Print version of this lesson plan.

By Dolores C. Cayanan

Elementary School Educator, Agana Heights Elementary School, Guam

About This Lesson

The following lesson plan was developed as part of the Culturally Sustaining Education: The Micronesian Context professional development workshop held 24-26 July 2018. The workshop was held in Guam and made possible by the Center for Pacific Islands Studies at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa in partnership with Chaminade University of Honolulu’s Center for Teaching and Learning, the Department of CHamoru Affairs and the Senator Antonio Palomo Guam Museum and Educational Facility, the College of Micronesia, Alik Translation Services, and Guampedia. All lesson plans developed as part of this series were authored by a Guam-based educator with contributions from workshop facilitators.


Language Arts



Elementary, 1st Grade

Time required

30 – 45 minutes a day for 2 – 3 days

Materials required

  • White board
  • Dry erase marker and eraser
  • White drawing paper
  • Pencils
  • Crayons or markers
  • Map of Micronesia, Polynesia, Melanesia

Related documents

  • “I Am Different” poem by Kenyetta C. in English version and other languages (Tagalog, CHamoru, Chuukese, etc.)

Related resources

  • Interpreters for languages other than English
  • English – Tagalog Dictionary
  • English – CHamoru Dictionary or

Related links

Guampedia: Micronesia Portal

Lesson Plan


What do most students like to talk about when they come back to school in August? You probably guessed it. They like talking about themselves! So, why not find time letting them do just that? Help students celebrate their individuality and learn about likenesses and differences. This lesson builds those important skills and a sense of family in your classroom.


  • Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the idea that “Being Different Is Okay” through the poem and class discussions.


Students recited the poem “I Am Different.” Use rubric scoring:

  • Student recited the poem with a lot of help.
  • Student recited the poem with minimal help.
  • Student recited the poem with no help.


Teacher prep

  1. Decorated bulletin board with the poem “I am Different” (provided below) and the students’ self-portrait drawings around it.
  2. Word Wall with pictures to represent vocabulary words: different, far, wide, place, smile, cry, love

Introducing I Am Different

  1. Teacher talk: Today we will learn about how unique/different we are. Can you believe how alike and how different we are at the same time? Your eyes, your hair, your feet, your hands are all a bit different from each other yet we all have feet, hands, etc. How does that make you feel? Have volunteers respond. 
  2. Introduce the poem, “I Am Different.” First go over key vocabulary words listed on the board: different, far, wide, place, smile, cry, love. Use picture cues/visuals, examples, and demonstrations to teach the vocabulary words. In addition, display the key vocabulary words with picture cues on a Word Wall in English and in students’ native (1st) language. (For example: the word is different (English), iba (Tagalog), otro (CHamoru) etc.)
  3. Direct students to the poem displayed on the board.
  4. Directions on how to teach the poem “I Am Different”
    • First, teacher reads it aloud without gestures/actions
    • Second, do Echo Reading: Teacher reads each line first then students just repeat what the teacher read. Then teacher & students read it together without gestures/actions. (Repeat several times)
    • Third, students read it together on their own. For others who aren’t able to read it well yet, have them watch & listen then they can join in with the group reading. (Repeat several times) 
    • Lastly, teach the poem with the gestures/actions.

I Am Different (English version)

I am different from my head to my toes
(point to self then to head and toes)

I am different from my eyes to my nose
(point to self then eyes and nose)

I come from a place that is far and wide
(point to self then spread arms wide open)

A place where we all smile instead of cry
(act like you are tracing your lips into a smile and
bring hands down eyes as if you were crying

I am very different as you can see
(point to self then at a friend)

But I still have a lot of love in me!
(point to self and place hand over the heart
then hug yourself

Iba Ako (Tagalog version)

Iba ako mula ulo hangang paa

Iba ako mula mata hangang ilong

Ako ay galing sa malayo at malawak na lugar

Sa lugar na palaging masaya

Iba ako, Iba Ikaw, Iba Tayo

Ngunit, Mahal ko ang sarili ko


  1. Have the poem translated and written in students’ first language (Tagalog, CHamoru, Chuukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, etc.)
  2. In the poem, it states: “I come from a place that is far and wide.” Direct students attention to the maps or online to Guampedia’s Micronesia Portal. Have them tell the class where they are originally from. Allow them to point the place on the map. Assist as needed.
  3. Incorporate discussions about the different places students are from. Do: “Show-N- Tell” Students bring an item to represent who they are and where they are from.
  4. Do an Art activity: Have students do a “self – portrait” drawing.