Unit Plan

Exploring Bias and Stereotypes across Texts

Objectives

In this unit, students examine the problems in communication caused by bias, stereotypes, and exaggeration. Students will:

  • identify the use of bias in nonfiction texts.
  • recognize the difference between an objective and a biased account of an event.
  • recognize that bias appears to some degree in almost all writing.
  • distinguish between reasonable opinions and irrational prejudice.
  • recognize the ways in which viewpoint affects what an individual says, writes, and reads.
  • compose a biased account of an event from a particular individual’s viewpoint.
  • examine articles to identify author’s purpose and to identify evidence of biased thinking.
  • recognize the role of word choice in revealing bias.
  • define stereotyping and identify examples of it.
  • identify and discuss the problems associated with stereotyping.
  • define exaggeration and propaganda.
  • identify examples of exaggeration in nonfiction.
  • read several articles and identify them as objective or biased, citing supporting evidence.
  • label specific examples of stereotyping and exaggeration.

Essential Questions

  • How does interaction with text provoke thinking and response?

Related Unit and Lesson Plans

Related Materials & Resources

The possible inclusion of commercial websites below is not an implied endorsement of their products, which are not free, and are not required for this lesson plan.

“Test Yourself for Hidden Bias” from Teaching Tolerance: A Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

http://www.tolerance.org/activity/test-yourself-hidden-bias

Formative Assessment

  • View

    Multiple-Choice Items

    1. Which sentence belongs in an objective news article?

    A

    The truth became blindingly apparent to everyone at the meeting.

    B

    The annoying sound of constant whispering disturbed the speaker.

    C

    At the meeting, four teachers presented their plans for summer school.

    D

    The most popular speaker glowed with enthusiasm as he finished his talk.

    2. Which sentence contains an example of stereotyping?

    A

    His Irish temper blazed up the instant I laughed at him.

    B

    Rani, one of my friends from India, arrived in town yesterday.

    C

    Michelle has every intention of trying out for the football team.

    D

    I shuddered when I realized that I had once again forgotten my homework.

     

     

    Multiple-Choice Answer Key

    1. C

    2. A

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


    Short-Answer Item:

    Read the following paragraph.

    Our middle school is in desperate need of a practice field for football. We have to use the old one at the high school because the high school now has a new one. That figures because the high school kids always get what they want and we have to take the leftovers. Taking the bus to the high school for practice every afternoon takes up all our free time, but nobody cares about that except us. We need a practice field, and that’s that! No argument!

    Identify an example of stereotyping, an example of exaggeration, and an example of bias.

     

     

    Short-Answer Key and Scoring Rubric:

    Identify an example of stereotyping, an example of exaggeration, and an example of bias.

     

    Points

    Description

    3

    Student identifies each of the following:

    • an example of stereotyping (high school kids always get what they want/we have to take the leftovers)
    • an example of exaggeration (takes up all our free time)
    • an example of bias (nobody cares about that except us/that’s that! No argument!)

    2

    Student identifies two of the required examples.

    1

    Student identifies one of the required examples.

    0

    Student identifies none of the required examples or does not attempt to answer the question.

     


    Performance Assessment:

    Assess whether the student completed all individual writing assignments for the unit.

    Performance Assessment Scoring Rubric:

    Points

    Description

    3

    Student completes all of the following assignments:

    • list of a character’s possible reactions to an event
    • annotation of an individually chosen news article
    • character analysis of stereotypes

    2

    Student completes two of the required assignments.

    1

    Student completes one of the required assignments.

    0

    Student completes none of the required assignments.

     

DRAFT 06/09/2011
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