There were some good comments about the posts about bullying and racism in the past couple of weeks. One of my favorite activities with my advisory was to read and talk about The Sneetches – Dr. Seuss’s book that looks at how people construct judgements of value and cultural behaviors that support hierarchies all based on physical differences (star bellies).
- Have people write a quickwrite or journal about what discrimination is and some time they have witnessed or experienced it. Allow a couple of people to share.
- Let students know you are going to read a story – in some ways a parable about prejudice and discrimination. Define Parable with the group.
- Get a copy of The Sneetches to read with the advisory. (or watch the video on YouTube).
- Discuss basics – what happens in the story? What is the outcome? (Summarize).
- Have students cut out stars (or have them cut out) and write on each star a characteristic that makes people different, that is judged differently and used as a reason for inequality (eye color, height, race, etc). Create a wall of these. Follow out discussions.
- Consider if this happens in real life? In what ways? What plays the role of Sylvester McMonkey McBean?
Resources and Extentions:
- Sneetches Resource Page (Including links to the video).
- Teaching Tolerance’s Lesson on the Sneetches. (This is a simulation activity. Many teachers have strong feelings against simulations, though this one is done respectfully – particularly for younger grades).
- Early Reading Book Titles by topic – could be great for any age.
- Write a children’s story to explain an issue of inequality, injustice, discrimination, or racism.