This lesson challenges learners to recognize prejudice and examine how they perceive others. Learners discover how prejudices are learned, and they reflect on recognizing their biases.
One 20-minute lesson
The learner will:
- define prejudice and stereotyping and give examples.
- identify attributes of school and home cultures.
- Extension: reflect in writing on "respect," prompted by a quote from President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
This character education mini-lesson is not intended to be a service learning lesson or to meet the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. The character education units will be most effective when taught in conjunction with a student-designed service project that provides a real world setting in which students can develop and practice good character and leadership skills. For ideas and suggestions for organizing service events go to www.generationon.org.
Before the lesson, select images of people to show the students. Try to select people from different cultural, religious, ethnic, racial, gender, socio-economic, and age groups. These images may come from personal photos, magazines, or the Internet (http://www.bingrewards.com/images/search?q=People+Walking&FORM=IGRE3). The purpose of the exercise is to get students to make snap judgments about the people in the photos. This will create awareness that we all make judgments. The first judgment we make is on appearance as we try to fit people into preexisting categories in our minds. This is human nature, but it is important to be aware of this tendency so we can open our minds to learning more about people as we get more information. Locking into our first impressions is the start of prejudice. The photos you select may have one or more person per photo.
Have learners number a piece of paper from one to five. Display one at a time the five pictures selected for the lesson. (See Materials and Teacher Preparation.) Ask learners to write the first thought that comes to their minds as each picture is displayed. Leave the picture on display for no more than twenty seconds.
From the Learning to Give Grade 6-8 unit Respecting Diversity: The Road to Tolerance
Lesson Developed By:Betsy Flikkema
All rights reserved. Permission is granted to freely use this information for nonprofit (noncommercial), educational purposes only. Copyright must be acknowledged on all copies.