Learning to Give, Philanthropy education resources that teach giving and civic engagement

Respecting Diversity
Lesson 2
Academic Standards
Philanthropy Framework


Students listen to a creative story about a group of characters who have no self-respect or respect for others. Students analyze the effects of lack of respect and identify ways to demonstrate respect in real-life situations.


One 20-minute class period


The learner will:

  • respond to the story The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss.
  • discuss the consequences of lack of respect for self and others.

Service Experience:

Although this lesson contains a service project example, decisions about service plans and implementation should be made by students, as age appropriate.
Learn more about the stages of service-learning.

This character education mini-lesson is not intended to be a service learning lesson or to meet the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. The character education units will be most effective when taught in conjunction with a student-designed service project that provides a real world setting in which students can develop and practice good character and leadership skills.  For ideas and suggestions for organizing service events go to www.generationon.org.


One copy of The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss (see Bibliographical References).

Instructional Procedure(s):

Anticipatory Set:
Write the word "Sneetch" on the board. Let learners know that for this discussion they are to assume the word "Sneetch" refers to a type of creature. Ask learners what they think a "Sneetch" might look like.

  • Explain that the well-known author, Theodore (Ted) Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, is famous for writing children's books. He often addresses social issues in his books that reach an older audience. For example, in the book The Lorax, the writer addresses issues of the environment. In the story The Sneetches, Dr. Seuss addresses the issues of prejudice and bias.
  • Read The Sneetches to the class. Ask the learners to listen for examples of lack of respect for self and others in the story.
  • After the reading, discuss the examples from the story of lack of respect for others and lack of self-respect. Encourage the learners to use the words bias, prejudice, stereotype, and racism, as appropriate to the discussion.
  • Ask learners to imagine and share how the story may have turned out differently if the Sneetches had not been able to learn to respect themselves and each other.
  • Discuss how students can exhibit self-respect and respect to make positive decisions in their own lives.
From the Learning to Give Grade 6-8 unit Respecting Diversity: The Road to Tolerance.


Bibliographical References:

Seuss, Dr. The Sneetches and Other Stories. New York: Random House, 1961. ISBN: 0-394-90089-8


Philanthropy Framework:

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