Activity: Early stage 1 Unit 2 - What makes us unique?

Broad focus for an inquiry: Difference and diversity, personal and social capability.

Image: Download the activity sheet.


Generative questions

  • What are some things I like?
  • How am I the same or different from others?
  • What is ‘unique’?

Understandings, skills and values

  • It’s okay to be different.
  • Diversity is what makes us unique.
  • Students can identify and appreciate ways in which they are the same and different from others.

Tuning in

What makes me unique?

Read and discuss stories that promote positive perspectives about difference. Some examples include:

  • Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
  • All Kinds of Families by Mary Ann Hoberman
  • Best Friends: A Pop-Up Book by Sheri Safran.

Students make and compare thumb prints and create thumb print artworks to celebrate differences. Everyone’s thumb prints are different.

Finding out

What do my friends and I like to do?

Survey the class and create a pictograph of favourite activities, games, or sports. Discuss which activities are most or least popular to develop ideas around similarities and differences.

Sorting out

What makes us unique?

Each student has a photo of themselves with a large surrounding border to draw pictures and add descriptive words about themselves such as being a good friend, favourite games, things they like to do. The focus of this activity is on developing positive messages around student identity. Photographs can become part of a class display.

Going further

Appreciating difference

Read picture books to students that develop respect and empathy for difference. Some examples include:

  • Giraffes Can’t Dance by G. Andreae
  • Willy and Hugh by Anthony Browne
  • Wilfred Gordan McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox.

Concluding and acting

Respecting difference and diversity

Students collaborate to develop a poem to celebrate why they are unique.

Information for teachers

The following units of work for Early Stage 1 provide suggested activities to facilitate students’ understanding of diversity through an inquiry framework. They emphasise belonging, respect for and appreciation of difference and empathy for others.

Students learn about and practice being a good friend and the behaviours that protect both themselves and others from bullying.

Note: Teachers should consider and be sensitive to the needs of specific students when planning these activities.

The subject matter includes:

  • groups we belong to including families, classes and community
  • appreciating and accepting our differences
  • characteristics that make a good friend
  • keeping myself and others safe from bullying.

The units can be used to support the following syllabus areas and suggested outcomes:

  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
  • Human Society and its Environment
  • English
  • Mathematics

Hte-1 Communicates stories of their family heritage and the heritage of others.

MAe-9MG Describes and compares lengths and distances using everyday language.

IRES1.11 Identifies how individuals care for each other.

INES1.13 Relates well to others in work and play situations.

V1 Refers to a sense of their own worth and dignity.

V2 Respects the right of others to hold different values and attitudes from their own.

V3 Enjoys a sense of belonging.

ENe-1A Communicates with peers and known adults in informal and guided activities demonstrating emerging skills of group interaction.

ENe-2A Composes simple texts to convey an idea or message.

Ene-4A Demonstrates developing skills and strategies to read, view and comprehend short, predictable texts on familiar topics in different media and technologies.

ENe-8B Demonstrates emerging skills and knowledge of texts to read and view, and shows developing awareness of purpose, audience and subject matter.

ENe-11D Responds to and composes simple texts about familiar aspects of the world and their own experiences.

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