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A Place to Belong

Everyone enjoys the feeling of being part of a group or community where they can share something in common with others. The sense of belonging is an essential human need, and it is particularly important for children as it helps them develop a positive self-image and self-esteem. When children feel like they belong to a group, they are more likely to feel confident and valued. In this lesson plan, teachers can introduce the topic of belonging to Grade 1 students (around 6-7 years old) through engaging activities.



Goals


  • Students will learn about different groups and communities they belong to.

  • Students will understand the importance of feeling a sense of belonging.


Resources



Starter/Warm-up (5 minutes)


Give each student a small card that displays an item belonging to a different category. Plan six categories and one card that doesn't belong to any group. Students need to group according to the items they got on the card.

Ask students why the items in each category belong together. Explain that although the items are different, they have similarities and can be used together to make something.

Talk to the student who couldn't find a group and ask how he/she feels. Explain that people usually feel sad when they don't belong to any group. When we feel that we belong to a group, it makes us feel more comfortable, safe and focused.


Main activities (20 minutes)


  • The students will form a circle. Name different groups, such as students who enjoy playing football, students who like to dance, or students who walk to school. If a student identifies with a particular group, they will come to the center of the circle. Once all groups have been mentioned, ask the students what they observed during the activity. For instance, they can share whether they found out that they belong to the same groups as some of their classmates or different ones.

  • Sit with the students on the carpet and begin with the slides. Explain to them that we all belong to different groups and communities (Slide 1), which can help us feel happier and supported. You may also provide examples of these groups. Afterward, watch the story "A Little Spot of Belonging" (Slide 2) and comment.

  • The students will complete the activity "Communities I Belong To" independently. Then, they may present their communities and share their feelings of belonging.



Follow-up activities


  • During circle time, engage students in discussions related to the topic of belonging by asking questions like “What makes you feel like you belong in a group?” and “What do you have in common with your classmates?”.

  • You could consider reading some books to the students about stories related to the theme of belonging. Some examples are The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, or Corduroy by Don Freeman.

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