Have you ever encountered someone who seems to blend into the background? Perhaps a student, colleague, or teammate who is always alone, quiet, and doesn't participate in group activities. Despite their presence, they are almost invisible, and nobody really knows them. The truth is, the effects of not being included can be more devastating than we realize. To help students understand the powerful effects of inclusiveness and encourage them to take action, I am sharing a lesson plan designed for 6-7-year-old grade 1 students. The lesson is based on the book "The Invisible Boy" by Trudy Ludwig and illustrated by Patrice Barton, and it includes meaningful discussions about inclusiveness and kindness in various settings.
- To help students understand the significance of inclusiveness and the value of treating everyone as a team member.
- To encourage students to develop an open-minded approach towards others and their differences.
- To facilitate a discussion on ways to practice inclusiveness both within and beyond the classroom.
- Book “The Invisible Boy” by Trudy Ludwig
Starter/Warm-up (5 minutes)
Start the lesson with a fun and interactive warm-up activity where you ask the students to brainstorm different games or activities they enjoy. During the activity, you can reinforce the concepts of "including" and "excluding" by providing relatable examples.
You can also encourage the students to think about their personal experiences and share if they ever felt left out or excluded from a game or activity and how it made them feel.
Main activity (10-15 minutes)
Read the book "The Invisible Boy" out loud and then lead a discussion using the following questions:
- How would you describe Brian's emotions at the beginning of the story? Why does he feel that way?
- How did Justin help Brian feel included and seen?
- What can we do to ensure that everyone feels included and valued in both the classroom and on the playground?
- Share ideas on how each of us can be a friend to someone who is feeling lonely.
- What did you learn from the story?
Closure (5 minutes)
- Conclude the lesson by summarizing its essential themes while emphasizing the values of open-mindedness, observation, and inclusivity. Motivate your students to apply these principles actively, both within and beyond the classroom.
- To wrap up the session, engage your students in an inclusive activity, such as a brief game in which each participant takes turns saying an animal starting with a letter of the alphabet. This exercise reinforces the lesson's message while ensuring active participation from all the students, emphasizing the importance of including everyone in our shared experiences.
- Encourage students to collaborate on a large art project, where each student contributes a unique piece to create a collective collage. Emphasize the importance of every individual's contribution, highlighting that the final artwork wouldn't be complete without each student's touch.
- Each student gets a small rock or pebble. Instruct them to decorate their rocks with positive messages or symbols related to kindness and inclusion. Once decorated, a designated area of the classroom or school grounds should be used to create a "Kindness Rocks" garden. During a class discussion, explain that these rocks represent the collective commitment to kindness and inclusivity. Encourage students to take turns sharing their rocks and explaining the message behind their designs.