March 17, 2011

Circle Time

This week I brought in a few books for Gavin's teacher to read to his class at circle time.

The 3 books we brought were:

"Imagine...Amazing Me!" by Libbi Chilia

I love this book because it has so many great pictures of kids with different limb differences. It shows the children doing all sorts of sports and activities, proving that there is nothing they can't do!

"Charlie: The Dog That Didn't Have a Paw" by Delaney and Ria Hurst

I love how this book was written by a young girl with a limb difference, with the help of her mom. Charlie the dog was born without a paw and throughout the story he meets more animals with other differences and finds out he is not alone.

I also brought "Its OK to be Different" by Todd Parr. This book has nothing to do with limb differences but it has big, bright, colourful pictures which are perfect for young children. And its message is clear: "Its OK to be different". A lot of the pages are pretty silly, like "Its OK to eat macaroni and cheese in the bath tub" but it still gets the point across.

I also included this hand out for the teacher from the CHAMP: Starting School kit.

How Are We All Different?
How Are We All The Same?

Following the presentation or as a follow-up activity later, it is valuable to discuss issues covered in the presentation with the children. The questions listed below are suitable to ask kindergarten children and to reinforce topics covered in the presentation.

- Explain to the class that everyone is different in some way. Ask the children to raise their hands if they:
- wear glasses
- have red hair
- have brown eyes

- Ask the class: If someone stares at you or teaches you (for instance because you have red hair) how does that make you feel? (Happy or sad)

- Ask the class to think of other ways in which we are all different? We don't like all the same things. Ask for examples of what the children like and dislike. (One child may like creepy crawly insects and another may not, one may like playing baseball and another may not).

- Explain that even though we are all different in many ways, and we like and dislike different things - we are all the same inside. Ask the class for examples of how we are all the same. (We all need friends, we all need to play, we all need our families, we all need to laugh and have fun).

I put everything together in a folder along with a colouring sheet of Andy for the teacher to photocopy for all the children to colour.

I followed up with her at the end of the day and she thanked me for bringing in the books. I asked if the kids were asking questions but she said, not really, but some of the kids made comments like, "Just like Gavin!" when she was reading the book. She said she used the example of an octopus having 8 arms and some people have 1 arm or 2 arms or 1 leg etc.

I am so grateful that she took the time to do that. She is really, really supportive and has already mastered the art of putting his prosthetic arm on.

Gavin is loving his new room and I am so happy!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm going to try to get a hold of those books and send them to school with my little one. Such a great idea and this was recommended by our Occupational therapist and we never did it. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. I have adopted an amputee dog I would like to get my hands on Charlie the Dog without a paw... It is close in relating to my dog for school kids.., although he was hit by a car... A little different!!! But I would like this book

  3. Thanks so much! We're adopting a little boy missing his left arm and trying to prep older siblings to be understanding and supportive. Can't wait to buy some of these.