"The Danger of a Single Story"

I turned this TED Talk into a mini unit on empathy and how stereotypes can be dangerous.

Photo of Mattie Talbert
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED Talk about the dangers of stereotypes is nothing short of life changing. My English I classes really enjoyed watching Adichie talk about her experience with stereotypes and they were blown away by how much she had encountered. After watching the video, I did an activity where they thought about different stereotypes that they see in school today. We gathered about 6-7 different stereotypes and I wrote them on a piece of printer paper. Then, students had each paper for 1 minute and they had to write down adjectives that described that stereotype. After everyone was finished, I read some of the adjectives out loud. While students were not shocked, I believe their eyes were opened to how dangerous stereotypes can be and that not all stereotypes are necessarily 'bad'.  Ever since, they have had to catch themselves when they find each other stereotyping and it's so amazing to see them do that! 

However, I want to do more with this. I originally had thought about having students make a sign that said, "I don't [instert stereotype here]" and I would take a picture of them holding the sign. After thinking about it, though, I thought it might be too controversial and I didn't want to upset anyone. I would like to adapt this somehow so that the idea is still the same but without offending anyone.

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This is the collaboration document that my coach and I have been working on.


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Photo of Donna Teuber

Hi Mattie Talbert So great to see you at the Build workshop! I'm looking forward to how you build this idea out. Be sure to create a collaborative Google doc and include the link on your collaboration page. I would love to see the steps that a teacher could follow to implement this in a class.

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