Why Stories?Discussing difference and how we deal with difference isn’t exactly easy – right? This isn’t just about having a chat about difference on an intellectual level. This kind of discussion will inevitably raise some emotional issues and the last thing we want is to leave our children feeling exposed, named and shamed. The playground is a tough place – we all still bear the scars of things that were said to us when we were very young and learning how to be. The aim is not to draw attention to difference in a way that will arm those playground fiends with more ammunition – the aim is rather to teach our children to better understand and celebrate themselves and their differences and learn how to stand up for themselves and others and so quiet those playground fiends – in the playground and in our children’s minds.
We believe that the way to have these sensitive discussions is through story. We believe that stories allow teachers and parents to raise these sensitive issues and engage children in discussion around these issues without children feeling so exposed, and perhaps vulnerable, or even ashamed. Children are by nature imaginative and this can be used to help them to understand diversity and learn tolerance.
How to use this Programme
We suggest that you follow the programme as outlined and that each story is read through with the class first, and the activities then completed as described, but you are, of course, free to do as you choose. There are enough lesson plans for you to teach this programme once a week, but you can cut down on the material and choose only a few.
Each lesson is explained to you in the lesson plans and, where applicable, is accompanied by resources for you to use and handouts for you to print off and provide to the children so that they can complete the activities described.
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 this 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.
We hope that you and they enjoy the journey and that, together, we can touch, move, inspire and empower our children to effect some positive change and teach them that we have got to love to live.