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Relections on our Learning

Page history last edited by Renee Hobbs 12 years, 11 months ago

February 24, 2009.  I was so impressed with the presentations made by Grade 4 students to the 3 classes of third-graders on Friday!  After taking the visual stereotypes test developed by Chris Sperry and Cindy Scheibe at Project Look Sharp at Ithaca Collge, Maggie Caverly created a list of stereotypes that students have about the Middle East:


  • there are no trees, no water, no mountains
  • there are no cities, no palaces, no tall buildings, no malls
  • it is all desert and camels
  • women wear headscarves and no nice clothing or makeup
  • there are lots of wars


Each child took responsibility for one Middle Eastern country (including countries like Mococco, Saudia Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Iran, Turkey, Israel and many more).  They used online and print resources to determine if the stereotype was true or false. They had to gather specific information and facts.  Maggie Caverly worked with children to develop a powerpoint slide to illustrate each of the stereotypes.  Each child presented three of the facts they found. 


After the presentation, Grade 3 children had really learned alot.  When we asked, they had many new ideas about the diversity and cultural vitality of the Middle East. They also learned about the research process, as Grade 4 children explained to the younger students the process they used for gathering information, organizing their ideas, practicing their presentation and performing it.


After the presentation, we discussed where these stereotypes come from, and students pointed out that stereotypes are presented in the movies, on TV shows, on the news, and even in conversations with parents and family members.


As a "stereotype busting" activity,  this was a delightful project and seemed quite effective in building students' knowledge, research and critical thinking skills.

--Renee Hobbs

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