Diversity and Discrimination

Engaging learners 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

  • Learners will reflect on their experiences with discrimination.
  • Learners will identify acts of discrimination in Shah's story.
  • Learners will discuss the importance of diversity.

Procedure

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

Hold a discussion regarding the essay in smaller groups/pairs before sharing in a larger group using the following questions:

  • 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 are the two instances of prejudices that Rvai experienced relating to his skin?
  • 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 learners write their own essay about an experience in which they or someone they know were 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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