Celebrating Diversity with Elmer
Mark Twain Elementary School

This lesson is used at the beginning of the school year to promote tolerance of differences in the classroom and school. The teacher will read Elmer by David McKee (HarperCollins, 1989) to the class and the class will discuss how Elmer looks and acts different than the other elephants. They will also discuss the similarities. The teacher will guide a discussion of how the students in the class are the same and different. Students will decorate their own elephants and write about what makes their elephants special.

Students will discuss Elmer’s similarities and differences when compared with all of the other elephants. Students will discuss their own similarities and differences and will celebrate those differences together.
Elmer by David McKee (HarperCollins, 1989)
Celebrating Differences with Elmer Smart Notebook File
Smart Board
Blank Paper
Lined Paper
Read Elmer to the class.
Guide students in completing the Celebrating Differences with Elmer Smart Notebook File, first discussing Elmer’s similarities and differences to the other elephants, then discussing students’ own similarities and differences to one another.
Talk to students about celebrating our differences and why we are special.
Students can draw and decorate their own elephant, then should write about why their elephant is special.
Students’ elephants can be displayed with the “Our Elephants” poster.
The teacher will informally assess students understanding of the benefits of differences through the class discussion.