Who's In, Who's Out?

9, 10, 11, 12

Learners will reflect upon what it means to be excluded or disrespected in a community and will develop a school climate survey to identify individuals or groups in their school community who feel excluded or disrespected.

Lesson Rating 
PrintThree Forty-Five Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • identify feelings associated with being excluded or disrespected in a community.
  • survey learners and groups in the school who feel excluded or disrespected using identified characteristics.
  • summarize information from a survey and present in report form.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask learners to think about different communities to which they belong. These communities can be organized or formal, as in a classroom community, a club or a team, or an informal community such as skateboarders. Have the learners write down at least three of these communities. Then have them finish the following sentences:

  2. I feel safe and respected in a community when…

  3. I feel included in a community when…

  4. I feel unsafe and disrespected in a community when…

  5. I feel excluded in a community when…

  6. Put learners into triads to share their responses. Have the small groups share responses with the whole group and have a recorder put responses on newsprint.

    Tell learners: "Exclusion and discrimination have a negative impact on individuals and groups in society. Together we are going to use what we know about those things that make us feel excluded and disrespected to develop a survey for our high school to identify those groups that feel excluded or disrespected."

  7. Day One: Using the information gathered from the above activity, have each small group write three questions that can be used on a survey. Questions should be designed so that they can be easily and quickly answered by learners. Example: Do you feel respected by adults in our school? Answer Choices: always…usually… sometimes…never.

  8. Have each group share the questions they came up with, and eliminate or consolidate any questions that are similar. As a class, add any additional questions that will help to identify the times and situations in which learners sometimes feel disrespected and/or excluded in school.

  9. Compile the questions into a survey. Caution the students the questions in the survey should be worded in such a way as to not be hurtful to any person or group of individuals.

  10. Have the learners develop a plan to distribute and collect surveys.

  11. Teacher Note: In advance, the teacher should make arrangements with colleagues and the administration for the survey to be distributed.

  12. Have the learners write a prediction in their journals about what the survey findings will be. Which groups of learners do they think will feel disrespected/excluded? In what ways will these learners say they are excluded?

  13. Day Two: Once surveys have been collected, divide learners into small groups to compile survey findings. Have learners record which demographics of difference came up most often as feeling excluded, as well as the situations/times when they felt excluded. Have each group share their findings. List the groups of learners that sometimes feel disrespected/excluded for use in Lesson Four: Allies and Actions

  14. Have learners compile the survey results into a report that can be shared with the staff and other learners.

  15. In their journals, have learners analyze how accurate their predictions about the survey results were. Were they surprised by the results? In what way? Reflecting on the survey results, have the learners decide why it is that some people are excluded. Since we are all "created equal," why don’t our actions reflect that when it comes down to every day life situations? What are the real-life benefits and challenges of diversity in American life?


Journal entries and the completed survey report may be used as an assessment of learning.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark HS.12 Explain why private action is important to the protection of minority voices.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.