue/Paste

1. Use positive language/words that show being accepting/respectful of others regardless of their race, language, culture or religion.
2. Identify ways in which people can be different.
3. Identify up to 2 characteristics about your own diversity that you like and want to share with others.

Definitions of Key Terms:

  • Diversity: Differences; people may be different in many ways, including physical appearance, favorite foods, where you live (house, apartment), race or ethnicity, age, disabilities, language, culture, appearance, or religion.

Lesson Procedures

Introduction: Begin by explaining to students diversity is the difference between two or more things. Provide examples of diversity. Diversity in plants includes; trees, bushes, flowers, grass, etc. Diversity in dogs; big dogs, small dogs, long haired, short haired, etc. Using chart paper or the board, brainstorm a list of ways people are diverse such as hair color, skin color, race, religion, age and disability. Discuss the importance of celebrating differences. There are many benefits to celebrating diversity in others. Cultural diversity makes our community stronger by honoring other perspectives, beliefs and experiences. What examples of diversity exist in the classroom?

Game Time: Different, But the Same!

Not so much a game, this activity pairs students to discuss similarities and differences in themselves and others. Assign or allow students to choose a partner. Provide each pair with a “Different But the Same!” handout. Instruct students to discuss likes and dislikes. What is the same between the pair? What is different? Have students draw images representing five things that are the same and five things that are different. When completed, encourage pairs to share their work. What did they notice? Are we more similar than we are different?


Celebrate diversity as a class by creating a collage representing all members. Using chart paper and old magazines, have students cut and paste images that represent who they are to the chart paper. Encourage students to think creatively about how they would like to show who they are. When complete, have a classroom discussion about what they notice. What do they enjoy about the collage? Display the collage in the classroom or hallway.

Try it out!

Consider creating penpal opportunities for your students. Not only is this a great way to learn about other parts of the country or the world, it also encourages students to practice their writing skills. Check this site's penpal resources.