Why I’m Unique… Action Project at Pittsfield Elementary
<ul><li>The Project Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Visit two different classrooms, 2 nd and 5 th grade </li></ul><ul><li>Students will complete a “Why I’m Unique” worksheet by filling in their 5 reasons why and color a self-portrait </li></ul><ul><li>The project community students will bring in examples and discuss why it is good to be different and everyone is unique </li></ul><ul><li>The students will share their completed worksheets with the group and the final projects will be displayed in the school </li></ul>Mrs. Lauer’s 2 nd Grade
<ul><li>The Project Plan </li></ul><ul><li>The project emphasizes diversity and acceptance </li></ul><ul><li>The school has a diverse student body, we have noticed however that the differences between classmates are sometimes highlighted in negative ways by the students </li></ul><ul><li>Our goal is to build great acceptance amongst the students and to help them recognize what makes them unique and how those qualities should be celebrated </li></ul>Mrs. Lauer’s 2 nd Grade
<ul><li>Project Day </li></ul><ul><li>Our Project Community section broke into two groups </li></ul><ul><li>One group went in the morning to Mrs. Lauer’s 2 nd grade classroom </li></ul><ul><li>The other section went to the 5 th grade classroom in the afternoon </li></ul>Mrs. Lauer’s 2 nd Grade
<ul><li>Before beginning work on their worksheets examples were shown and the concept of what it means to be unique was discussed </li></ul><ul><li>Students brainstormed the reasons why they were unique. The 2 nd graders made a first draft before writing their responses on the worksheet so as to best be able to formulate their ideas fully </li></ul>Mrs. Lauer’s 2 nd Grade
<ul><li>After coming up with their 5 answers and coloring their self-portraits the classes circled up and shared with the whole group </li></ul><ul><li>Because of their age the students understanding of the uniqueness varied between the two classes </li></ul><ul><li>The second graders answers consisted more of “what I like” and “favorite activities”. However this group really enjoyed having the Project Community students in the classroom and they listened really well </li></ul><ul><li>The 5 th graders had a lot of fun with the project and were able to come up with a variety of reason why they are unique from what languages they speak to their heritage to whether they were the oldest of four or an only child </li></ul>Mrs. Lauer’s 2 nd Grade
Mrs. Lauer’s 2 nd Grade “ I think our project was successful. For the most part the kids all understood what we were trying to accomplish and everyone was an active participant. With the second grade class, brainstorming ideas and getting them down on paper took longer than expected, but that was OK. We overcame this obstacle by giving them more time and eventually were able to finish the whole lesson. I think the kids liked sharing about themselves and I feel like this lesson had a positive impact on them all. I am not sure if they will always remember the lesson, but I think they all learned something and had a fun time doing it.” –Kristen Padilla
“ I was with the 5th grade group. I thought the project was successful and most of the students grasped the point of the project although not many showed it very clearly. It might be that they have done many activities dealing with diversity. However, their class was diverse to begin with and all the students seemed to have friendships with people from different backgrounds then their own. My hope for this project is that the students became more aware of their classmates and more tolerant of people who are different than them. Also, I hope that they've become more self-confident and self-acceptant. I wish that they will carry the lesson we taught them throughout their lives and that they continue being unique, and that the project was significantly influential in helping them interact with others in the future.” -Yaye Ba
Some examples of the final results “ I think that the project was very successful. For the most part, the children were very engaged with what we were doing, which can be hard with 25 second graders! They were interested in finding ways that they were unique, but they were also interested in what their classmates were writing down. The idea of what makes a person unique was over some of their heads, but many put down thoughtful and interesting things about themselves. I was a little unsure as to how the second graders would do with this project, but I learned that they are capable of grasping such abstract concepts such as uniqueness. This shows me that they do understand what makes people unique, and as such, can learn to accept people's differences. I think that the project will have a lasting impact on the classes that we did it in. As the students shared their pictures, the other students seemed engaged in what they were saying. We also explained why we did the project at the end of the hour and told them that all of their friends were unique just like them. They took a minute to think about this, and then nodded their heads in agreement. I hope that they learned not only about the things that make them special, but also about how people with differences can still be great friends. By their body language at the end, they seemed to agree with both of these ideas.” -Kristin Eckert
“ It was successful because it gave the children the opportunity to talk about why they are unique. They did not even understand the word, but by the end they were happy to share why they were different. It is great that they could recognize the differences in a good way and not be assume of them. Many of the children have a lot of differences, some of them have been through hard times such as surgeries or cancer, while others can speak a different language. Throughout their lives these differences will impact them and it was great to be able to share in a good way these differences. I think it was very meaningful to the kids. They were very excited to share why they are unique and I hope that never lose that excitement, because being unique and different is extremely important.” -Aundrea Albers
The students were not the only ones who got something out of the project. It is great experience to lead a lesson and be able to have dialogue with students about important issues. The great thing about children is they amazing insight into issues and many feel confident in sharing their honest ideas. An important aspect about the project was how the pictures will be displayed around the school for all the other students and they might spark a conversation about the subject for those that didn’t participate in the project. –Allison Goodman
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