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Lesson Plan

It's Okay to Be Different: Teaching Diversity With Todd Parr

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It's Okay to Be Different: Teaching Diversity With Todd Parr

Grades 1 – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50- to 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Karla Price

Boone, North Carolina


International Literacy Association



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



It is important to teach students about diversity to help them develop empathy for others. This lesson, for first and second graders, uses Todd Parr's picture book It's Okay to Be Different to help students understand what diversity means and how it applies to them. After a shared reading of the text, students work in small groups to discuss and write down what makes them diverse. They then visit Todd Parr's website and create pages for their own books about diversity. Students share their completed books with another class.

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Miller, H.M. (2000). Teaching and learning about cultural diversity: A dose of empathy. The Reading Teacher, 54(4), 380–381.

  • An important goal of teaching students the literature of diversity is showing them how to become empathetic human beings.

  • Balance is a part of teaching empathy. Students should not become overwhelmed by negative feelings, but they should recognize-and take seriously-stories about oppression.

  • Picture books are beneficial in helping students to become knowledgeable about cultural and diversity issues and in allowing them to make the personal connections that lead to empathetic behavior.


Miller, H.M. (2000). Teaching and learning about cultural diversity: All of us together have a story to tell. The Reading Teacher, 53, 666-667.

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