Why am I Different?

CONCEPT: Self Esteem



Read a story that describes differences among people (including growth, hereditary traits, specific physical conditions, abilities, preferences, home and neighborhood experiences, family standards, family composition, ethnic/religious/cultural backgrounds). Discuss why differences are important and why they are good. Make paper dolls demonstrating differences.



After completing this activity, children will be able to:

  • understand how people can be different from each other (looks, preferences, families, etc.)
  • identify at least one thing that makes him/her different
  • realize that being different is a good thing



  1. Read the book Why Am I Different? by Norma Simon.

    Discuss the book as it is being read:

    • Who is the biggest kid in their house?
    • Whose hair is a different color than their mom’s?
    • Who has things that make them sick if they eat them? What kind of foods?
    • Who likes to dress up for Halloween? What do you like to be?
    • Who lives in a house with an elevator?
    • Who has taken the bus?
    • Who is the only kid in the family?
  2. Talk about being different:
    • Why being different is good. (It would be boring if we were all the same.)
    • What kinds of things can be different: what we look like, what we like to do, where we come from, what we like to eat, what our families are like.
    • PKU can make us different from other people. What are some things that make people different? (allergies to foods, wearing glasses, hair color, where we were born, how old we are)
  3. Make “Different People” Paper Dolls:
    • Trace and cut out the paper doll pattern on colored paper. (Fold paper in thirds to make three dolls.)
    • Decorate each doll differently (girl/boy, dress/overalls, hair style, glasses) with different colored/patterned paper.
    • Describe your dolls: What does each one like to do? Why is each doll different? What makes each doll special? Do they have names?



  • Book: Why Am I Different? by Norma Simon. Published by Albert Whitman & Company, 1976, reprint 1993. ISBN: 0-8075-9076-2
  • acrobat reader logo Paper Doll Patterns, Clothes Patterns
  • Paper for dolls (colored construction paper)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Crayons
  • Paper for clothes, etc. (colored or patterned wrapping paper)


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