A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute
Lesson: I Belong to Many Groups
From the A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute Anti-Bias Study Guide (Elementary/Intermediate Level)
This lesson provides an opportunity for students to recognize that they can maintain a unique identity while belonging to many groups.
- Students will identify groups to which they belong and chart them on a pie graph.
- Students will compare and contrast their group memberships to those of their classmates.
picture of a pie graph, I Belonging to Many Groups: Pie Graph handout, crayons or colored pencils, rulers
Techniques and Skills:
large-group discussion, making a pie graph, working with a partner to complete an assignment, comparing and contrasting information, developing a paragraph
Key Words: common, pie graph, similarities, differences
1. Begin this lesson by having students think about groups to which they belong. Provide students with several examples that illustrate many different types of groups - 4th grader, oldest child in the family, African American, Italian American, Girls Scout, girl, Jehovah's Witness and so forth. Ask students to add to the list of examples.
2. Have students stand in a straight line along the length or width of the classroom. Tell students that you are going to say the names of several groups. If students see themselves as part of the group named, they should move forward two steps; if they don't see themselves as part of the group, they should remain standing where they are. Encourage students to observe who is stepping forward with them, how often the whole class steps forward or if they, or anyone else, ever step forward alone. [NOTE: Remind students to move back to the starting line before calling the next group.]
3. Call several groups one by one. Some of the groups should be groups that all, or many, students will belong to and some groups should be ones that will involve fewer students stepping forward (e.g., student in this school, 3rd grader [or whatever grade students are in], oldest child in the family, Cub Scout, member of school chorus).
4. After calling several groups, ask students what they observed (I.e., sometimes everyone belonged to a group; sometimes only some people did). Continue the exercise by having students volunteer the names of groups.
5. Have students return to their seats. Explain that they are each going to identify the groups that they belong to by completing a pie graph. Ask students to explain what a pie graph is and where, if at all, they have seen one. Show students a picture of a pie graph.
6. Distribute the I Belong to Many Groups: Pie Graph handout. Ask students to think about groups to which they belong and how each of those groups is like a "piece" of who they are. Give students some general categories of groups as examples: family (brother, daughter, grandchild, only child), personal identity groups (gender, race, religion, etc.), school groups (band, chorus) and community groups (Boys & Girls Club, Girl Scouts). Once students have determined the groups that they will identify on the pie graph, have them consider the size of each "pie piece," helping them to understand that the groups that they belong to may not all be equal in importance. [NOTE: Teachers may want to share their own pie graphs with students as a model.]
7. Provide students with rulers and have them complete their pie graphs. Remind them to put their names and the date at the bottom of the paper.
8. After students have completed their pie graphs, have each pair off with a partner. Provide each pair of students with crayons or colored pencils.
9. Have partners compare their pies, looking for similarities and differences. Tell
students that if both people have a piece of pie that is the same (e.g., soccer team) then they should both use the same color crayon or marker to color that piece of pie on their individual pie graphs. When partners have pie pieces that are different from one another, they should color those pieces of pie in different colors from each other.
10. Have each pair of students share their pies with the class, explaining the groups that they belong to, the groups they had in common and the groups that they didn't have in common. As students finish, have them post their graphs in front of the room.
11. After all students have shared their pie graphs, have a discussion using the following questions:
NOTE:Reinforce the Idea that each person is a unique individual and the groups that a person belongs to only add to that uniqueness. Use the pie graphs that students Just completed to illustrate that even group membership among people of the same age who go to the same school can often show many differences.
- Which groups, if any, did many of you in this class have in common?
- Which groups, if any, did few (or none) of you have in common?
- What are some reasons why people don't belong to all the exact same groups?
- What are some groups that people choose to belong to? (e.g., sports team)
- What are some groups that people have no choice about? (e.g., age)
- Can the groups that people belong to change? Give examples (e.g., 4th graders become 5th graders)
- Do some of the groups that people belong to stay the same? Give examples (e.g., "racial" or ethnic group)
- Do you see yourself as unique even though you may belong to the same groups as some of your classmates? Explain your answer.
12. End this lesson by having students write a paragraph that combines all of the information that they have identified about themselves in Unit I. The following prompt could be prepared on the chalkboard or on an overhead transparency for students to use as a guide in the development of their paragraphs:
My name is___________________________________________________.
My unique physical characteristics are ______________________.
I like _____________________________________________________.
I don't like ________________________________________________.
Something that I do very well is ____________________________.
I have many feelings.
Sometimes I feel _____________________
and sometimes I feel _________________________.
My family is special because _________________________________________________________.
Something about my community that
is important to me is ______________________________.
Some groups that I belong to are __________________________________________________.
I BELONG TO MANY GROUPS: PIE GRAPH