While a classroom is filled with a group of unique individuals, it can be easy sometimes to get caught up in treating them as one, with one set of needs, expectations and rules. Everybody do this, everybody do that—a bit like Simon Says but not always as much fun.
It is useful to pause sometimes and celebrate the uniqueness of individuals in your class.
International Children’s Book Day and Hans Christian Andersen‘s birthday on 2 April provide excellent excuses for reading and celebrating children’s literature, as if we needed any. We can also find stories that help us celebrate individuality.
Hans Christian Andersen was a prolific writer of fairy tales, many of which are well-known and have been made into movies. One of my favourite films as a child was about Hans Christian Anderson with Danny Kaye in the lead role. I was particularly touched by the story of The Ugly Duckling which Andersen told to a sad young boy whom no one would play with. You can watch the scene here.
The story is a great starting point for discussing individual differences,