Everyone is Unique: Elmer the Elephant Diversity Lesson

Next week we are having Exceptional Children’s Week at my school. I’ll be going into my first grade classes for lessons, so it’s a natural time to reinforce the “Everyone is Unique” concept (not only a component of Mindset Matters), but a great lesson for every day and age… most especially this day and age.  Understanding the concept that we all look and learn differently is a key part of having a growth mindset. It is also a part of maintaining a school culture of acceptance, tolerance and compassion.

So… onto the lesson I will be doing. I haven’t used the book Elmer in  years, but it is a classic that I am happy to come back to after so long of it sitting on my shelf. The story lends itself to teaching that it’s OK to be different. I use this PPT to guide my lesson and discussion about how we are different and how we are the same. Here is the PPT to go along with it.


So, after we read the story we discuss and then we do a worksheet. I instruct the kids that they have 2 choices of worksheets. One is a coloring page and one is an “all about me” page + coloring page. After the students start working for a bit I call “Freeze, pencils and crayons down! Raise your hand if you are doing the coloring side. Raise your hand if you are doing the ‘All about me side’.



Elmer unique: Worksheet  Choice #1                                         Elmer Worksheet Choice #2


Q: Which worksheet did you choose? Which one do you think is better?

A: Neither is better… they are just different. Just like people. No one is better than each , we are all just different.

Again, Here is the PPT to go along with it.  Twrap it up, I like to play some catchy tunes that are relevant to the lesson. So, here is Will I Am singing “What I  Am” (length 2 minutes). This is hyperlinked to the music note icon on the last page of the PPT.



Enjoy the lesson and I hope it helps you continue to do the good work of helping to teach tolerance and acceptance of our diversity and how we are all exceptional in our own way!


4 thoughts on “Everyone is Unique: Elmer the Elephant Diversity Lesson”

  1. I am planning on using Elmer with my functional skills kiddos in middle school. We have been working on character and this will be good for some of my lower functioning kiddos. Where did you get the worksheets?

    1. Hey Elizabeth! If you click on the word “Elmer” in blue font below the pic of the worksheets, that should take you to both worksheets. Let me know if you have any other questions. -Lisa

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