The physical differences (Lesson Plan)

First: Opening prayer - The Spiritist Volunteer will bring the book LEARNING HOW TO PRAY - A BOOK OF PRAYERS FOR CHILDREN by Elsa Rossi. The following story will be told:

Prayer for Getting Better  ...>>

Dear Jesus, today I couldn’t go to school because I was sick.
Mum read me a message from the prayer’s book and put her hand on my head and gave me medicine with “fluidified” water.
She told me that you Dear Jesus, will help me to get well soon, so that I can go back to school and play with my friends.
Thank you, Jesus, for helping me to get better!

The Spiritist worker will introduce a box of prayer after the prayer and will ask for one child to volunteer himself/herself to read the prayer for the class. Please ask the child to say his/her words as well, as to complement the opening prayer.

Second: Welcome the children into the session. Say how happy we are to see them there and how important they are for the class. Play hot potato game with the children. When the music stops the child who is holding the hot potato ball will be asked to answer what they can do with their hands; ask for examples.

Third: Sing songs together; get the children to remain standing but in a circle.

Fourth: Note for the Spiritist teacher: Communication disorders are disabilities that keep a person from being able to speak or makes their speech understood. This can be caused by many different disabilities or injuries. Some people with difficulty speaking may use sign language, gestures or small pictures they carry with them. (please note this was taken from the internet :  “Disability Awareness Activity Packet”, website:

Activity - Different words: Get one of the children who speaks a different language to stand in front of the class and say one sentence in their language. Have the class try to guess what was said. If you have more than one child who speaks the same foreign language, have them carry on a short conversation. Then have the class try to decide what was said. 

Discuss: how it feels to not be able to understand something. How quickly did the class give up? What are some other ways they could have tried to communicate? How is this similar to people with disabilities who can talk but are hard to understand? (please note this was taken from the internet – website:

Fifth: Activity - No words: Write a simple sentence on a piece of paper, for example, “The cat sat on a hot tin roof.” Show this sentence to 1 child. The child must let the rest of the class know the sentence without writing, speaking or using any letters of the alphabet.

Discuss: Was it difficult to communicate using this method? What would have helped? How can we communicate with someone who can’t talk back? How can we help them communicate? If you want to give more children a chance to try this activity, here are some suggested sentences: I feel funny. I want a glass of water. I love cats. My parents are nice. My foot hurts. I want a pizza for lunch. I’m allergic to strawberries. I hate ketchup. (please note this was taken from the internet – website:

Sixth: Note for the Spiritist teacher: Hearing impairments include everything from not being able to hear certain sounds to being totally deaf. In most cases, a hearing loss doesn’t simply mean that sounds are not loud enough. It usually means that sounds are garbled or unclear. A hearing aid may make speech louder, but usually will not make speech clearer.

Activity: Lip-reading: Give the children the chance to lip-read one of the children. Have them take turns lip-reading, while the others “read” (moving the lips but making no sounds) a list of words or sentences.
Ask questions like: How successful were you at lip-reading? What helped make lip-reading easier? What does this show about lip-reading?

Seventh: Note for the Spiritist teacher - When a person has mental retardation, it means that they learn slower. Because they learn more slowly, they don’t learn as much as other people might. There are over 200 known causes for mental retardation. About one-third of the time, no one knows what caused it. Not everyone with mental retardation is alike. One person can have mild problems while another may have severe problems. (please note this was taken from the internet – website:

Activity: Difficulty understanding - Have 2 students sit back to back. Give one child a paper with an abstract shape on it. Without seeing each other, he/she must explain to the other student how to draw the shape. Give the second child a pencil and piece of paper. He/she must draw the shape following the first child’s directions. What were the problems? What would have helped?

Eighth: Note for the Spiritist teacher - There are a large variety of different physical disabilities, all of which can range from a mild problem to complete immobility. Many people will have more than one disability, such as not being able to use their legs or hands. (please note this was taken from the internet – website)

Activity: Using one hand - Have children try different activities using only one hand: Tying their shoes, opening a jar that has a screw-on lid; Playing catch; Holding a stack of papers and handing out one at a time; and carry more than one object at a time.

Discuss the problems the children had. What if they couldn’t use either hand? What problems would there be if they were in a wheelchair AND couldn’t use their hands?

Ninth: Note for the Spiritist teacher - Vision impairments include things like being short-sighted or far-sighted that are correctable with glasses. It can also mean more serious problems like blindness or problems that are only helped a little by glasses.

Activity: Blindness – we need a good blindfold. A room with several occupied chairs and one or more vacant chairs. Put odd obstacles on the way to the chair, and/or face the chair in an unexpected direction.

What to do: Explain that you will need 2 children – a “guide” and a “blind person.” You will be rearranging the room. The guide’s job is to help the blind person walk around the room and go to the chair without running into anything. They can tell them how to do it and can also touch them to help guide their way.

Rearrange the room with the help of the other children. The vacant chair should not be too easy to get to.

Hint: Most “guides” grab the blind person and pushes them around. This usually results in the “blind” person running into things. “Guides” usually don’t describe the path, and say “look out” instead of “stop” at major obstacles. When the chair is reached, “guides” usually spin the “blind” person around and push them into the seat, then leaves without explanation.

Discuss: Did the guide do a good job? How would it feel to be the blind person being dragged or pushed? What would be more helpful than saying “look out”? How did the 2 volunteers feel?

Activity 2, if there’s enough time - Blurred vision: Use overhead projector. Get a picture but make sure the projector is out of focus so that the picture cannot be easily identified. Discuss how frustrating it is when you are trying and paying attention, but can’t see. What are the ways we could be helpful to someone who has vision problems? Be sure to point out that they should ASK before helping. Some people would rather do things for themselves.

Please take some apples to this class and peal them as you tell the story. Please make sure you cut them in half, to exemplify the story.

Eleventh: Ask the children:
  • What’s the lesson we can learn from the story? 
  • Do our bodies look the same? Although we all have a physical body, each one has a unique body as we are all unique in God’s eyes 
  • Each person is unique, there is no one equal to one another; 
  • Each person was born in one day, has a certain age and belongs to a certain family; 
  • Each person has a different body on the outside, but inside we are equal to one another, just like the apples (we have a heart beating, lungs breathing, stomach to eat, etc.); 
  • We should respect differences, not calling anyone by a name because they're fat or thin, tall or short; wearing glasses, etc 
  • The body is a gift from God our Father and we should thank Him for the gift received.

Additional videos:

My Friend Isabelle, created as part of the NDSS educational program Everyone Counts: Teaching Acceptance and Inclusion, is an animated story based on a children's book by Eliza Woloson originally published by Woodbine House. Viewers meet Isabelle, who has Down syndrome, and her friend Charlie. They learn that differences make life interesting and friends don't have to be exactly the same. (2005)

Additional activity: Bring hearts shaped in different sizes as well as pictures of children with different types of disabilities. Highlight that God loves us all, no matter how we look; no matter how our physical body is. The Spiritist volunteer could also bring several balloons in different colours numbered (1 to 10, for example). Place pieces of paper on the wall with the sequence of numbers at the back, enabling the group to form a sentence by connecting all the pieces of paper. The sentence could state one of God’s characteristics, or perhaps a phrase like: ‘We are all equal in the eyes of God. God is just, loving and good’.

Twelth: Get the children to help cleaning the room; one of the children will do a closing prayer; encourage the children to volunteer for this task. If they don’t want to collaborate we could say we will follow the letters of the alphabet. The child’s name that starts with the letter A will do the opening prayer this time. Everybody will have the chance to collaborate.

Class suggested being suitable for: Kindergarten (5 to 6 years old). 

Suggested activity to be given as Homework:
 Difference is what makes the world so great!!! How can we help our friends, like Isabelle, feel more included? Make a list of three things you can do; perhaps you want to ask your family to help you!

Spiritist volunteer: Carolina von Scharten, London, linked to BUSS - The British Union of Spiritist Societies.
from: Seara do

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