I Am Me

Grade Level: 
PreK, K, 1, 2, 3
Keywords: 
Act of Kindness
Diversity
Self-Awareness
by Katelyn S. Herrygers - A literature guide for parents, teachers, and group leaders to accompany the reading of this picture book. The guide below provides before, during, and after-reading discussion questions. Choose from activities and discussion questions to gain empathy, generosity, and social awareness.

We are all who we are meant to be. This affirming book with rhyme and repetition shows us the beauty in each of us. Children, parents, friends, and families need not be afraid of the unknown or different beacuse we are all amazing, super, and created as who we are meant to be.

Before Reading

Ask: What are you like? What do you look like? What is your personality? What are you good at? What makes you exactly who you are and not someone else?  

Show: Show the illustration on the front cover of the book. What do you notice?  Why do you think the middle girl is wearing a cape? 

Connect: Each of us has a super power. Your super power is something you like or are good at that feels important to you. Your instructions for life are to use your super power for good. Talk about what your super power might be now. It can change as you grow up.

During Reading

Show: Can you spot the design that is made up of a series of three arrow shapes? That is a symbol for Down syndrome. Families of children born with Down syndrome want you to know that their children are kind, curious, and bright, with wonderful personalities, just like you. 

Ask: On the page with the kids walking across the fallen tree, talk about what describes each kid. Can you name something positive about each one? 

Connect: Talk about what it means to always look for the good in people. Talk about how EVERYONE has strengths and challenges. 

After Reading

Ask: Have you ever met someone who seemed different from you and you weren't sure what to think about it? What do you think now?

Show:  Look at the picture with eleven people across the pages. What is the SAME about everyone? What are some differences? When there are differences, why is it helpful to love, listen, and care? 

Connect: The phrase "I am me, and that is all I need to be." is repeated several times in the book. Describe why it feels good to hear that you are exactly who you are meant to be. Tell why it is good to know each person is exactly who they are meant to be.

Activities

  1. Read about Down syndrome to learn about what it is. Investigate why the symbol is three arrows. 
  2. On a large piece of paper, make a poster labeled "I Am _______" with your name filled in. Draw your face and body with your shape and colors. Include drawings of things you like to do and are good at. You may use pictures cut out of magazines. If you are with a group, compare pictures and talk about how we are the same and different. 
  3. Make a video of yourself talking about your super power. What are you good at and how do you use it for good? For example, "My super power is my kindness, and I use it to help people." or "My super power is my love of nature, and I use it to take care of plants and animals."
  4. A symbol is a picture that stands for an idea. A heart is a symbol of love, a butterfly is a symbol of change and hope, and a tree is a symbol of life. Draw a symbol that represents you or your super power. 
  5. Make up a song about being different and being proud of it.
  6. The word compassion means you show kindness and caring for others. I show compassion when I listen to someone who hurts. Be on the lookout for someone who needs help or a friend, and show them compassion by listening to how they feel and asking how you can help.