To help us celebrate Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance, & Inclusion month, we are reading the book We Belong by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Carlos Velez Aguilera.
Inclusion Activity: Poem Template
The author of We Belong, Laura Purdie Salas, has created a wonderful poem template activity that you can use in the classroom that will enable each student to compose their own poem. For younger students, you could work together as a class.
Fast Friends by Heather M. O’Connor and illustrated by Claudia Davila
Aaron Slater, Illustrator by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts
Our Activity: Inclusion Posters
As a class, brainstorm ways that you can make everyone feel included. A few examples are;
ask someone who is alone at recess to play
ask someone to be in your group for a project who is feeling left out
listen to others if they feel sad or upset
smile and say hello to someone who isn’t a friend
let’s celebrate our differences by talking about what makes us special
compliment someone on something they do well
Divide students into groups of 2 or 3. Each group will be provided with a large sheet of paper on which to make their inclusion poster. These posters will focus on one of the ways we can help others feel included. Posters can include art and text.
One of February’s designations is Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month. Our focus this week is kindness and ways we can be kind. We read:
When I Care About Others by Cornelia Maude Spelman and illustrated by Kathy Parkinson
Kind by Axel Scheffler and 38 illustrators!
Class Activity – Make A Class Kindness Jar!
You have two options for a class kindness jar…
Every time a student in your class does something kind, they can put a pom pom in the kindness jar. Once it’s full, the class gets a prize!
Have students each fill in 3 post-it’s with ideas for a random act of kindness that can be done at school. Each day upon entering class, students pick one post-it from the jar and need to find a way to fulfill that act of kindness before the end of the school day. Ideas could include;
clean up part of the classroom
give someone a compliment
play with someone who is alone
open a door for someone
offer to help your teacher with something
pick up trash in the hallway and put it in the garbage
The month of February is JDAIM- Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month. The right book can really help foster more awareness and kindness in our students. I have created a book bin with books on this topic for reading buddies that you can find at any time in the library. I have also created a short list of some of our most on-point titles;
Just Ask! by Sonia Sotomayor. This lovely book covers various kinds of differences and how every individual has so much to share.
Knots on a Counting Rope by Bill Martin and John Archambault. A beautifully poetic book about a blind child developing confidence in his own abilities.
Thank you, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco. Patricia Polacco has to be one of my all time favourite children’s authors. She has so many titles that deal with themes of children struggling because they are different and then finding the support they deserve in their teachers and friends. It is about how much each child is capable of, no matter what the obstacle may be at first. In this book, our protagonist struggles with dyslexia but with the support of a compassionate teacher is able to learn to read.
I’m Wendy Blair, Not a Chair! by Carolyn MacDiarmid. This book is about not letting your disability hold you back. This was written and published by The Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work.
You’re Different and That’s Super by Carson Kressley. This book was written by one of the original Queer Eye crew and is a hilarious and adorable book about how special it is to be different. A storytime favourite.
We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio. We can’t end a list like this without including something by Palacio. This picture book brings home the main message in the novel Wonder for a younger audience. Beautifully illustrated.