A NEW FRIEND (Episode 108a)
There's a new dog in townand he only has three legs. The dogs learn
to accept someone who is different.
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
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
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
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
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 lifea desire to love, learn, play, and be
accepted for themselves as other children are.