same, same and different

Community building.

It's one of the most important things I do at the beginning of the school year.

We learn to respect and celebrate our differences.  Our differences make life fun - I tell the kidlets "wouldn't it be boring if we were all the same".

And the things that are the same - aren't they the things that are at the core of our human-ness?

We have a couple of books that we read together celebrating our "same same and different".  

(In Thailand, there is a saying "same same but different".  I am choosing to adapt it to celebrate our sameness and our differences.)

Two Eyes, a Nose and a Mouth
author/illustrator:  Roberta Grobel Intrater
published: Cartwheel Book (1995)
ages 4-7

More than 100 full-color photos fill this unique picture book with eyes, noses and mouths of people of all races, shapes and sizes--and the rollicking rhyme throughout celebrates our differences and our similarities.  Goodreads

beginning lines
Two eyes, a nose and a mouth, 
they're the first things that we see
on millions and millions of faces
from Tibet to Tennessee.

We Are All Alike We Are All Different
authors and illustrators:
Cheltenham Elementary School Kindergarten Class of 1991
photographer: Laura Dwight
published: Scholastic (1991)
ages 4-7

"We Are All Alike... We Are All Different," a book written by children for children, reinforces multicultural and anti-bias learning and appreciation. With original drawings and their own lyrical words, the children in Rosalind Goldberg's kindergarten class at Cheltenham Elementary School in Pennsylvania share the ways they look and feel, the games they play, the foods they like, the homes they live in, and the families they live with, concluding that "We are all alike. We are all different. We are a family." Goodreads

beginning lines
We are all alike.  We are all people.  
We are all different.  We do not look the same.   

I love both these books because they have a profound message, presented  with simplicity and with beautiful photography.   

Ms Barbara from For the Children, looked at skin colours with her pre-school class.  They matched their skin colours with multi-cultural skin colour paint and created self portraits.  Beautiful.

The brown egg shell - white egg shell activity is a great one to illustrate how we can be different on the outside, but inside, we are all the same. Click on the graphic to take you to Kids Activities Blog's diversity activity.

More important than activities, are the values that we build our classrooms (and homes) on.  Children learn far more from our actions  than they  ever will from our words (and even wonderful learning activities we set up for them). 

As adults, we are responsible to live "same same and different".

Recognizing what makes us the same as everyone else - we live in bodies, we are born into families, we belong somewhere, we need to eat, we like to play,  ...

Living with, accepting, better yet, learning from and celebrating our differences.  

Learning words in a new language, trying different foods, listening to music from somewhere "else" ...

I figure that a bigger world is a more meaningful and enjoyable world.  It would be so boring if we were all the same.  

from Todd Parr's The Peace Book
As the Cheltenham Kindergarten kids said: 
We are all alike.
We are all different.
We are a family.  

This Sesame Street clip may be a bit dated in clothing and hair styles, but the message is still relevant and all children will always be beautiful.  Enjoy.

other books
Who Ever You Are - Mem Fox
Shades of People - Sheila M Kelly
The Colour of Us - Karen Katz
It's Okay to be Different - Todd Parr
All the Colour of the Earth - Sheila Hamanaka

Image Map
Booknificent Thursdays


  1. These books and activities would go beautifully with the grade one care kit.
    Thanks, Sandi!
    BTW, I love your chicka sensory bin, too.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. A beautiful post Sandi. I will add these books to my collection. I teach that God gifted us differently so we can work together I unity. These will complement my unit with ease. Love the egg illustration...will use this for sure.
    With thanks
    Julie :-)
    Mrs Stowe's Kinder Cottage

    1. I agree. We are not meant to all be the same.


  4. Great post Sandi!

    You and I think alike. I run my whole classroom on the positives of diversity. I love the egg example and I love the Peace book too which I also own. Your students must feel so comfortable and loved. :)


    The Perks of Teaching Primary

  5. I love all of Todd Parr's books. Aren't they wonderful!


  6. These books look beautiful and I love the activities you've shared! Thanks for linking up at Booknificent Thursday!
    Tina from

  7. What a wonderful post!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!


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