Mix It Up Year Round: It’s Not Just Our Similarities That Connect Us

Sometimes students think their similarities are the only things that bind a class—or a school—together. Here’s how to show them there’s more.

Discovering that our differences can connect us and give us strength is an important step toward creating an environment in which diversity is valued.

In the activity below, you’ll explore with your class how mundane our society would be if everyone were similar. Students will begin to frame difference in a positive light.


The Chain That Connects Us

  1. Hand each student a chain link template, scissors and glue.
  2. Ask students to talk to six different classmates, determining two positive facts about each one—one they have in common and one they differ on.
  3. Have students record these facts on their chain link templates.
  4. When the template is complete, students will cut and glue (or tape) the links to make a chain.
  5. Connect the chains to make one large chain, and display it in class to remind students that both our similarities and differences connect us.


Go Deeper: Difference and Diversity

Engage your students in a conversation about how difference and diversity benefit a community, including classroom and school communities. This lesson offers several ways to address this topic with students.

We’d love to hear about the conversations your students are having as you build toward Mix It Up at Lunch Day. Drop a comment below, or share with us on Facebook or Twitter

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Welcome to Learning for Justice—Formerly Teaching Tolerance!

Our work has evolved in the last 30 years, from reducing prejudice to tackling systemic injustice. So we’ve chosen a new name that better reflects that evolution: Learning for Justice.

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