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Making a Lasting Difference

This modelling the tools is incorporated into critical challenges at grades 2 and 3, however, it can be adapted for use at all grade levels.


Session One

Introduce the idea of lasting difference.

  • Invite students to share stories of ways in which they have assisted members of their family or community.
  • Cut out the cards (i.e., short-term difference and lasting difference) from Kinds of Differences and paste them on the board. Share a few contrasting examples to help students understand the concepts. For example:
    • doing a friend's homework for him or her versus teaching the friend how to do the work himself
    • giving someone a paper bag to carry his or her lunch versus giving the person a lunch box
    • helping an elderly person walk by holding his or her arm versus giving him or her a cane or walker.
  • Print each of these actions beneath the card that best describes the effect.
  • Invite students to categorize the helpful actions they shared as short-term or long lasting. It may be interesting to discuss whether making someone happy creates a lasting positive memory or is a short-lived experience. Illustrate this point by contrasting a child's favourite toys, such as the teddy bear that is brought to bed each night, versus a toy that is quickly put aside. Students may suggest that some actions have intermediate-term effects; if so, print these actions mid-way between the two cards. Emphasize to students that all of their efforts make a difference to someone. Explain that the purpose of categorizing the kinds of differences is to note that some contributions have an ongoing effect.

Read and discuss the story.

  • Announce that you are going to read a story about a young girl named Concepcion who makes a lasting difference to children who have no home and are often hungry. Read aloud A Handful of Seeds. After reading the story, invite students to identify the problems experienced by the street children, the solutions presented in the story and other solutions that the street children might consider. After a brief discussion, create a chart, as illustrated below, indicating for each problem whether the actual and suggested strategies made a short-term or lasting difference. You may need to offer suggested solutions, which students could then categorize.

Dealing with the Street Children's Problems


Short-term Difference

Lasting Difference

No food

Eat the seeds for food
Steal for food
Sell garbage for food

Plant the seeds to grow food

Find new families for the street children

Police beat them

Run away and hide

Stop stealing so police won't chase them

Talk to the police

Find someone to help them

No home

Sleep where they can

Find new families for the street children

Build their own homes

Confirm understanding of concepts.

  • Distribute copies of Things We Can Do and Short-term or Lasting ? to each student or pair of students. Direct students to cut out the cards on the first sheet and paste each pair of cards in the appropriate column on the second sheet. Ask students to explain the difference between the two kinds of effects at the bottom of each column.
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Last updated: July 1, 2014 | (Revision History)
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