Lesson Plan: Don't Judge Me
Understanding the Power of a Stereotype

This lesson is available to download as a PDF .

Grades : 6-12

Subjects : Current Events, Fine Arts, Journalism, Language Arts, Media Studies, Social Studies

Lesson Overview

In this lesson, students will examine the origins and manifestations of negative stereotypes in post 9/11 America, and will share ideas for how to counter stereotypes and spread tolerance in their communities.

Materials Needed

  • This Is Where I Need To Be - Chapters 6, 7, 8, and 10. Chapters 9 connect most strongly to this lesson. Other related chapters are 11, 13, 14, and 16.
  • Reproducible: “ A Lesson from Santa ”*

Activities and Procedures

  1. Warm-up/Conversation Starters
  2. Questions for Class Discussion
  3. Class Project
  4. Homework or Long-term Assignments


Teacher evaluation of classroom participation. Teachers may wish to develop additional rubrics and measures for class projects and longer-term assignments.

National Standards

These academic standards are drawn from the Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning’s “Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education: 3rd and 4th Editions.”

Grades 6-12

  • Behavioral Studies Standard 1: Understands that group and cultural influences contribute to human development, identity, and behavior.
  • Behavioral Studies Standard 2: Understands various meanings of social group, general implications of group membership, and different ways that groups function.
  • Civics Standard 11: Understands the role of diversity in American life and the importance of shared values, political beliefs, and civic beliefs in an increasingly diverse American society.
  • Language Arts Standard 1: Demonstrates competence in the general skills and strategies of the writing process.
  • Language Arts Standard 7: Demonstrates competence in the general skills and strategies for reading a variety of informational texts.
  • Language Arts Standard 8: Demonstrates competence in speaking and listening as tools for learning.
  • United States History Standard 31: Understands economic, social, and cultural developments in the contemporary United States.

Key Terms

Islam, Muslim, Muslim American, prejudice, tolerance, essentialism, bias, stereotypes, stereotyping

Related Resources

This lesson has related resources that might prove useful along with the book and this lesson plan.

* “Lesson from Santa” by Cynthia Duxbury, Teaching Tolerance, Southern Poverty Law Center. Reprinted with permission of Teaching Tolerance and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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