Classroom resources for teaching about visible difference

Classroom resources to help you deliver lessons about visible difference, with suggestions for films and books to study with your class.

Classroom resources can help your pupils explore the ways in which people are different and how to accept these differences.

We encourage you to explore these classroom resources with your class whether or not you have pupils with a visible difference. It’s important that all pupils learn about difference and acceptance.

The benefit of classroom resources

Our classroom resources are for all school, whether your institution has pupils with a visible difference or not. By exploring visible difference, we can help to change the negative stereotypes often associated with looking different. By creating inclusive schools, we can create an inclusive society which welcomes and includes everyone and values difference.

I decided not to cover up my birthmark at secondary school because I wanted to be me. I got a few comments and stares at first but it was when I was 13 that the problems really started because one boy bullied me quite badly. He would shout things at me and call me “iron burn” when he walked past. It went on for weeks and weeks.

Sophie

Talking to your pupils about visible difference as part of your day-to-day teaching practice is a key part of creating an inclusive learning environment for all pupils. Our resources for primary and secondary schools will help you to support pupils to discuss and explore issues such as:

  • Respecting and valuing difference.
  • Tackling appearance-related bullying.
  • The importance of treating everyone fairly and equally.

If you’d value more information about appearance-related bullying, we have an in-depth resource which you may find useful.

Recommended texts

Many schools use the books Wonder by RJ Palacio and Something Else by Kathryn Cave and Chris Riddell to help explore difference. We know that as educational professionals you’re often short on time so we’ve developed a range of resources and activities, linked to the PSHE/PSE curriculum, which you can use however little time you have.

Something Else by Kathryn Cave and Chris Riddell

Age range: 5 to 7

Something Else is a delightful picture book about looking different and acceptance. Our resources help your pupils think about what it means to be different and how that can sometimes feel.

Wonder by RJ Palacio

Age range: 9 to 11

The novel Wonder features a little boy, called Auggie, born with a craniofacial condition who starts school. Our comprehensive resources help you explore the book and facilitates discussions about visible difference.

When I was younger, about 9 or 10, I found it really hard because there wasn’t anyone else around me who had anything like a genetic disorder or anything, so I felt I was the odd one out

Sarah, age 17
  • 25%

    of young people

    say they or someone they know have said something nasty about someone with a visible difference.

  • 49.5%

    of young people

    with a visible difference say that they experienced bullying that targeted their appearance.

Other classroom resources

People Bingo (primary / secondary)

30-minute activity for primary and lower secondary school.

Tackling bullying (primary)

35-minute art activity for lower primary.

25-minute discussion activity for upper primary.

Bullying behaviours (secondary)

20-minute case study activity for secondary.

What makes you “you”? (primary)

30-minute craft activity and 15-minute discussion for primary.

Butterfly activity pack

A selection of butterfly-themed craft activities for infant and primary schools, with complementary “conversation starters” to help pupils discuss visible difference.

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Guidance, training and CPD

Create an inclusive school environment, free from bullying and discrimination, for pupils with a visible difference, and find out about your legal obligations.