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Diversity: Respect Our Differences
Grade Level(s): 6-8, 9-12
By: Kathleen Buskey, Family & Consumer Sciences Teache

Diversity in the Workplace and Society


After completing a group activity on diversity (specifically in humor), students will compile a list of suggestions, on how to demonstrate and practice respect, that will be used in the course syllabus.


  • 8-10 different comic/cartoon sections of any newspapers
  • 5-6 pairs of scissors
  • 1-2 rolls of scotch tape
  • 3-4 note cards with different jokes on them (that you have previously prepared)


Introduction to lesson:

"Hi! Good morning/Good afternoon!...Has anyone heard any good CLEAN jokes recently that they would like to share with the class?"

(Allow students to share a couple of jokes with each other if they wish. Distribute the three note cards with the jokes on them to various students and ask them to read them to the class.)

"Okay, some of you may have found some of those jokes a little funny and others may have thought they were really stupid! I'm going to give you an opportunity in groups to choose a comic strip that you think is funny."

Lesson content:
  1. Students will count off by fours.
  2. Each group will be given 2-3 comic sections of the newspaper.
  3. All students in the group must read the comics. The group as a whole must choose/vote on two of their favorites.
  4. Each group will then tape up their two comic strips on the board.
  5. Once each group has done this, the entire class will take turns reading each of the comics on the board and place a star under the one they like the best or the one they think is the funniest.
  6. As a class we will rank the comics in order as to how they were voted on. Students may give their reasoning for choosing which comic they did.
  7. Ask each student to compose a rule (as to how to treat each other and how to demonstrate respect).
  8. Compile a master list and use it in the course syllabus. Refer to it as how the class should function, demonstrating respect towards each other and all people, no matter how different they are from you. Everyone should sign the list of rules and adhere to them for the entire course.
Questions to pose for discussion and thoughts/brainstorming:
  1. How difficult was it to select a funny comic off the board?
  2. Should everyone agree on the same comic as the funniest?
  3. What would happen if we all thought the exact same things were funny?
  4. Do you not like your friends or discriminate against people or your family if they do not agree that a joke/or your joke is funny?
  5. What are some guidelines or rules you think all of us should follow in order to respect each other and our differences?
Learnings/Subject Matter:

Students will witness the differences-even in humor-that shape our cultures and society as whole. They will experience the diversity amongst themselves. Students will also be exposed to each others individual preferences that make them who they are. Students will explore the issue of respect, in that they must not disrespect someone for their differences, no matter how great or small the difference.


"I hope you can all take something with you from this activity. Please realize that we are all very different in many ways, and we should not judge others as less than ourselves because they may think, act, or believe in ways we are not accustomed to. After all would you not like your friends or treat them with disrespect because they did not find a joke as funny as you did? I would think and hope not! This is just a small example of how people may be different. Thanks for your cooperation and I'll see you tomorrow! Have a great day!"


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