Skip to main content


I Am Special and You Are Special Too 

Teachers: Barbara Geary, Sara Conway, Joy Evans
Project Children L.E.A.D. Director: Dr. Vincenne Revilla Beltran
Subject Area: Diversity
Grade level: Early Preschool (Ages 2 1/2- 3)
Length of Lesson: 20 minutes

I. Objectives

  1. The children will know they are unique and special.
  2. The day you were born is special.p_differences_k_23_200
  3. Families celebrate in different ways.
  4. Growing is a good thing.

II. Pennsylvania Department of Education Indicators and Special Needs

  1. Education Indicators

1.2 Teachers gain information about families





2.17 Children develop a sense of competence

2.28 Children have opportunities to

--be read to in an engaging manner

--be read to in individual ways

--be read the same book on repeated occasions

--opportunities to retell or reenact stories

2.75 Children are provided opportunities to understand diversity in culture

III. High Scope Key Experiences

  1. Language
  2. Social Skills
  3. Creative Representation
  4. Music and Movement

IV. Materials

  1. Letter to parents asking about how they celebrate -especially birthdays
  2. Birthday pro box

Birthday plates




2 Velcro birthday cakes

Camera for play

  1. Book - Little Gorilla by Ruth Borstein
  2. Basket
  3. Large piece of brown fake fur cut into the shape of a gorilla

V. Procedure

  1. Read Little Gorilla

1. Discuss story

2. Discuss birthdays

  1. Why are they special?
  2. How does your family celebrate?
  1. Retell the story with props

    1. The story is retold by taking the bundle of brown fur out of the basket. We cradle it like a baby. As we tell the story we unwrap the fur and the gorilla begins to grow until he is big which is the climax of the story. We discuss that we are still special and still loved.

  1. Activity One

1. Introduce birthday prop box

    1. a. Let children implement party with teacher's facilitation if needed.

b. We will take turns pretending whose birthday it is.

VI. Evaluation

A. The children responded well to this lesson. The parents participated and we shared many family traditions with the group. We discussed that we all celebrate birthdays, but some families do it differently. We also discussed the Little Gorilla. We talked about the fact that we are growing and getting older but we are still loved.

Suggestions for additions to centers:

Blocks - Gorilla family

Writing - Blank birthday cards

Housekeeping - Birthday prop box

Manipulatives - Boxes to wrap

Art - Large paper cut as birthday cakes on easel

Reading - Copies of Little Gorilla and gorilla stuffed animals

Sand and Water - Plastic gorilla families