This easy activity is a wonderful way to celebrate each person’s uniqueness and individuality. So often, children attempt to blend or fit in with what is perceived as ‘the way.’ However, by conforming to others’ ways, kids forget about their own. It is incredibly important for kids to learn what they are uniquely passionate about, talented in, or gifted with…it’s what will serve them for the rest of their lives. While it is important for us to learn to see for ourselves, how very special we are, it never hurts to have a little help along the way.
I use the snowflake as an analogy because like snowflakes, each and everyone are unique – no two are alike!
I begin this activity with just that explanation. I make clear that each of the students have their own unique abilities, appearances, interests, and, passions, and that these things are beautiful just as they are on their own. They are also beautiful when they come together with all of the other unique snowflakes/each other; thus creating a pretty, snowy, landscape.
First, have a fun period where the kids and teachers cut their own snowflakes out of white paper. Take some time to compare the snowflakes to see that each of them is unique in some way. Put all of the snowflakes together for a snowy display.
Next, each student is given a booklet in the shape of a snowflake. The front cover reads:
“I insert name am fantastic because I am me! Like a snowflake, I am unique and beautiful!”
Each snowflake page is reserved for a different member of the class to write on. Each time you resume this activity, the booklets get passed on to a new person (student or teacher) and that individual writes their special page for the owner of that booklet. This activity encourages each student (and teacher) to identify what they see as unique and special about every other person in the class.
I have the students refrain from reading the previous pages so that their insert will be heartfelt and authentic.
This activity can be started at any point in the school year and can be done for just a few short minutes each day, or each week.
At the end of the year, we have a special celebration to honour ourselves and one another. As part of this celebration, each snowflake booklet is returned to the original owner. We take some quiet time to read and reflect on all of our special messages. It is a very moving experience for both the students and teachers. Often, individuals discover that others see them in special ways that even they may not have recognized for themselves. From this activity, everyone learns to appreciate others for their individuality.
I always tell the students to re-visit these books on a day when they are feeling down or lacking clarity about what makes them a special part of this world.
Link to Making A Paper Snowflake: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Snowflake/
Link to Template For As Unique As a Snowflake Booklet: Snowflake Booklet Template