Spatial Requirements: Regular classroom setup; little or no space requiredActivity Type: GroupGrades: 3-12Group Size: 10 or moreTime: 30 minutes
Introduction: This activity helps students gain empathy for discriminated groups and helps them identify the ways real-life discrimination plays out in school and society.
- The book The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss
- Green stickers or star-shaped stickers
Ask students to brainstorm a list of privileges they would like to receive for good behavior in class, such as extra credit, extra recess time, more “unscheduled” time, early lunch, etc. On the board, write down any of the privileges that you could reasonably allow in your class for a day.
Together as a class, read the book The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss.
When you’ve finished the book, divide the class by odd/even numbers into two groups. Give every member of the “even” group a sticker, and tell everyone that this group will be enjoying the privileges listed on the board, while those without a sticker will be given extra work.
After some time, you may want to have the groups switch places, allowing the “odd” group some time to enjoy the class privileges.
Processing the Experience:
- When you were without a sticker, how did you feel about the classmates that had stickers?
- What kind of things do we use as “stickers” that make people feel special?
- Think about the Sneetches book we read earlier. Have you ever felt like a Plain-Belly Sneetch in life? How so? When have you felt like a Star-Belly Sneetch?
- What feelings did you have during this activity?
- What lessons did you learn?
- Does discrimination exist in our class or school?
- What can we do in our class and school to eliminate discrimination?
Have students brainstorm ideas for eliminating discrimination in school or class, and make a list to hang up somewhere in the classroom.