Students learn the importance of taking a stand against prejudice. Students also experience the power of group dynamics and the positive feeling of many people coming together to create a positive expression. Ending prejudice, just like any social justice and equity project, begins with one person. Our integrated teaching unit is based around the students' demonstrating their understanding about social justice through identifying factors of prejudice across the disciplines of math, biology, and English. Students use their individual and collective power to be agents of social change.
Subject: Biology, English, Geometry
Activity: Flash Mob
After discovering and analyzing aspects of prejudice in Biology, English, and Geometry, students unify and cross the invisible boarder between subject areas. After planning the social justice message about ending prejudice, students from a variety of cultures and backgrounds work in collaborative groups to create a social justice performance. After working with their cross-curriculum and diverse teams, students participate by contributing ideas, creating props,and working in unity. SWBAT create and organize a large collaborative project that has the specific goal of communicating the idea of unity and tolerance to their community. After practicing the choreography for the flash mob performance at their school, SWBAT successfully perform the unity dance in front of a large group of people in a public place.
Students demand social justice and equity when they connect with the past of prejudice and bias in the United States when they listen to and read along to Dr. King's 1963 "Letter from Birmingham City Jail.” Students take a social justice action when they select one of the pledge statements they would like to make a personal commitment to, or to create their own one sentence commitment. Students open themselves up to each other, their community, and the world when they use technology to share their work (photograph, picture, video, images, voice, drawing, poster, or any form of creative expression and communication) and their beliefs in the name of social justice and equity in the classroom, in the school, and in their communities at home and abroad. Students also use technology to join the world stage and millions of people from different nations who have signed the Birmingham Pledge when they have their pledge added in the registry at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
Activity: Area Map Research
Social justice is illuminated when students investigate area maps along with demographics, average household income, and compare that to population density. In society it is often said that people who live in certain areas must be of a certain type. When we take a closer look at the physical constraints which are present in these areas, we can see where these prejudices arise from. What's more, is that we want to find out what we can do to inhibit the spread of these stereotypes. By bringing awareness into these students minds, we can contribute to building unity and acceptance of others.
Activity: Measuring Skulls
In this activity we will be investigating the idea that a certain sized skull will be an indicator of the level of intelligence that individual will obtain. How do we measure intelligence? Are there multiple intelligences? These are some of the questions we must ask our students in order to illustrate that this idea is prejudice and has little effect on an individuals actual intelligence(s).