Grade: Middle
Subject: other

#1862. Diversity:Respect Our Differences

other, level: Middle
Posted Fri Jul 28 08:27:16 PDT 2000 by Kathleen Buskey (
Pre-professional at Indiana University of PA, Indiana, PA U.S.A.
Materials Required: 8-10 comic sections of newspapers, 6 pairs of scissors, 3-4 notecards with jokes, roll of tape
Activity Time: 40-45 min
Concepts Taught: Understanding differences and respecting them (beyond cultures and ethnicities)

Introduction to lesson:

"Hi! Good morning/Good afternoon!...Has anyone heard any good CLEAN jokes
recently that they would like to share with the class?"

(Allow students to share a couple of jokes with each other if they wish. Distribute the
three note cards with the jokes on them to various students and ask them to read them
to the class.)

"Okay, some of you may have found some of those jokes a little funny and others
may have thought they were really stupid! I'm going to give you an opportunity in
groups to choose a comic strip that you think is funny."

Lesson content:

Students will count off by fours. Each group will be given 2-3 comic sections of the
newspaper. All students in the group must read the comics. The group as a whole
must choose/vote on two of their favorites. Each group will then tape up their two
comic strips on the board. Once each group has done this, the entire class will take
turns reading each of the comics on the board and place a star under the one they
like the best or the one they think is the funniest. As a class we will rank the comics in
order as to how they were voted on. Students may give their reasoning for choosing
which comic they did.
Ask each student to compose a rule (as to how to treat each other and how to
demonstrate respect). Compile a master list and use it in the course syllabus. Refer to
it as how the class should function, demonstrating respect towards each other and all
people, no matter how different they are from you. Everyone should sign the list of
rules and adhere to them for the entire course.

Questions to pose for discussion and thoughts/brainstorming:

How difficult was it to select a funny comic off the board?

Should everyone agree on the same comic as the funniest?

What would happen if we all thought the exact same things were funny?

Do you not like your friends or discriminate against people or your family if they
do not agree that a joke/or your joke is funny?

What are some guidelines or rules you think all of us should follow in order to respect
each other and our differences?

Learnings/Subject Matter:

Students will witness the differences-even in humor-that shape our cultures and
society as whole. They will experience the diversity amongst themselves. Students will
also be exposed to each others individual preferences that make them who they are.
Students will explore the issue of respect, in that they must not disrespect someone for
their differences, no matter how great or small the difference.


"I hope you can all take something with you from this activity. Please realize that we
are all very different in many ways, and we should not judge others as less than
ourselves because they may think, act, or believe in ways we are not accustomed to.
After all would you not like your friends or treat them with disrespect because they did
not find a joke as funny as you did? I would think and hope not! This is just a small
example of how people may be different. Thanks for your cooperation and I'll see you
tomorrow! Have a great day!"