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I Am Special and You Are Special Too 

Teachers: Kelly Lewis, Justin O'Toole, Becky Weiler
Project Children L.E.A.D. Director: Dr. Vincenne Revilla Beltran
Subject Area: Diversity
Grade level: Preschool (3 and 4 year olds)

Length of Lesson: 30 minutes

NAEYC Early Childhood Program Standards:

Understanding Ourselves, Our Communities, and Our World

2.63 U

  • Children are provided varied learning opportunities that foster positive identity and an emerging sense of self and others

2.75 T-P-K

  • Children are provided varied opportunities and materials to build their understanding of diversity in culture, family structure, ability, language, age, and gender in non-stereotypical ways.

Creative Expression and Appreciation for the Arts

    1. P-K

  • Children are provided many and varied open-ended opportunities and materials to express themselves creatively through music, drama, dance, and two- and three-dimensional art.

2.80 T-P-K

  • Children are provided varied opportunities to develop and widen their repertoire of skills that support artistic expression, such as cutting, gluing, and caring for tools.

High/Scope Key Experiences:

  • Language and Literacy
  • Creative Representation
  • Social Representation

PA Early Learning Standards:

Creative Arts


  • Demonstrate the ability to represent experiences, thoughts, and ideas through the use of visual art forms

Expressive Language


  • Initiate and responds appropriately in conversation and discussions with adults and children


The student will be able to...

  • Create a drawing of themselves through the use of multicultural people color crayons
  • Explain to a teacher what makes them special

Materials and Equipment Needed:

Special People, Special Ways by Arlene Maguire

White Construction Paper

Multicultural People Color crayons


Marker to write children's comments

Adaptations and Accommodations to Differentiate Instruction:

This lesson will be done in small groups of five or six children. In the small groups the teacher can give individualized instruction to each student. In the small group, the teacher can assist students with matching their skin and hair color. The teacher can also take advantage of the small group by developing conversations of what makes each child special.



At circle time ask students what makes people special. Refer to family types, skin color, eye color, hair color, and favorites. Ask students to answer questions such as "What is your hair color?" or "What is your favorite food?"


Introduce the lesson by telling the children that everybody is special because we all have our differences. Tell the students that they are going to draw pictures of themselves by using special crayons that are different hair and skin colors. Tell the students that they are going to listen to a story about special people. Ask students to look closely at the pictures. Also, ask the students to think about what makes them special because they are going to be the authors and illustrators of a book about why they are special.


After reading the book, Special People, Special Ways, call groups of five or six students to a table. In the small groups remind the students that they are going to draw pictures of themselves and tell why they are special. Ask the students to hold out their arms and look at their skin color. Individually ask each student to match the crayons to their skin color. If necessary, assist the student by holding different crayons against their arm and let them choose the closest matching color. Next, do the same with the children's hair color. Use a mirror so the child can see their hair. Repeat with each child. After each child finishes drawing him or herself ask what makes them special. Write each child's comment on the paper, along with their name and date.


Assess the children by the representations they made of themselves. Did they choose skin colors that closely matched their own? Do their representations consist of scribbles or does the student have identifiable body parts like a head, eyes, mouth, arms, etc.? Is the child able to communicate with the teacher and explain what makes them special?


Tell the students that everyone is special. Show each child's picture to the small group and read the comments.

Follow up activities:

  • Hang the self-portraits on the wall for parents, teachers, and others to see. Title the artwork "I Am Special and You Are Special".
  • Laminate the self-portraits and create a book to put in the class library. Read the book to the students and allow them to read the book whenever they choose.