1. Topic-
2. Content-
Stereotyping in our schools, how to recognize it and prevent it.
Key vocabulary:
Definition: An idea that is taken for granted but not necessarily proven.
Context: Non-Asians often make the assumption that Asians are smart.

Speaker bias
Definition: Attitudes or behaviors based on stereotypes of people.
Context: When we omit people of color in our history lessons, we display a bias that suggests that their contributions are not important.

Speaker ethnicity
Definition: A categorization of people according to shared culture, language, or geographic region.
Context: The terms "Italian" and "Irish" describe two distinct ethnic groups.

Speaker race
Definition: A categorization of people based on shared biological traits such as skin color, hair texture, and eye shape.
Context: One function of the U.S. Census is to count the citizens by race, which is categorized as Black, White, Latino, or Native American.

Speaker stereotype
Definition: A generalized picture of a person, created without taking the whole person into account; to make such a generalization.
Context: When we stereotype a group of people, we depict all of the individuals within that group as having the same characteristics.
3. Goals: Aims/Outcomes-
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.
4. Objectives-
Students will be able to:
Understand various meanings of social group, general implications of group membership, and different ways that groups function.
Also, understand 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.
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-

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.

C. Practice-

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.
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:

Do assumptions apply to everyone in a group?
Do most people hold the same assumptions about a group? Why or why not?
Do assumptions tell us anything definite about a categorized individual?
How do assumptions affect your behavior toward others?

D. Independent Practice-

Ask students to spend 15-20 minutes writing about a personal experience with biased behavior. Emphasize to students that they should not put their names on their papers. They can share an experience in which they were a victim of biased behavior or in which they witnessed bias.
16. Prompt the class with the following: "Think about a situation when someone made a biased judgment about you or acted unfairly toward you because of your age, skin color, clothes you were wearing, gender, the way you speak, where you live, how much money your family has, or some other reason."
17. Ask students to consider the following questions before they begin to write:

How did you know that you were being unfairly judged?
What words or actions were directed at you because of assumptions or stereotypes?
Why do you think those assumptions were made about you?
How did the experience make you feel?
How do you think you should have been treated in that situation?


E. Accommodations (Differentiated Instruction)-

1.Allow grouping during discussions
2.Peer editing of papers
3.Buddy work

F. Checking for understanding-

Take Home Activity Sheet: Identifying Stereotypes in the Media with the class. Over the course of several days, they will use this sheet to keep a log of stereotypes they notice in television shows, commercials, or movies. Students should record the name of the show, movie, or product advertised; the group stereotyped; the stereotype portrayed; and any thoughts or feelings the student experienced while watching the program. Explain that this exercise might not be as easy as it seems; many of us are so accustomed to seeing certain stereotypes that we don't even notice them. Encourage students to look for patterns in the images they watch.

G. Closure-

Discussion Questions

1. What are stereotypes and how do they affect people's lives?
2. Can you think of any events in history that were influenced by stereotypes and biases?
3. How do people learn to make stereotypes? How might they unlearn them?
4. How can the media (newspapers, television, movies) help to reduce stereotyping?
5. Do you think certain groups are more subject to stereotyping than others? If so, why?
6. What do you think an individual can do to help reduce bias and stereotyping?
7. Evaluation-
1.Writing done by student
2.visual, non-formal
3. homework activity
8. Teacher Reflection-
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.
1. Were the students receptive?
2. Did all students participate?
3. What was difficult for the student?
4. Would any part of this lesson benefit from being presented a different way?
5. Was the grouping adequate?

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