I taught a lesson on tolerance to a group of third and fourth graders. I showed the students a kiwi and asked if anyone could tell me what it was. All of the students had seen and tasted a kiwi before. I asked them what they thought of kiwis when the first saw one. Students gave descriptive words such as "nasty, hairy, and ugly." Since the students have tried kiwis before, I focused the discussion on how it feels to be judged by the outside. Students commented that they felt sad and kind of angry when people judged them by the outside.
I asked students what lesson we could learn from kiwis. One student stated that the lesson that we learn from kiwis is "don't judge a book by it's cover." He commented that just because a book may be strange on the outside doesn't mean it isn't a good book. I gave the students an opportunity at the end to have some kiwi fruit that I brought. I also gave the students a bookmark that is pictured. The front reads, "What can kiwis teach us about tolerance?" and the back reads, "It's what's on the inside that counts."
In the future, I would like to have the students assemble the bookmarks themselves and write their own message that they learned from the kiwis. I think it would be neat to make a bulletin board with the kiwi theme using students' original ideas about tolerance.
Danielle is a K-12 Certified School Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, and blogger at School Counselor Blog, a place where school counselors share innovative ideas, creative lesson plans, and quality resources. Contact Danielle via email, follow her on twitter, and become a fan of the School Counselor Blog Facebook Page.