1. Topic-
Understanding Stereotypes
2. Content-
Behavioral Studies
Key Vocabulary-assumption, bias, ethnicity, race and stereotype.
3. Goals: Aims/Outcomes-
1.Understands various meanings of social group, general implications of group membership, and different ways that groups function.
2.Understands how the diverse elements that contribute to the development and transmission of culture (e.g., language, literature, the arts, traditions, beliefs, values, behavior patterns) function as an integrated whole.
4. Objectives-
Students will understand the following:

1. Assumptions can lead to stereotypes and unfair judgments about individuals and groups.
2. Stereotypes and biases affect our lives.
5. Materials and Aids-
-Writing paper
-Flip chart and/or large sheets of paper
-Magic markers
-Art supplies (construction paper, scissors, tape, glue, magazines to cut up, etc.)
-Take Home Activity Sheet: Identifying Stereotypes in the Media (see printable version)
6. Procedures/Methods-

A. Introduction-

Begin by discussing with students how people often use labels or categories to describe others and how these labels can be based on such characteristics as clothing, looks, the way a person talks, or the groups to which he or she belongs. Explain that categorizing things or people is a natural human inclination; however, people often make assumptions about groups of people they don't even know.

B. Development-

Write these major categories onto five separate pieces of flip chart paper and post these around the room. Give the class 10-15 minutes to travel to each posted sheet and write down adjectives related to the category headings. Remind students that they should only add new descriptions to the list.

C. Practice-

Ask the class to brainstorm categories that are used at school to group people. Categories could include labels such as "jocks" or "brains." Write each category the class generates onto the board and then have students narrow that list down to five major categories.

D. Independent Practice-

Now ask students to help define the word "stereotype." Explain that when we make assumptions about an entire group of people, those assumptions are referred to as stereotypes. When assumptions and stereotypes influence our attitudes, we may find that making a fair judgment about someone or something is difficult. This influence on judgment is called a "bias."

Checking for understanding-

When they are finished, ask students to take a moment and look at the adjectives that the class has generated under each group heading. Use the following questions to lead a discussion about what they recorded:
1.Do assumptions apply to everyone in a group.
2.Do most people hold the same assumptions about a group? Why or why not?
3.Do assumptions tell us anything definite about a categorized individual?
4.How do assumptions affect your behavior toward others?


Take another look at the adjectives recorded and hold a class discussion around the following questions: Do these adjectives describe stereotypes? How can they be unfair or hurtful?
This lesson is designed to affect attitudes and receptiveness to new ideas, which are learning outcomes unlikely to be measurable by traditional assessment methods. Teachers should look for students' willingness to participate, openness to new ideas, and their level of empathy toward targets of bias and discrimination. It is important that the basic principles of this lesson"�freedom from bias and stereotypes and recognizing individuals"�are interwoven into the classroom environment throughout the year. Changing attitudes around bias requires continual reinforcement.

This Lesson Plan is available at (www.teacherjet.com)