Violations and Dreams
  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respecting their right to be heard.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark MS.7 Compare an open, democratic community to a closed, totalitarian community.
    3. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Analyze information to differentiate fact from opinion based on the investigation of issues related to the common good.

Students will examine examples of discrimination, prejudice, and bias in countries around the world.

PrintThree Sixty-Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • research examples of prejudice in countries around the world.
  • identify the Core Democratic Values represented in song lyrics.
  • locate, on a map, countries identified as intolerant.
  • Copies of the lyrics to We Shall Be Free (Attachment One)
  • Brooks, Garth. Chase. "We Shall Be Free." Emd/Capitol, November 21, 2000. Audio CD - ASIN B00005176C. Audio Cassette - ASIN B000002V16.
  • If access to computers is not possible, print copies of articles downloaded from the Internet. (See Bibliographical References.)
  • Poster or copies of the Core Democratic Values (Attachment Two)
  • Poster or copies of the Core Democratic Values for Elementary Students (Attachment Three)
  • 3" X 5" note cards
  • Multicolored pushpins
  • Yarn or String
  • Wall maps of the World or Continents
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Play the recording or read the lyrics to "We Shall Be Free" (Attachment One) by Garth Brooks and Stephanie Davis. Ask the students to reflect on the meaning of the words of the song and share with two other students.

  2. Ask for volunteers to share the results of the homework assignment from the previous day. (See Lesson One: Stereo What?). Be sure students have received parental permission to share.

  3. Review and/or instruct students how to conduct information searches using the Internet. Have students brainstorm a list of key words to use in their searches for information about discrimination in other countries around the world. Note: You may wish to direct the students' attention to the Core Democratic Values (Attachment Two) or Core Democratic Values for Elementary Students (Attachment Three). You also may have to suggest some terms such as ethnicity, apartheid, or nationalism. Post the list of words generated on an overhead, white board, or chalk board.

  4. Students should begin their searches using the Internet. Depending on the availability of computers, students may work in teams of two or three. In the event that computers are not available, some Web sites are listed in the Bibliography for this lesson. The teacher may print out some of the information for students to use. Ask the students to locate two examples of intolerance and record brief notes on a 3" X 5" note card. The examples should be from two different countries, e.g., the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and the treatment of Roma (Gypsies) in Bulgaria. Be sure to include the United States in this assignment. This is important for comparison purposes.

  5. Have the students construct a three columned recording chart that will look similar to the following:

    Country/Type of Gov't Problem Identified Freedom/Value Denied

  6. Tell students to locate their countries on a world or continental map using a pushpin. Using a piece of yarn or string, have students connect their pushpin to the note card that describes the events in that country. After locating the country and placing the note card, students should orally identify the country and the example of discrimination they found. The class will fill in the first two columns of the recording chart as each student reports out.

  7. Ask students to return to the words of We Shall Be Free. Discuss with students the types of freedoms in the song. Ask which Core Democratic Values are addressed in the song. (Lyrics that are italicized indicate clues to connections to the Core Democratic Values.) Compile a class list of the results of the discussion.

  8. Tell students to look at their own examples from the map/Internet activity. Ask, "How does the information you gathered connect to the meaning of the lyrics?" As a class, discuss each country's problem area and identify the freedom being denied to the people or the core democratic value that is missing. Each student should add this information to his or her recording sheet.


Students will be evaluated on the completeness of their note cards. Note cards should include the following information: Name of the country A written description of events or conditions that indicate discrimination or intolerance in the selected country. Students will also be required to hand in their recording charts for full credit. Teacher observation.