Social Comparison K-3

“Appropriate Clothing”

Social Comparison Lesson

Timeframe: 30 minutes




To introduce the concepts of functional and appropriate clothing: Clothing is something we use to enjoy the various types of weather and weather-related activities. Clothing is not something to compare each other by as students are sensitive to social comparison. Students may need support in making clothing choices based on weather, availability of clothing, and preference, but sometimes there is peer pressure and media pressure to conform or to look a certain way.

Big Ideas

  • Teachers and parents can model size and shape acceptance and discourage social comparison.
  • The clothes we wear are part of our body image.
  • Teachers and parents can help by avoiding linking acceptance and appearance.


PAPER for drawing/writing (Grades 2-3)
BOOK “Thomas’ Snowsuit” (Click to View)


Read Thomas’ Snowsuit by Robert Munsch (Click to View)



  1. Ask the students to identify what functional clothing is necessary for different kinds of weather.
  2. Explain that sometimes what we want to wear is not always functional and can restrict persons from fully participating in activities.
  3. Ask the students if it ever happened that they were dressed inappropriately for a season or activity. How did that make them feel?


> The teacher could come in wearing a raincoat and ask the class why she/he is wearing it.
> The teacher could bring a selection of skates, snow shoes, mittens, etc. and the class could talk about the functions of each item.
> The teacher could talk about how certain clothing is part of our identity (e.g. hats and uniforms for police officers).
> The teacher and class could discuss how we need functional clothing to participate actively (running shoes, slacks, etc.).


Try to not use this lesson as a way to compare students socially. The topic of clothing should be focused on the functionality of the item and appropriateness.


Students could create a picture of themselves dressed appropriately (specifically Grades 2 and 3). Here are additional links to support the pictures: (Link 1), (Link 2). Then discuss with the class what was learned about wearing appropriate clothing to empower us to enjoy our life and the purpose of appropriate clothing allowing us to do the things we want to do.


Article: “Exploring Masculine and Feminine Stereotypes in Children’s Literature” by Dr. Anne-Marie Dionne (Click to View)

Book: “Ribbon Rescue” (Click to View)

Book: “No Clean Clothes” (Click to View)

Book: “Paper Bag Princess” (Click to View)

Book: “Weird” by Erin Frankel

For further information on these book titles, please access the Resources section on our website.

Help and your fellow teachers!
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