Diversity and Discrimination

Engaging students in learning about diversity and discrimination from a global perspective.

Introduction

The following lesson idea may fit in an English class in which writing a personal essay is a goal.

Objectives

  • Students will reflect on their experiences with discrimination.

Procedure

Have students read Ravi Shah’s essay, "Skin Deep".

Hold a discussion regarding the essay, asking questions such as: 
Also discuss how Ravi puts together his essay to keep the reader interested as he describes the two instances of prejudice because of the color of his skin and the condition of his skin.

  • What is the challenge that is the focus of Ravi’s letter from the Peace Corps?  
  • How does Ravi begin to assuage his concerns?  
  • What are his other worries as a Californian moving to Ukraine?  
  • How did his Ukrainian host family make him feel welcome?  
  • What was his bad experience in the capital city of Kiev? 
  • What was the prejudice of his new host family at what was to be his permanent site?  
  • What was the happy ending?  
  • How and why might Ravi’s story have turned out differently?  


After the discussion, have students to write their own essay about an experience in which you or someone you know was discriminated against. They should include the outcome of and reflections about the experience.

Extensions

The WorldView magazine Spring 2013  takes diversity as its theme. There are several other articles that could be used in addition.

Framework and Standards

Enduring understandings

  • Diversity is a positive thing.
  • Discrimination occurs both in our country and around the world.

Essential questions

  • What are some of the driving factors behind discriminatory behaviors?
  • What are some techniques to dealing with discrimination?
  • Why do you think diversity is so important?

Standards

  • NL-ENG.K-12.1
  • NL-ENG.K-12.2
  • NL-ENG.K-12.9

Contributed by the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA). Author: Angene Wilson

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