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Activity: Secondary English Lesson Plan by Zarmal

Topic: Racism, Discrimination & Human Rights


Learning Objective:
By the end of this activity, students will have a greater understanding of the concepts
discussed in class such as racism, its presence in society in the past and in the present,
and its effect on people.
They will also by the end of this activity, have a better understanding of human rights,
including their own rights.
Students will be able to make connections between what is learned and discussed in class;
such as racism, discrimination, human rights, and human rights violations, and the world
outside of the classroom: how all of these issues are not just fiction, but a reality for a lot
of people. They will be able to apply their knowledge about social justice issues outside
the classroom.
By the end of this activity, students will have fulfilled some of the core competencies of
the subject, through articulating their thoughts and feelings into cohesive written
responses, and presenting their thoughts in a creative way to the classroom.

Competencies Used:
Secondary English Language Arts
C1: Interaction with peers and teachers in various learning contexts: collaboration and inquiry.
Using language to communicate talk and learn: for example, in the various group
discussions, Kahoot games and presentation of their project, they would be exercising
their communication skills in various contexts.
C3: Reads and listens to written, spoken and media texts
Talks about own response to a text within a community of readers: for example, reading
How to Kill a Mockingbird, as well as discussing the issues of discrimination, human
rights violations and more as a class, and in groups.
C4: Writes a variety of genres for personal and social purposes:
This is exercised in the response papers assessment, in which they have to put their
feelings and thoughts about social issues into a cohesive written response, as well as their
research on organizations which leads them to organize their findings into a text.

Cross Curricular Competencies:


C1: Uses Information
Gathers information: The students will have to research for their presentations on
organizations or movements that are trying to help issues such as discrimination, and
human rights violations.
Puts information to use: Students will try to figure out how they can contribute to the
organization or in their own way to helping the issue, and will put the information learned
to use by presenting it to the class and explaining it to them.

C3: Exercises Critical Judgement


Forms an opinion and expresses his/her judgement: Students will form their opinions
during class discussions about the presence of discrimination and will have to form their
thoughts into concrete response during their assignments.

C4: Uses Creativity


Explores: For their presentation they would have to use creativity depending on the
medium of their presentation: such as; PowerPoint presentation, Prezi, Bristol board
project, home film, and much more.

C6: Uses information and communications technologies.


Uses appropriate technologies: The use of technological mediums, such as the internet,
for research on the organizations, and again, PowerPoints, Prezis or other technologies.

Grade Level/ Subject:


English Class, Grades 9 to 11, as the content is quite mature, and students need to not only be
able to be receptive to the topic, but to also understand the injustices from the perspective of
others, and to read a book such as To Kill a Mockingbird.
Materials Needed:
To Kill A Mockingbird (Book), copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the
class. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/UDHR/Documents/UDHR_Translations/eng.pdf , Smartboard,
and laptops or computer lab reserved for the class for 2 classes.
Time:
The whole activity, including finishing the book, would take up to 8-9 classes English classes, so
4 weeks. Each class would be devoted to a certain group work pertaining to the overall themes of
the activity. The first two classes would consist of class discussions regarding human rights, as
well as reading chapters of To Kill a Mockingbird. In the third class we would have a
discussion about human rights violations in relation to To Kill a Mockingbird, and in the
fourth class we would play a game of Kahoot! The fifth and 6th classes will be dedicated to the
response work, the 7th class will be prep for the presentation and final project, and finally the 8th
and possibly 9th class would be dedicated to the actual presentations. A more detailed
description will be provided below in the Activity Description section.
Activity Description:
1. As a class, we will read To Kill a Mockingbird, which is about a Black man living in a
white-dominated society being accused of a rape he did not commit due to his race. The
book addresses the issues of racism, injustice, and violations of human rights. It is a great
reference for students to reflect on in understanding racism, discrimination and the
injustice it causes. As it is an English class, it is a great read to incorporate into the
classroom, as well as to deal with the social justice issue of human rights violations.

2. Throughout the term, while reading To Kill a Mockingbird, we will have various class
discussions. The first class discussion will be about what rights, we as human beings
have, and what the students think these rights are, and showcase these thoughts on the
board. Once these thoughts are out in the open, the students will research the UDHR
(Universal Declaration of Human Rights), in order for them to understand more
concretely, what their rights are, and how they are similar, or differ from, their original
views.

3. In the second class discussion, students will discuss in groups whether or not these rights
are being respected in their own communities, how, why, or why not, and what their
experiences are.

4. In each class, we will also continue to read the book, from where the students previously
left off at home.

5. In the third class, they would have another discussion relating the violations of rights in
To Kill a Mockingbird, and would be asked questions such as: what if you were
accused of committing a crime you did not commit? And Have you ever been accused
of something based on your ethnicity, race, or any other group you belong to?. The
purpose of this activity will be to get the students to relate to the issue on a personal level,
and have empathy for the suffering of others, as well as connect the book to their own
experiences, or the experiences of their classmates.

6. In the fourth class they will then familiarize themselves with the UDHR, and their own
rights through a quiz game of Kahoot!, which is an online quiz game, and a fun way to
get students participating and reflecting on questions. The students would have to form
groups and answer questions on Kahoot, which would ask questions such as What does
Article 11 of the UDHR say and To kill a Mockingbird, how does the rest of society
treat Atticus Finch?. And other similar in nature, that have to do with both, the UDHR
and the book. The point of this game would be to motivate students to be active and wake
them up, as well as get them to open their minds to deeper topics and issues while still
having fun, thereby limiting their possibility of becoming depressed or losing hope about
the issue.

7. After we have finished reading the book, in the fifth and sixth classes, the students will
each spend time in writing a response on one human right that was violated in the
reading, and their feelings about it, and they would have those two classes to reflect
individually, as well as interact with the teacher and peers, in order to try figure out their
own thoughts.

8. Finally, the last aspect of this English/Social Justice Project will be for the students, in
groups of 3-4, to research an organization which is trying to help people with human
rights violations, on a local or wider scale, and present their findings to the class. They
would have the opportunity to work on it in class for 1 full class, which will be the 7th
class, as well as outside of the classroom, and depending on how much time they need,
and on the 8th, and possibly 9th, classes would do the presentations. The point of this is
to end that activity on a positive note, to ensure that students aren't left feeling sad or
depressed about the world, while also leaving them with the knowledge that there are
efforts being put into solving discrimination, and human rights violations, and they can
also do something about it, either volunteering, sharing their knowledge or even just
trying to stop acts of discrimination or bullying in their day to day lives.

Evaluation:
The students will be evaluated based on their participation in the group discussions,
which would address issues about racism, discrimination, our human rights and the book,
as well as through participation in the Kahoot! Game, which had similar themes of
discussion. The participation would be evaluated on attendance more than the actual
participation, as sometimes there are students who show up to all classes, pay vivid
attention and contribute a lot individually, but are shy to speak up, which is why the bulk
of the participation grade will be through attendance and attention.
They will also be evaluated on their individual responses, which would be graded based
on content, reflection, how well the students associated their thoughts and feelings to the
themes at hand, as well as grammar and structure of the response.
Finally, the last aspect of the evaluation will be the presentations, in which they will be
graded on their project, organization of presentation, flow, and group participation.

Group Discussions: 30%


In-class activities/ assignments: 10%
Reflection: 20%
Group Presentation: 15%
Final Project: 25%