What Are Your Thoughts?

6, 7, 8
Students will analyze the insidious effects of feelings of superiority/inferiority and discrimination on others.
PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Class Period
The learners will:
  • interpret and describe the feelings of disparate characters.
  • identify the responses of individuals to historic violations of human dignity involving discrimination.
How Are You Feeling Today? Poster from www.ctherapy.com (Any other poster or hand-out displaying emotions, or even descriptive words for the emotions, will work as well.)
  • Taylor, Mildred. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. New York: Puffin Books, 1991.


  1. Anticipatory Set:Ask the students to think of a time in their lives when they were disillusioned or when they found something they held to be true, to be false. For example, have you ever met someone you thought was really nice, only to determine they were anything but? How about believing in something only to find out later that it never existed (think of childhood experiences)?

  2. Refer to the Anticipatory Set. Explain to the students that Cassie was shocked when she came to the realization that people actually viewed her and her family as being inferior because they were African-American.
  3. Arrange the students up into groups, and assign each group one of the following roles:
    • Cassie Logan
    • Lillian Jean Simms
    • Charlie Simms
    • Big Ma
    • Jeremy Simms
    • Stacey Logan
  4. If there aren’t enough people to have exact groups, the first three characters are most important to this lesson. There can be as few or as many as you would like. Once the students are in their groups and their roles have been assigned, give each group a poster or handout with emotions on them. Ask the students to pick out the emotions they are feeling as “their” character in this situation. Ask them to present their feelings and speak, in character, to the class. Remind the students to express why they felt the way they did. If the other students in the class have questions, they may ask, or comment upon, the character’s choice of emotions.
  5. Cassie’s parents had not “brought her up” to feel inferior in any way. How did they do this? Why did they do this? Was it wise for them to take this course of action? How does the idea of community capital fit into a location where some of the residents are considered inferior and others superior?
Observe the students in their groups, as well as their presentations, to determine their effort and seriousness. Be sure to observe their: contribution to the group personal effort ability to understand and express their feelings and thoughts in their role.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.5 Discuss examples of groups denied their rights in history.