1.2: All shapes and sizes

Lesson overview

Theme:Developing identity and self-esteem
Age Group:Year 1
Learning Area:Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

Content descriptor

Students describe characteristics that make them both similar to others and unique.

Teachers notes

Teachers should ensure that students focus on the strengths associated with different shapes and sizes and do not negatively comment upon or otherwise inappropriately refer to different groups of people.


  • Text: Aesop’s fable, The Lion and the mouse or The Tortoise and the Hare or similar text
  • Butcher’s paper


  1. Introduce this activity by explaining that individual strengths and abilities can be used to advantage in different contexts.
  2. Read The Lion and the Mouse or The Tortoise and the Hare or similar text to the class.
  3. Discuss with the class the strengths and weaknesses of the characters in the story and their importance in relation to the story’s moral.
  4. Lead a class discussion on the perceptions of people of different sizes (or appearance) asking students to consider whether these assumptions are accurate. Elicit from the students that in both of these stories, physical attributes (such as size and strength) are irrelevant. Elicit from the students other attributes the mouse and the tortoise have to achieve success (eg. resourcefulness, intelligence, patience, determination, persistence etc.)
  5. On the board or on butcher’s paper, list the different strengths and advantages of each type of person e.g. very tall – good for playing basketball, average weight and height – no need to alter clothing etc.
  6. Conclude by explaining that despite people’s perceptions, there are strengths and advantages associated with every shape and size.