Whoever You Are by Mem Fox

This story celebrates those
qualities that make us
different and the same.
This is seen through the
book’s vivid illustrations of
children all over the world
who have different customs,
languages, food, homes,
and schools. It reaffirms
the idea that even though
we may appear different we
share a common bond of joy
and pain.
Do a picture walk through the book prior to reading it. Ask students to
concentrate on the pictures, describing those things they see that are
familiar or different, writing them on a T chart Same/Different?

Discussion questions

  1. What words does the author keep repeating? Why do you think she
    repeats those words?
  2. What are things that make you special and different?
  3. How do our differences make us happy? How do our differences make
    us sad?


  1. Interviews
    Come up with a list of questions students would like to ask each other.
    Allow the group to divide into pairs of students, each interviewing the
    other, using questions developed by the class. Depending on ability,
    students could record their answers on paper, to be shared with the
    group. This would be a good way to introduce Unified pairs and a great
    get-to-know-you activity early in the year.
    Examples of questions may be:
    What games do you like to play?
    Do you have brothers/sisters?
    What food do you like to eat?
    What is your favorite animal?
    What music do you like to listen to?
    What places do you like to visit?
  2. Stretch a Sketch
    Pass out paper, asking students to draw and color what they think is the
    most important message in the book. Allow each student to share their
  3. Class Venn Diagram collage
    Pass out magazines, scissors, crayons/markers. Ask students to locate
    and cut out pictures that illustrate differences and similarities people
    may have. On a long piece of bulletin board paper with a Venn diagram
    drawn on it, have students put things that show differences in the
    center and images that show differences on the outside.