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Same, Same but Different by Jenny Kostecki-Shaw

See YouTube link


The story is about two boys from different parts of the world that are penpals who are describing
their lives in different parts of the world. The reader sees that although they are from different
parts of the world there are a lot of similarities.


This story talks about identity within the context of global communities. It fits in with the Grade 3
Social Studies Curriclum in Alberta near the beginning of the unit on global communities. The
students in the class are from a variety of diverse backgrounds. Many students in the class are
from India and could relate to Kaliash in the story who is from India. Students will be at a wide
range of different reading levels and the purpose of reading the story would focus on
comprehension and making connections to identity.


2 days (30 – 40 min each day)


Same, Same but Different book, Writing Journals, Sample Writing, Sentence Frames


Grade 3 Social Studies

3.1.2 - examine the social, cultural and linguistic characteristics that affect quality of life in
communities in other parts of the world by exploring and reflecting upon the following questions
for inquiry:
- What is identity and why is it important?
- How is identity reflected in traditions, celebrations, stories and customs in communities?

Grade 3 Language Arts

1.1 Discover and Explore - Express ideas and develop understanding
- Connect prior knowledge and personal experiences with new ideas and information in oral,
print and other media texts
2.2 Respond to Texts - Experience various texts & Construct meaning from texts
- Connect own experiences with the experiences of individuals portrayed in oral, print and other
media texts, using textual references
- Connect situations portrayed in oral, print and other media texts to personal and classroom

What Learners Know (Afterwards):

- Learners will be able to compare and contrast their experiences or situation with others more
-Students will know that people may live differently depending on their location in the world
-Students will know how to state those similarities or differences through writing and illustrating

What The Teacher Will Use to Gather Evidence:

- Anecdotal records
- Work sample of writing
- Predictions and vocabulary chart
- Same and Different chart


Day 1

Ask students to think about where they are from in the world and maybe share some stories
about what it is like in their home country if they have lived or travelled abroad there.

Ask how much do you think you have in common with a student living in China, or India, or
Australia? Do you know what a pen pal is? Would you like to have a pen pal? Then share the
objective, that is, our goal is to better understand who we are by looking at what we have in
common with others and what might be different.

The teacher reads the title with students and asks them what they think the book will be about,
and then records their predictions on the chart paper. Beside each prediction, the teacher prints
the initials of the student who offered it, as a reminder for later recording of formative
assessment data. The teachers then shows the students the cover illustration and asks them if it
gives them more clues about the characters and about what might happen in the story. The
teacher would ask the questions:

Based on what you see on the cover, what do you think the book is about? How do the two
places on the
cover look different? Is it possible for two people to be the same but also to be different?

The teacher then records any vocabulary words that students predict will appear in the story.
The teacher selects and records on chart paper some words that he or she wants the student to
be aware of as they listen to the story. Finally the teacher asks the follow

During Reading
The teacher reads the book aloud, with appropriate fluency and expression and ensures that all
students have a chance to see the pictures, as the pictures will help them understand the story.
The teacher will occasionally model think-alouds that lead to deeper understandings, making
specific connections to the text (e.g., “I used to live in South Korea where I met a lot of different
people. Even though it was in a different part of the world people were the same in some ways
and different in others””). The teacher will ask the following questions while reading:

What do you see that the boys have in common? How are they different? Do you think the boys
are becoming good friends even though they are far away from each other?

After Reading
The teacher records students’ responses to the text under the headings “Same” and “Different”.
For example, I noticed that Kaliash and Elliot live in houses (same) but their houses are

Ask: Would you ever want to go to another country to see how it is different there than here? If
you had the opportunity to write to either Elliot or Kailash who would you chose? Why?

The teacher will then review the vocabulary words that were listed at the beginning of the read
aloud to see if the students have a better understanding of them. The teacher will use pictures
in the book to help with this specifically for ELL.

Day 2

The teacher reads through the book again stopping to highlight what is the same about each
part and what is different. The teacher reviews the chart from the previous day on similarities
and difference between Elliot and Kaliash. Next the teacher might ask the following questions
using Think, Pair, Share to help students discuss before sharing:

- What did Elliot learn from being a penpal?

- Why did Kailash think Elliot lived in a tree?
- How are you the same/different from Kailash?
- How are you the same/different from Elliot?
- What else do you think Elliot and Kailash have in common?
- Why do you think Elliot and Kailash’s teachers wanted them to write to
- children in another country?
- Do you think it’s possible to have a best friend who lives in another country?
- Why or why not?

Next the teacher asks the students to respond and write to either Elliot or Kailiash about how
they are the same and different between one of the two characters. The teacher will read their
personal example using the following sentence frames:

Dear ____________

I chose to write to you because _______.

You live in _______ and I live in ________.
Your favorite class is _______ and mine is _______.
I go to school by ____________ and you go to school by ______________.
I wonder_____________.

From __________________

- Students can use the sentence frames if necessary for writing. There would be a few
paper copies of the sentence frames as well as the sentence frames would be written on
the whiteboard. Students could write on their own based on their abilities.
- Students who need to can reread the book on the iPad from the appropriate Youtube
- Students who need to could use the Dictation App on the iPad to help them dictate their
- Student who need visuals can use the book to help them
- Students who need to work in a quieter space for their writing can do so.
- Provide visuals for terms like celebrations and traditions for linguistically diverse


Students could share their written responses with each other and reflect on what makes them
unique. The teacher could review students’ written responses and provide feedback on what
the teacher sees is unique about that student.


Students will use their background knowledge of where they are from in the world if they come
from a different part of the world and share their stories before the lesson begins.


Students will work in their writing journals to save paper. Four or five paper copies of the
sentence frames might be needed for the writing activity. The sentence frames will also be
written on the whiteboard.


- Students would create a visual representation of their world much like in the book that
shows Elliot’s and Kaliash’s worlds as a follow up to show how they are unique.
- Student might be asked to represent some of the vocabulary words in their world like
celebrations and traditions.
- Students might use a Visual Journal to do this and might want to use some type of
painting medium to add colour.