Learners will define and identify stereotypical and discriminatory behaviors and practices. They will describe a social action plan to make the school a welcome and secure learning environment for all learners.
Three Forty-Five Minute Class Periods
The learner will:
- define discrimination and describe how it manifests itself within a school climate.
- describe how the work of Peter Yarrow seeks to end discriminatory actions toward others.
- describe a personal action plan for decreasing exclusionary and discriminating behaviors which will contribute to the common good.
Pass out lyrics and/or play the song, "Don’t Laugh at Me." Ask learners to identify the hurtful behaviors/actions expressed in the song.
- Day One: Ask learners if they have ever felt "picked on" because of similar reasons. Have them do a reflective journal activity with the following topic: Describe a situation where you felt excluded or unwelcome. How has that event affected you? If all persons are "created equal," why is it that they are not actually treated the same in real life situations? Assure the learners that this writing is for their reflection only, they will not be expected to share the information and it will not be graded.
- After the learners have had time to do the reflective writing, working in a whole group setting, write and define the following terms on the board.: the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to and vicariously experiencing the feelings and thoughts of another.
social action: individual or group behavior that involves interaction with other individuals or groups working toward social reform.: rights regarded as belonging fundamentally to all persons.: a belief that human beings should act in ways that help others; a selfless concern for the welfare of others.: private and individual action intended for the common good.: standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group that represents an oversimplified opinion. injury or damage resulting from some judgement or action in disregard of one’s rights.
- Write each term on a piece of poster paper and place around the room. Ask the learners to list examples of each term. Explain how these ideas improve the common good.
- Day Two: Begin class with playing the song "Don’t Laugh at Me." Distribute copies of Biography of Peter Yarrow. You may want to do a brief introduction to Peter, Paul and Mary and the social action groups of the 60’s. Read this biography together and ask learners to highlight areas that pertain to social action and altruism.
- Show the video "Don’t Laugh At Me." After the video ask learners how this made them feel. Brainstorm ideas for strategies to decrease exclusionary/discriminating/disrespectful behaviors in their school. Ask each learner to develop a personal social action plan to help decrease disrespectful and negative behaviors.
- Day Three: Begin by playing the song "Don’t Laugh At Me." Using Stand and Deliver (Attachment One), allow approximately 25 minutes for the activity. It is done in total silence and seriousness. Teacher Note: Before beginning the activity, be sure the students completely understand the procedure.
- Debriefing is necessary at the end of the activity as it can be an emotional experience for some learners. Debriefing questions may include:
- Describe some of your feelings today.
- What was the hardest part of this activity today?
- What did you learn about yourself? About others?
- What surprised you the most?
- What did you learn about the effects of discrimination and intolerance?
- Distribute copies of the "All One Heart" The Pledge. Read this pledge together. This is a voluntary piece that learners may or may not choose to sign. Discuss how this plan can begin to make a small difference to discriminatory actions. How does adherence to this plan improve the common good? What Core Democratic Value does it strengthen? (equality)
Journal reflections and the discussion throughout the exercise may be used as an assessment of learning.
Lesson Developed By:Charlene Austin
Directions: Ask participants to seat themselves in a circle, in chairs or on the floor, so that they can see everyone. The moderator should stand or sit in the circle. Explain that statements will be read statements that indicate the complexity of diversity and experience. Ask that as each statement is read, those who identify with that statement should stand. Allow time for participants to observe and encourage them to consider the following:
Next, thank participants and ask them to be seated again and read another statement. The entire activity should be done in total silence until the debriefing segment.
Stand and deliver if you identify as…
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