Overcoming Prejudice

6, 7, 8

Using a variety of activities, students examine the meaning of and examples of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. They work in groups to propose ways to help reduce stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination.

PrintOne 45-Minute Session

The learner will:

  • state harmful outcomes of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination.
  • make a plan to address an issue related to making sure all voices in a community are respected.

group copies of Handout One: Service Project Planning Form

  • stereotype: an oversimplified opinion formed by associating people with a group; an idea that many people have about a thing or group and that may often be untrue or only partly true

  • prejudice: a judgment formed about a person or group without enough knowledge

  • discrimination: action or treatment based on prejudice, or a preconceived opinion


Reflect on the service project by having students write about the impact the pledge and service had on themselves and others.  


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask students the ways that government, business, and individuals show respect for all voices in a community. Discuss examples in the past of community/business/government failure to listen to all voices that resulted in groups being denied their rights (unsafe work environments, segregation, women's vote, slavery, ethnic cleansing). Ask, What is a "community's" responsibility to make sure everyone's voices are heard and respected?

  2. As a whole class, brainstorm at least three examples of prejudice in the school, community or world.

  3. Then have students form groups and discuss ways to creatively address these issues. Have each group develop a proposed plan to take action that respects the voices of people who may not be heard. Use the Handout: Service Project Planning Form.

  4. The groups present their plans to the whole class.

  5. Once each group presents the plan to the whole class, have students vote on the plan or plans they want to carry out.

  6. Have students draft and sign a pledge saying that they will not allow any of their peers to be discriminated against or treated like strangers. They should pledge to actively welcome others and keep an open mind when they meet people who are different from them. They should promise to keep this pledge and to encourage other students to sign it. Have students work in small groups to create a list of things that should be included in the pledge. Then, as a whole group, they choose the best elements of the pledge. They should write the pledge together as a whole group and have everyone sign it.

Cross Curriculum 

Students write and sign a pledge to reduce these issues locally and globally. They make a plan to promote awareness of stereotypes and discrimination and the importance of hearing all voices in a community and respect their right to be heard.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Give examples of needs not met by the government, business, or family sectors.
  2. 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 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark MS.14 Describe and give an example of needs not usually met by the government sector.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities and research.
    3. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Develop a service plan.
    4. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Identify outcomes from the service.