of this lesson is to help students recognize that many points of
view may exist on any given topic. While individuals often engage
in trying to convince others to take their position, there is also
value in hearing and understanding multiple perspectives particularly
when making decisions. This lesson also asks students to consider
how they form their opinions and perspectives.
will share their point of view on a variety of subjects.
will recognize that diverse perspectives exist on any topic.
will examine the source(s) of their beliefs and opinions.
Four pieces of construction paper, chart paper and markers
or two class periods
Large and small
group discussion, decision-making, brainstorming, writing skills
point of view, perspective,
1. Review the
ground rules that were developed by the class in Unit 1, Lesson
2. Explain that
many of the topics to be addressed in future lessons will raise
conflicts that cannot be easily resolved and people will disagree
about how such topics should be addressed. In this lesson, students
will be presented with a series of statements and asked to share
with others their personal perspective on each. At the same time,
students are asked to consider the range of responses to these statements
as demonstrated by the class.
3. On each of
the four pieces of construction paper write the following words
or phrases: STRONGLY AGREE, AGREE, DISAGREE, STRONGLY DISAGREE.
Post the papers around the room, one in each corner.
4. Have all
students stand up. Explain that you will read 10 statements on a
variety of topics. After each statement is read, students will walk
to the corner of the room that best expresses how they personally
feel about the statement. If there is a statement for which a student
has no opinion or is unsure, he or she should stand in the middle
of the room. Students should move to the various areas of the room
in complete silence. Encourage students to observe how they are
in agreement with some of their classmates on some topics but not
on others and how sometimes they are in the majority and sometimes
5. Ask students
if they understand the directions before proceeding.
6. Read each
statement below allowing ample time for students to go to the corner
of the room that best expresses their point of view.
[NOTE: If students
express that they are unsure about a topic, ask them what they need
to make a decision. Students who have moved to one of the four corners
can share their perspectives with the undecided students who may
then decide to take a position. Students who are undecided should
also share why they were unable to move to a corner of the room
perhaps raising issues for someone who was previously "decided."]
for those under age 18 will help reduce crime.
schools or school districts should determine policy on school
to the United States should be restricted.
United States should discontinue relations with countries
that engage in human rights violations.
gun control laws will help reduce crime.
current welfare system encourages laziness.
multicultural education curriculum should be in place in every
schools should have a school uniform policy.
should do away with months like Women's History Month or African-American/Black
media in this country deliver fair and accurate accounts of
7. Have students
return to their seats. Ask them to share their thoughts and reactions
using the following suggested questions:
was the most difficult for you? Why?
was the easiest for you? Why?
was a time when you were alone in your opinion, how did you
ever decide to change your opinion when you saw you did not
agree with most of the class?
it feel when many of your classmates had the same response as
in complete agreement with a classmate on every statement? Why
is this unlikely to happen?
some ways that people respond to one another when points of
Do we ever
change our views? What kinds of things influence us to change
8. On a piece
of chart paper write the term POINT OF VIEW. Have students brainstorm
a list of things that influence their thinking or point of view.
(Answers might include things like family, religious beliefs, media,
education, peers or political affiliation.) Encourage students to
create as comprehensive a list as possible.
Instead of sharing in small groups,
have students write an essay on who or what most influences
their thinking on particular topics or assign this essay as
a follow-up activity to this lesson.
9. Divide students
into groups of four or five. From the list that was generated, have
students share with one another what has and continues to most influence
their thinking. Allow time for all students to share.
[NOTE: The ideas
in this lesson continue to be revisited throughout this Study Guide.
Whenever possible, reinforce the objectives by having students consider,
research, and discuss the many points of view surrounding historical
or current events that are being studied.]
Parts of this
lesson adapted from The Prejudice Book, Copyright 1994, Anti-Defamation