Identifying Stereotypes

  • 6

  • 7

  • 8

Objective: Students will be able to explain what a stereotype is.

Identifying Stereotypes

  • 6

  • 7

  • 8

Objective: Students will be able to explain what a stereotype is.

Activity:

Activity #1:  

Write the words, "man" and "woman," side-by-side, at the top of chart paper. (You need one, for each group, that will be working on this.)  

Draw a vertical line, between the two words, to create a two column chart.

Divide the students, into groups of four and give them three minutes, to brainstorm words and phrases, that they feel describe each word. 

The following are some typical student responses:

 Man -- active, sports lover, short hair, hard working, truck driver, breadwinner, strong 
 Woman -- loving, nurse, shop, likes flowers, nurturing, sensitive, cries easily, long hair

Using the protocol, Roll 'Em, have groups share out three or four of the things, they wrote on their sheets. 

After each group has shared, have them return to their seats. 

Then, ask some of the following questions:

Are you happy with the lists you have created?            

Do you see any changes you would like to make to them?

Are there terms that do not belong under the heading they're under?             

Are there terms that might fit under both headings?

Is it fair to say that all men _________ or that all women ________?

Write the word, stereotype, on the board and share the definition.

Stereotype: An overly simple picture or opinion, of a person, group, or thing. (Example: it is a stereotype, to say all old people are forgetful.)

Activity #2:

Write on the board or chart paper, the following phrases:
All old people are forgetful. 
Men are better at math than women are.
African-American men are the best basketball players.

 
Give students a few moments to consider those phrases. Then, ask them to share their reactions.

Lead students to the conclusion, that the statements are too general to be true. Encourage them to recognize, that it is unfair to make such sweeping statements.

Help students make the connection between the phrases and the term, stereotype.

Have students return to their small brainstorming groups and cross off the words or phrases they wrote down, that are stereotypes for man/woman. 

What words do they have left? Can you find similarities in the words that are left?
 
Activity #3:

Have students return to their small brainstorming groups and ask them to record, on a paper, stereotypes they might have heard or thought about.

Tell them to keep a written record, of the stereotypes, they think of.

When the flow of stereotype statements seems to be slowing down, ask students, in each group, to take a final look at their lists and mark with an asterisk, 6-10 of the most interesting stereotypes.

Bring the class back together so they can share their ideas.

Each time a student shares a stereotype, hand that student a sentence strip, to write the stereotype down.

Instruct students to write large and bold; markers or crayons work best.

Some stereotypes that students might have thought of include:
Kids who are into computers are geeky.
Young kids are noisy.
People who wear glasses are smart.
Poor people are lazy.
Women are better cooks than men.
Girls are not as athletic as boys.
All politicians are crooks.
Everyone believes in God.
All doctors are rich.
All Americans like to watch baseball.
All tall people are good basketball players.
Teenagers are troublemakers.

Bursting Stereotypes

Have a bag of balloons prepared for this part of the activity or have balloons on a bulletin board.

If you have created a bulletin board for this activity, ask students to read each sentence strip aloud and staple it next to a balloon, on the bulletin board.

When all sentence strips are stapled to the board, lead a class discussion about each stereotype.

[Have a common pin concealed, in your hand, for the next part of the activity.] Ask students if the stereotype statements are fair statements.

When you are satisfied that students have refuted the stereotype, swipe the balloon, with the common pin. Pop! -- that stereotype has been burst.

If you choose not to create the bulletin board, call students holding sentence strips, to come up, one at a time, to the front of the classroom.

Have each student read aloud, the statement on his or her strip and hold the strip up for classmates to see.

Hold up a balloon, as the strip holder calls on classmates to refute the stereotype, on the strip.

Once satisfied that the stereotype has been blasted, pop the balloon.

Common Core Standards:

  • 6.SL.1 ( Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. )

  • 6.SL.1.b ( Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed. )

  • 6.SL.1.c ( Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion. )

  • 6.SL.1.d ( Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing. )

  • 7.SL.1 ( Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. )

  • 7.SL.1.c ( Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed. )

  • 7.SL.1.d ( Acknowledge new information expressed by others and, when warranted, modify their own views. )

  • 8.SL.1 ( Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. )

  • 8.SL.1.b ( Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed. )

  • 8.SL.1.c ( Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas. )

  • 8.SL.1.d ( Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the evidence presented. )