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Activity 1: Story, Odd Velvet

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • A copy of the story "Odd Velvet"
  • Optional: The picture book Odd Velvet

Preparation for Activity

  • Read the story.
  • Optional: Obtain the picture book Odd Velvet by Mary E. Whitcomb, illustrated by Tara Calahan King (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1998). Plan to show children the pictures as you tell the story.

Description of Activity

Participants learn what it means to accept others. The story is about a girl who seems to be different and her classmates begin to tease her. By the end of the story, her classmates become her friends as they realize her differences make her all the more interesting.

Gather participants so that they can see and hear you tell the story. If you will not show pictures in a book, you might invite them to close their eyes, if they like.

Read or tell the story. Then, ask everyone to slowly open their eyes.

Process with questions such as:

  • Why does Odd Velvet get teased?
  • What does "odd" mean?
  • Do you think it is nice to call someone "odd?" Why or why not?
  • What do the other children like about Velvet in the end?
  • Have you ever been a new person somewhere? How did that feel?
  • When you were the "new person" did anyone do something to make you feel welcome? What did they do?

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