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Lesson Plan

Moving Toward Acceptance Through Picture Books and Two-Voice Texts

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Moving Toward Acceptance Through Picture Books and Two-Voice Texts

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Eight 50-minute lessons
Lesson Author

April Davenport

LeRoy, Illinois

Karen Irvin

Normal, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



Connecting literature to students' lived experiences in the school and classroom, this lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn about situations of intolerance and discuss ways to move to a more ideal world in which acceptance is the norm. Starting with the picture book Whoever You Are, students discuss embracing diversity. The class then compares the ideal to realistic situations that they face in their own school as well as those portrayed in the books Weslandia and Insects Are My Life. Students then study, create, and perform two-voice texts that shows how they can move closer to the ideal of accepting all types of diversity.

This lesson plan was developed as part of a collaborative professional writing initiative sponsored by the Illinois State Writing Project (ISWP) at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois.

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Tips for Confronting Bullying and Intolerance: This printable sheet offers tips for teachers on how to address bullying and intolerance in schools.

Example Two-Voice Poem (audio version): This audio version of a student-written two voice poem helps to illustrate the genre.

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"As language arts teachers," note Mary E. Styslinger and Alison Whisenant in their Voices from the Middle article "Crossing Cultures with Multi-Voiced Journals," "we have the opportunity to transform students through literacy experiences" (26). The authors find measurable value in having students participate in the particular activity of writing from varied perspectives, seeing the "potential to change [students'] relationship with individuals, heightening sensitivity to issues of diversity such as race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation" (26-27). This lesson modifies the type of writing, but its multi-perspective approach still provides the same opportunities to enrich students' understanding of the diversity of the world around them.

Further Reading

Styslinger, M. E. and A. Whisenant.  "Crossing Cultures with Multi-Voiced Journals." Voices from the Middle 12.1 (September 2004): 26-31.

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