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The Sissy Duckling by Harvey Fierstein
This is a perfect book for teaching about anti-bullying and supporting LGBTQ family members. Elmer the duck loves to bake and help around the house. He doesn't share any interests with other boy ducks. His father thinks he should play baseball. He doesn't really understand Elmer. Through the book Elmer faces a bully, gets left behind for winter, rescues his father and stands up for himself. He is a strong character who doesn't give up on who he is, but rather shows every duck in his community just how special he is.
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⚈ 1 Play ideas ⚈ 2 Classroom Activities ⚈ 3 Links to more Resources
Words hurt - Age 4+
It is very hard for younger children to understand how their actions effect others. Their brains aren't really wired for empathy yet. That doesn't mean we shouldn't help them try to understand. Talking about feelings regularly is one way to help children start to recognise their own emotions and relating them to others as well. Try using some of the hurtful lines in the story and asking your children how it would make them feel. Using a simple emotion chart may help with identifying feelings. What could your child do if they heard someone else saying hurtful things? How could they help? Coming up with ideas together will give your child some tools to use if they ever encounter someone using unkind words. Which they will. Unfortunately.
Sensory bag - Age 6 months+
The topic of this book is obviously aimed more towards kindergarten ages and up. To include younger ones though, try mixing together a couple of sparkly sensory bags to squish and squeeze. Celebrate Elmer the duck and his sparkly self. Fill a ziplock back with clear gel and some sparkles and tape together to avoid leaks. Stronger bags are needed for strong toddlers! Ours popped a hole within minutes, despite duct taping the sides!
To extend this even further, try placing letter shapes underneath the bags. They may ignore them or squish away the glitter to reveal them. They may trace over them. Depending on what stage your toddler is at, you can say the letter sounds as they play.
Read about when we originally shared it on Instagram- HERE
- Use as part of anti-bullying week
- Use to generate a conversation about bullying
- Write a character description of the main character
- Have a ceremony to 'retire' certain unkind words from existence
The Highland Literacy website has a really well differentiated lesson plan. Find it HERE.
Click below for other books and activities about LGBTQ families: