Recognizing Commonalities

This is a unit from the Relationships Initiative Curriculum. See the full resource collection on the curriculum’s homepage.

The activities in this section give students an opportunity to recognize the many things they have in common with others in the room. Feeling a sense of belonging and inclusion requires space to celebrate difference and space to recognize that we often have more in common with others than we realize. Having a sense of shared life experiences, perspectives, and interest can help create a strong foundation upon which students can share more vulnerably about their unique life experiences. Returning to commonalities can also provide strong closure to activities that highlight our differences. The activities in this section require moderate vulnerability.

Supplemental Videos

Use these playlists to initiate conversations in your classroom around the concept of commonalities and connections. Choose videos here or find additional videos that represent commonalities and connections that might feel exciting, inspiring, or specific to your classroom, school, or neighborhood. As you watch the videos with your students, use the following prompts to guide reflection, journaling, or discussion: 

  • What does it mean to feel a sense of community? 
  • Where do you feel a sense of community? 
  • How do you relate best to others? 
  • What makes you feel like you belong somewhere? 
  • What does it mean to have a common identity as a class, school, or neighborhood? 
  • What relationships in your life inspire you? 
  • When do differences matter? When should they not matter? 
  • When do similarities matter? When should they not matter? 

Browse videos below by age group. Do you have a video or activity that might help other teachers talk about recognizing commonalities? Share it using our submission form.

Lessons from this Unit

You can also download the full Relationships Initiative curriculum as a PDF.