Our students face this day in and day out. Judged based on clothing, judged based on interested, judged based on looks. Last year I did the following lesson in order to teach my students that it's vital they take the extra step to learn about a person, before they "judge a book by it's cover."
Like all good things in education- I "borrowed" this lesson. My brilliant co-worker, Mrs. Payne, was teaching her students about inferences and I "begged" her to "steal" her lesson. She agreed and so I took it to my third grade classrooms. Now it's your turn to beg, borrow, and steal from me.
"Don't Judge A Book By It's Cover": A lesson about judgements and inferences.
First, I asked co-workers, family members, and friends to borrow a single shoe. I had a variety- a tennis shoe covered in mud from dog walks, stinky old house shoe flattened from snowy dog walks, a fancy purple strapy super high heel I have squished my foot into once, a casual flip flop worn from walks on the beach, a casual pair of 'school appropriate' flats, etc.
|One of my students guess that my Louboutin's were owned by a Japanese teenager.|
Next, I discuss what the word 'inference' means with my class. We talk about drawing conclusions and using evidence to make conclusions.
|Mrs. Payne's original lesson chart. Mine was the last shoe- apparently I am little girl =)|
Then, I present each shoe (I use three shoes per class and switch them out if possible so the classes don't share secrets with each other) one by one. I tell the students that they need to focus on what 'type of person' would wear each shoe, not the person. For example, the flip flop might be a small size six so it may belong to a young person vs. the flip flop belongs to Ms. Filtness.
Each student shares what they have noticed about the shoe. Once I had a student notice that it a one of my fancy shoes looked brand new so it was probably worn by someone who didn't dress up often. Dead on, but I kept a straight face.
We then discuss what their observations mean and develop a "profile" of the person who may or may not own the shoe.
At the end, I share the real owners of the shoe. Probably my favorite was the time I took in a man's worn out house slipper and they students were sure that an overweight, lazy, jobless woman wore it. When I told them an active, young male, who was a personal trainer wore them, well the look of shock was priceless.
We then continue with a discussion of making judgements and getting to know each other. It's a fabulous lesson that always leads to a good discussion about making judgements at face value.
If you haven't seen this lesson/video on Pinterest, I encourage you to visit www.the-teachers-lounge.com now. My plan is to follow up my lesson using the following video and discussion. I think it will make a great connection with our lesson. I love "stealing" a follow up to my "borrowed" lesson.
Our incredible librarian does a similar lesson, but uses trash. I'll write a second blog about her lesson "Don't Judge A Person By Their Trash." =)