Fun Classroom Activities on Stereotypes

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Teach classroom students about stereotypes with fun activities that have the children list adjectives about a certain stereotype, and then identify people who defy the stereotype. Have the class write about what they have done to counteract prejudice and stereotypes with advice from a writing instructor and former classroom teacher in this free video on stereotypes.

Part of the Video Series: Reading, Writing & Education
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Laura from youngwritersworkshops.com and I'm going to talk about fun ways to teach about stereotypes. A way to introduce the definition would be to, or to create a classroom definition of a stereotype would be to give an example of a role that kids might be familiar with like a geek or a jock and just explain that stereotypes are when you apply a set of expectations and ideas and put someone in that role based on some limited information. Once the kids have an idea about a stereotype, you can begin by making fun of this idea, finding some ideas that are just ridiculous, that don't apply at all. It's easier to do this with labels that might be applied in the media. So you might come up with examples of media characters that apply stereotypes or commonly held beliefs about a certain occupation, or a gender, just have these kids think of examples that are over the top stereotypes. Then you can do an activity where you create a chart with a word like jock or geek, or another stereotype that kids have identified and then just have the students list adjectives of descriptive adjectives about this role. Then, find students in your classroom that have adjectives from more than one list. So you'll find a way to show that even within your own class you have students that defy the stereotype. Having the students write about time where they have felt that they've been prejudiced against, someone has held some kind of unfair stereotype about them, gives them a chance to use their own experiences. So, if you can come up with a journal entry where they can talk about how they felt when they were being put into a role that they though wasn't accurate, what kind of clues gave them the idea that that was happening, how they felt, what their response was, and maybe some ways that they could have changed that situation, what they could have done to counteract the stereotype. So, these are some ideas about activities to teach about stereotypes.

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