Author: Mem Fox

Summary: This story celebrates those external and internal qualities that make us different and the same. This is seen through the book’s vivid illustrations of children all over the world who exhibit different customs, languages, food, homes and schools. The story reaffirms the idea that even though we may appear different we share a common bond of joy and pain.

WITS Connection: Talk it out

WITS Lesson Plan (PDF)

Learning Outcomes

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Questions and Activities


This book is an appropriate extension or summary to a curricular unit that celebrates our unique characteristics. After students have explored their own personal qualities they may compare and contrast those qualities of their peers as well as the children described in this book.

Before reading the book to your students present each page of the book and cover the words so that they may only view the pictures. While viewing just the pictures ask students to describe those things in each page that seem to be familiar and different. Prompt students to identify similarities and differences in appearance, homes, transportation, schools, pets, animals, food, and clothing. While looking for those things that are the same and different write those things on a Same Different Chart or print the Same and Different handout for students.

After identifying those things that are the same and different begin to read the story and ask that students check to see whether the things that they identified as the same and different are also described by the text in the book.


  1. Take a close look at the cover of the book
      • What do they see?
      • What are the people doing?
      • Where are they?
      • What appears to be with the people on the cover of the book?
  1. What do you think the story is about?


  1. If you completed the pre-reading activity with your students review with them those characteristics and qualities that are different and those that are the same.
  2. What words does the author keep repeating? Why does she repeat those words? “Whoever they are, wherever they are, all over the world?” Similarities and differences are shared by people all over the world.
  3. What are things that make you special and different?
  4. How do our differences make us happy?
  5. How do our differences make us sad? Sometimes differences create conflict. What can we do when our differences make us sad? We can talk it out so that we do not feel alone or left out.
  6. What are things that may make you smile, laugh, and cause you pain? Do you think those may be the same for other people, “whoever they are, wherever they are, all over the world?”


    • Play and discuss the video, Whoever You Are created and performed by the Grade 2/3 Class of Windang Public School.
  • Ask students to describe those things that are different and the same about the children they know in the class. They may wish to interview one another with questions such as:
        • What games do you like to play?
        • What food do you like to eat?
        • What animals do you like?
        • What music do you like to listen to?
        • What places do you like to visit?

    Record their answers on chart paper. Are there any matches with what is different and the same how the children are described in the bo

  • Stretch a Sketch
    Distribute the Stretch a Sketch handout. Ask students to draw and colour what they think is the most important message or information in the book.
  • Global Venn Diagram
    Distribute the Global Venn Diagram handout to students. Ask students to write those things that make us unique or different in the outside parts of the circles and in the middle portion of the diagram ask students to write similarities that they share.
  • Make a Venn Diagram collage
    Distribute magazines, pictures, scissors and colouring tools. Ask students to paste images in the outside areas of the diagram that show our differences and paste images in the center of the diagram that represent our similarities.