A NEW FRIEND (Episode 108a)

There's a new dog in town—and he only has three legs. The dogs learn to accept someone who is different.

Clifford's Big Idea: Have RespectClifford's Big Idea: Have Respect

These activities are meant to help children learn that being different does not mean that they are any less valued or special. Learning to accept and appreciate one another's differences will enhance children's:

  • appreciation and understanding of cultural and social diversity
  • life skills and social literacy

Getting the FactsGetting the Facts

An important part of understanding differences is demystification, which comes about through acquiring information and getting questions answered. The home is a perfect place for demystification. Invite a discussion about why schools and other public buildings have wheelchair ramps and parking spots reserved near entrances. Show the wheelchair symbol for "disabled" and talk about where the child might see this sign: building entrances, parking spaces, bathroom stalls, grocery store check-out aisles.

Proud of MeProud of Me

Spread a large piece of butcher paper on a flat surface. Have the child lie on the paper. Trace the outline of the child's body with a black marker. Then ask the child to name things that he or she is proud of doing, would like to learn, or that make the child unique. Help the child add details that suggest these individual qualities, and color the drawing. Add extra character by gluing on buttons for eyes or yarn for hair.

Recommended StorybooksRecommended Storybooks

Balancing Girl by Berniece Rabe (1981): A first grader who is very good at balancing objects while in her wheelchair and on her crutches thinks up her greatest balancing act ever to benefit the school carnival.

Charlie's Challenge by Linda Gladden and Ann Root (1995): This illustrated book is about a boy with dyslexia and other learning differences. Characters in the book come to understand that everyone has strengths and weaknesses.

Someone Special, Just Like You by Tricia Brown and Fran Ortiz (1995): Brown and Ortiz show that the differences that seem to separate children with handicaps from others are not important. What is important is the common delight in life—a desire to love, learn, play, and be accepted for themselves as other children are.

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