pink

Looking Beyond “Pinkification” and Other Gender Stereotypes

by Marsha Rakestraw In March 2014, a couple of essays appeared in Slate and New York Magazine, castigating mothers of girls for complaining about the “pinkification” of girl stuff, citing it as an example of girl blaming. Author Yael Kohen wrote, “No symbol of girl culture is more powerful than pink.” There was a significant counter-response…

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women from africa

Changing the “Single Story” About Africa(ns) … and Others

by Marsha Rakestraw Recently I read two books, each featuring a female protagonist. One was by a black woman from Barbados, the book filled with characters of color living “normal” lives. The other by a white man who wrote about the tragic (and eventually redeemed) life of a young impoverished girl in Mozambique. Two different…

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Resources: Racism Alphabet

Racism Alphabet

Students explore examples of racism, consider perspectives about racism by writing a story, and discuss ways to eradicate racism in our society. Recommended for grades 8-12. Time: a few class periods

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Resources: Beyond Us and Them

Beyond “Us and Them”

This activity encourages reflection on how each of us creates mental barriers between ourselves and those we see as “them” and how that lens can be a barrier to humane education or changemaking work; and to share strategies for realigning our “compass of compassion” to include everyone. Recommended for grades 9 and up. Time: 30-45…

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A group of preschool-aged children playing with a parachute

Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves

by Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards NAEYC, 2010 184 pgs How we set the tone about anti-bias in our classrooms and learning centers can influence the entire year — and possibly the whole of children’s lives. Children learn at an early age about differences in race, gender, ability, economic situation, sexual orientation, culture, and more,…

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newspaper racks

Who’s Missing From Mainstream Media? (lesson plans)

by Marsha Rakestraw A few years ago at our graduate student residency, one of the students led an activity in which small groups looked at the prevalence of men, women, and people of color as authors of articles in different sections of the newspaper, such as Style, Sports, Business, and Arts. They found that men…

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Word Power

Words have enormous power and often assign value. This activity explores sample words in context and what kinds of value those words imply. Recommended for grades 4 and up. Time: 15-30 minutes   Common Core Standards for this activity (pdf): Download Common Core for grades 4-5:  http://bit.ly/1dFjnYv Download Common Core for grades 6-8:  http://bit.ly/14QJcit Download…

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Resources: What's in a name

What’s in a Name?

“You’re such a pig!” “She’s a total dog!” Help students examine our myths about and prejudices against animals, to explore why they exist, and to consider what we might want to change about our relationships with them. Recommended for grades 6 and up. Time: 45 minutes   Common Core Standards for this activity (pdf): Download…

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Not So Fair and Balanced: Analyzing Bias in the Media

This lesson plan helps high school students (and adults) take a closer look at prejudices, the biases that media contain and perpetuate (such as in what they do and don’t report on, or how particular genders or ethnicities are portrayed), and the ways we are influenced by those media biases. Recommended for grades 9 and…

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bullying

Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged

How do our own stereotypes and judgments limit our openness and receptivity to others? This activity uses props (or photos) to explore our snap perceptions of others. Recommended for grades 4 and up. Time: 20-30 minutes Common Core Standards for this activity (pdf): Download Common Core for grades 4-5. Download Common Core for grades 6-8….

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