ConnectKids is a cross curricular course with PSHE, SMSC development and character education at its core. It aims to teach children aged 8+ to embrace the gift of diversity and learn tolerance through story.

The lessons can be taught in an English class and include reading, comprehension and written work – including projects using persuasive writing, poetry, prose and constructing simple emails. They can also be used in an Art class and include illustrating the pages of each story, creating artwork from re-cycled waste, mandala art, making a country mascot, creating a passport and more. The lessons are also suitable for use in teaching PSHE/SMSC – spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and character education is the central theme, and there are also lessons on the environment, healthy living, rules, and how to get along with each other. There are lessons that can be used as Geography extension, for IT work and the lessons on people who have made a difference in history can be taught in History too. There are also lessons on how money is earned – which includes a little Maths. Some of the lessons may also be adapted for use in assemblies as well.

Most of the lessons are linked to a specific story. The key stories are:

  • Clarence the Clumsy Calf and the online videos of The Ugly Duckling and Lambert the Sheepish Lion. These are “feeling stories” dealing with bullying, loneliness and exclusion.
  • Say “Hello” Pete; Pete the Faithful Friend; and Colourful Pete These are “thinking stories” that explore some differences and commonality we have as human beings and ask whether the differences are of any significance at all.
  • The Gallery of Heroes which includes brief biographies of Malala Yousafzai; Iqbal Masih; Nelson Mandela; Helen Keller; Emmeline Pankhurst; Martin Luther King; Mahatma Gandhi; Anne Frank; Mother Theresa; and the Fourteenth Dalai Lama. These are “doing stories” which include some examples of individuals who have managed to make their mark on history by doing something such as overcoming adversity, standing up to prejudice of whatever kind or somehow highlighting the plight of a people or group – these are real life heroes with whom children can identify.
  • Pete’s View and Butterfly Blue. These are “thinking” and “doing” stories aimed at teaching children how we should interact with the environment and that even though they are young children they can still effect positive change in this world and make a difference to their own and other’s lives.
  • Let’s Make a Difference These are real stories about real causes through which the children can learn the value of philanthropy.

The Lessons are divided into broad themes, which cover the following:

  • The Importance of Rules: How rules help us to get along in the classroom and in life
  • Inclusion and Exclusion: The human need to belong and how it feels to be lonely, left out or bullied.
  • Let’s Cross National Divides: People may have different nationalities, but we are all people after all
  • Let’s Cross Religious Divides: People may have different religions, but we are all people after all
  • Let’s Cross Colour and Other Divides: People may be a different race, gender, etc., but we are all people after all
  • Let’s Be Proud of Who We Are: An examination of the similarities between us and embracing who we are
  • Let’s Sort Out the Environment: How we should deal with the environment
  • Let’s Do Something to Make a Difference in the World: Choosing and supporting a charitable cause
  • Let’s Get Us Connected: Connecting communities and keeping in touch

There are enough lessons for you to teach this course for about 30 minutes to one hour each week throughout the year. However, you do not have to teach all or any of the lessons in this course and are free to choose any that may assist. We have marked some lessons with the word “CORE”, as we believe that these are the key lessons for the course.

You can begin anywhere you like, but we suggest following the order of the programme as outlined. Please note that if you wish to start with the Pete the Parrot book series, this series of books works best if you first teach Let’s Cross National Divides, then Let’s Cross Religious Divides, then Let’s Cross Colour Divides and finally Let’s Sort Out the Environment (with or without the Let’s be Proud of Who We Are sessions).

Each lesson is explained to you in the lesson plans. Each lesson plan includes:

  • An activity description
  • The learning objectives of the lesson
  • The preparation required
  • Resources needed
  • Instructions on what to do
  • Editable handouts
  • Suggested topics for journal entries

You may edit the lesson plans and handouts and may print off or photocopy as you deem fit within your school/ organisation only. No part of the material may be edited and/or used outside of your school/organisation for resale purposes without the prior written permission of the author.

We strongly recommend that you get the children to keep a journal and encourage them to write down their thoughts about the journey they go on by doing this programme. While you may use the journal and exercises for purposes of assessment and to determine whether success criteria have been reached, we firmly believe that this type of course should not be formally assessed.