Alike & Different
Preschoolers are learning to make sense of their world by organizing or sorting things into categories. It's healthy and natural to notice similarities and differences. In fact, those are some of the skills we want children to demonstrate to tell us that they are ready for "big" school.
Children will naturally categorize people too. They may tend to befriend children who are like them, and may feel uncomfortable when around children who look different from them. Attitudes about differences between people begin to develop during the preschool years. If early experiences about inclusion are positive ones, those attitudes will likely carry over into adulthood.
As early childhood teachers, we are in an important position to help young children understand that people are alike in some ways and different in other ways. We want to do our best to show them and teach them that we need to respect and be neighborly to everyone.
In this set of resources, we will use video from DANIEL TIGER'S NEIGHBORHOOD to focus on how you can help children value and appreciate ways in which we are alike and ways in which we are different.
Watch the videos about Alike & Different and think about how you could use them as part of the classroom activity or throughout the year as you help the children accept and value each other.
Episode: Daniel's New Friend
Daniel and Miss Elaina meet Prince Wednesday's cousin, Chrissie, when they come over to play at the castle. As they play 'knights', the children recognize and ask questions about Chrissie and learn that although Chrissie needs a bit of help walking, they are all the same in many ways!×
Clip #1: Strategy Song: “In some ways we are different, but in so many ways we are the same!”×
Clip #2: Watch a clip about Gabriel and his identical twin brother.×
Use these resources to further explore the topic of Alike & Different in your classroom.
Share these resources with the families of your students, so they can continue the conversation at home.
Certainly children don't have to like everyone. No one does. But with the help of loving grownups in their lives, they can learn to be "neighborly" -- respectful, courteous, and kind.