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FNSS Curriculum Integration Project Click here to download this lesson.
Cammy Coughlin (MS-Word format.)

Grade: 6
Lesson 1: Stereotyping and Discrimination
Time: 80 minutes or 2 x 40 minutes

Topic: Stereotyping and discrimination are learned behaviours.

Rationale: Stereotyping and discrimination are learned subliminally in life from a very early age. These learned patterns lead to inaccurate portrayals of people and things and do not reflect reality.

Materials and Resources

  • Chart paper and felts (or chalk board, or overhead projector)
  • Lesson 1: Stereotypes and Reality worksheet
  • Lesson 1: Definitions worksheet
  • Paper for a journal entry or actual Journals that your students already use

Main concepts

  • The students will understand the concepts of stereotyping and discrimination, and will be able to demonstrate their knowledge through a writing journal activity and worksheets.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Identify and clarify a problem/issue
  • Organize information from a variety of sources into a structured presentation
  • Evaluate mass media stereotypes of cultural groups


Where you label certain people, groups, or things in a certain way. It may be good or bad. You have already formed your impression of who that person, or group is, perhaps without ever meeting them.
unfavorable treatment based on your prejudices against another person, group or thing. It may be because of race, gender, age, etc.

Planned Learning Activities

  • Ask students if they know of any individuals, groups or things that are thought of in a certain way, even though you may not personally know about that person, group or thing. For example, ask students: What can you tell me about wolves?
  • Students will probably describe wolves as "mean, vicious, prowler, etc." Ask the students why they feel this way?
  • Students may generate, or perhaps the teacher can suggest that they have heard negative things about wolves through literature or television (cartoons, or movies).
  • Ask students to think of some fairy tales that depict wolves in negative ways: ex. The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood, Never Cry Wolf, various Aesop fables, etc.
  • Ask students from what age did they first begin to think of wolves in this way? Ask students if it was from literature, t.v., movies, newspapers/magazines, comics, advertisements, games and toys, parents, peers, etc.? Make a checklist on the chalkboard (or on chart paper for further reference).
  • Inform students that when people make impressions or judgments about persons, professions, things, and animals, they are stereotyping.
  • Write down the definition (which is at the end of the lesson) for stereotyping and have the students copy this onto their worksheet entitled, Lesson # 1 Definitions.


  • Ask students what they think about when they hear the word, "nerd"?
  • Ask students if that is a fair statement to say? If nerds are smart, wear glasses, different clothes, etc., then challenge students to find a smart student in the classroom who doesn't fit that mold. Suggest to students that there are stereotypes, and then there is reality.
  • Hand out the worksheet, Lesson 1: Stereotypes and Reality. Allow students time to fill in their sheets using a few words or short sentences, and then complete with a colored picture. This may also be assigned for homework. Perhaps allow 15 - 20 minutes of class time for this activity (or you can allow more time for students to actually complete this in class). Students can also use one of the examples of the Stereotypes and Reality sheet to complete the Definitions sheet at this time or for homework.
  • Either at this lesson or another one, have students share their pictures and word comments with others in the class. Using the examples, add to the checklist on the chalkboard to see where the students got the stereotypes from (literature, t.v., movies, newspapers, etc.).
  • Ask students why or how stereotypes can hurt people?
  • Generate a list on the board or chart paper on how stereotyping can hurt people in the short term and in the long term? Some possible answers might include: low self-esteem, giving up hope, start to believe the stereotypes, become angry, become sad or depressed, hide their identity (deny who they are), become confrontational, etc.
  • Ask students what they have heard about First Nations People? Teachers should be prepared to handle this is a sensitive manner, however the classroom should allow for honest answers from the students. You may hear the words: dirty, jobless, lazy, alcoholics, live on welfare, etc. Ask students if this is a fair thing to say about ALL Native people?
  • Ask students if they can think of one First Nations person who doesn't fit that mold? If you do not know of someone personally, suggest some famous Aboriginal people: Graham Greene and Tantoo Cardinal - actors who played on "Dances with Wolves", Dan Goodleaf - Canada's Ambassador, Senator Charlie Watt -- or preferably a person who the students know. (See the website address for many more famous Canadian Aboriginal under "Resources").
  • Ask students what happens to some groups of people when people stereotype them and then "act" on the stereotyping? Suggest to students that if a person acted on their stereotypical views, they are discriminating. Use an example that if an employer thought that all Aboriginal people fit the stereotype and s/he had to decide between hiring a Native or non-native person, who do you think would be hired?
  • Write the definition for discrimination on the board so that the students can transfer this to their worksheet, Definitions.


  • Ask a student who maybe hasn't shared yet, to share an example from their Stereotypes and Reality worksheet with the class.
  • Explain to students that they are to write no shorter than one half of a page, their thoughts on stereotyping and discrimination and how these effect certain people and groups in our society. Collect these papers (or Journals) next class for evaluation.


  • Worksheet: Lesson 1: Stereotypes and Reality
  • Journal entry: My thoughts on stereotyping and discrimination and how these affect certain people and groups in our society.


  • For the gifted/enriched students: Challenge them to find other examples of stereotyping, not already listed on the Stereotypes and Reality sheet, and include this in their Journal entry.
  • For learning disabled students: Have the students focus on drawing the pictures on the Stereotypes and Reality sheet, and have them put down one or two words to describe the picture. Or perhaps they can verbalize their ideas, and have another student (or the teacher) write down their thoughts. The teacher can photocopy the definition notes from another student to give to the learning disabled student(s).

Other Integration Opportunities
An excellent video to share with the class: For Angela - National Film Board of Canada - 21 minutes 29 seconds "A winner of the 1995 Canadian Gemini Award" Order number: 9193 044

This video shatters stereotypes and changes attitudes. It is important that the teacher preview the video first, as there are some disturbing scenes. The film deals with a First Nations family in a Canadian city.

This video and subsequent discussion cover the following grade six learning outcomes:

Resources Used and Supplementary Materials Available

  1. The following website is an excellent resource for having students learn about outstanding Canadian Aboriginal people. The persons chosen have all been awarded the Aboriginal Achievement Award, handedout annually in Canada.
  2. The following handbook can assist the teacher in providing criteria based assessment for the Journal writing activity:
    From A to Z - Classroom Criteria - Teacher Resource Handbook
    Student Centered Publications. 1996.
    Terry Olson and Cathie Peters
  3. Shared Learnings, Aboriginal Education Initiative, British Columbia Ministry of Education. 1998 ISBN: 0-7726-3654-0

Lesson 1: Definitions
Name ____________________
Write down the definitions for the following words. Give an example of each.
1. Stereotyping


2. Discrimination


Lesson 1: Stereotypes and Reality
Name ____________________
Movie Star Stereotype Reality

Grandmother Stereotype Reality

Teacher Stereotype Reality

Bear Stereotype Reality

Summative Criteria

Criteria Ratings Comments
Student demonstrates an understanding of the important ideas about the topic (through interaction and activities) 4 3 2 1  
Examples, ideas, and detail were offered as solutions to this problem, demonstrating a deeper understanding of the topic 4 3 2 1  
Student considers individual rights and responsibilities; is aware of his/her obligation to create change for such issues as stereotyping 4 3 2 1  
Is able to appreciate another perspective and value its worth 4 3 2 1  
Interesting and relevant information is included in the worksheet entry (concrete examples are given) 4 3 2 1  
Worksheet results demonstrate a clear understanding of concepts studied 4 3 2 1  
Worksheet results were accurate and easy to follow 4 3 2 1  
Group participation and cooperation 4 3 2 1  


Definitions for worksheets included in lesson plan.