Students were asked to define "unique" in their own words. Some answers were:
"different from everyone else"
Then we drew an outline of a person on the board and broke it up into four parts: head, torso, legs, feet. The girls discussed what characteristics and accessories each section may contain such as: eye shape, skin color, height, width, pants, feather boas, curly hair, sandals, etc. After realizing how many different characteristics and accessories there could be, everyone was given a piece of paper divided into four sections and asked to draw a person's head in the first section.
Given two minutes to draw, the girls began quickly sketching their people. After two minutes, they passed their paper to the left, and were given another two minutes to draw the torso. This continued until all papers were returned to their starting point. By the end, we had a lot of variety and many different types of people drawn.
The girls were asked how they differed from the person drawn on their paper. This seemed like an easy question to the girls and soon began rattling off all the many ways they were different from their drawing. Some examples:
"her hair is short, mine is long"
"she is wearing a dress, I hate dresses"
"her skin is not the same color as mine"
"she looks like a boy and I don't"
Then the girls were asked what they may have in common with the person drawn on their paper. This was a harder question. At first, many answered, "Nothing!" But then we asked if their best friends were exactly like them. They answered, "Of course not." We asked them think of these drawings as a new friend, and again asked what they may have in common. It was still a little difficult, but many of the girls were able to think of things they had in common. Some example:
"if she's a person, she must breath just like me"
"she's outside at the beach, I like the beach"
"there are cats and dogs next to her, I like cats and dogs too"
"she's holding someone's hand, maybe she likes someone just like me"
And here are our new friends:
Our lesson in tolerance showed the girls not only how unique they are, but also how unique everyone is and that is something to be cherished and appreciated. We believe it is a lesson that should be practiced everyday.