Respecting Diversity

6, 7, 8

Students listen to a creative story about a group of characters who have no self-respect or respect for others. Students analyze the effects of lack of respect and identify ways to demonstrate respect in real-life situations.

PrintOne 20-minute class period

The learner will:

  • respond to the story The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss.
  • discuss the consequences of lack of respect for self and others.

One copy of The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss (see Bibliographical References).


Seuss, Dr. The Sneetches and Other Stories. New York: Random House, 1961. ISBN: 0-394-90089-8


  1. Anticipatory Set: Write the word "Sneetch" on the board. Let learners know that for this discussion they are to assume the word "Sneetch" refers to a type of creature. Ask learners what they think a "Sneetch" might look like.

  2. Explain that the well-known author, Theodore (Ted) Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, is famous for writing children's books. He often addresses social issues in his books that reach an older audience. For example, in the book The Lorax, the writer addresses issues of the environment. In the story The Sneetches, Dr. Seuss addresses the issues of prejudice and bias.

  3. Read The Sneetches to the class. Ask the learners to listen for examples of lack of respect for self and others in the story.

  4. After the reading, discuss the examples from the story of lack of respect for others and lack of self-respect. Encourage the learners to use the words bias, prejudice, stereotype, and racism, as appropriate to the discussion.

  5. Ask learners to imagine and share how the story may have turned out differently if the Sneetches had not been able to learn to respect themselves and each other.

  6. Discuss how students can exhibit self-respect and respect to make positive decisions in their own lives.

Cross Curriculum 

This character education mini-lesson is not intended to be a service learning lesson or to meet the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. The character education units will be most effective when taught in conjunction with a student-designed service project that provides a real world setting in which students can develop and practice good character and leadership skills. For ideas and suggestions for organizing service events go to

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Give examples of how individuals have helped others.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Describe the characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Describe the responsibility students have to act in the civil society sector to improve the common good.