The Other Side: Experiencing Cultures through the Eyes of My Students

byJoy Beatty

The essential questions for this unit are: How can I expose my learners to other cultures within their communities and within the United States? How can I awaken my student's subconscious prejudices in order to make them conscious and how can they confront them to overcome those prejudices, if possible? And finally, are sheltered learners more susceptible to accepting messages received from different media sources without questioning the integrity of the source?

By analyzing fictional and non-fictional readings, poems, and short films, students will address the nature of their prejudices as it may question their own cultural geographies and the cultural geographies of others. This unit will attempt to debunk misconceptions about what they perceive as different and will address how those "differences" can be seen as similar cultural traits that they share within their cultures. I will mainly focus on regions within the United States and by the end of this unit, students will be able to be aware of their prejudices and will be able to confront the origin of their prejudices. This unit also forces teachers to become more aware of how they teach sensitive topics, as it questions whether teachers are providing enough information to allow learners to form their own opinions.

(Developed for World Geography, grade 9; recommended for U.S . History /Social Science, grade 11; World History II/Social Science, grade 10; and World Geography/Social Science, grade 9)

Comments (1)

    C R G (FMLA, Richmond, VA)
    Subject taught: Social Studies, Grade: 8
    Joy, This is an awesome lesson for teachers to really get to know their student at the beginingof each year. Those not from Richmond, VA can alter sm of the activities to fit their studnets neighborhod. Great job!

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