To continue the progress we’d made on teaching civil discourse earlier this school year, we challenged students to reflect upon and shatter stereotypes.
Our jumping off point was “The Lie,” a powerful video produced by students at a local elementary school, examining untrue stereotypes about religious, racial, and gender groups. Read more about the video’s production and perception here and here.
After viewing the video, students listed unfair labels or judgments that they had experienced due to their gender, age, religion, race, appearance, national background, or any other characteristic. They completed the sentence “I’m not…” with a label they’d heard, and wrote it on an index card. Here are a few:
I’m not…weak because I’m a girl/from the forest just because I’m African/stupid/unable to speak English/dirty/a terrorist/overly sensitive/ashamed of who I am/mixed-up
Using an activity adapted from one developed by this Alabama teacher, students then displayed the index cards anonymously. Each student selected one of their classmate’s cards to reflect upon in writing, describing how they could help shatter the stereotype by showing the world the truth.
As a school, we created a “We Are” display, filled with characteristics that do describe us. The display is located in the main hallway, greeting guests as they enter the building. We are…proud to be a diverse, accepting school!