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Who Am I and Why Must I be Called Anything?

Jacqueline E. Porter - Clinton

Contents of Curriculum Unit 05.02.08:

To Guide Entry


I am a special education teacher at East Rock Global Magnet School. Currently, I co-teach in the 8th grade. East Rock's population truly attests to the word "Global" in its name. As a magnet school we have students bussed from all areas of the city. We also have the city's New Arrival Center, for students who enter New Haven Public School system from other countries with little to no knowledge of the English language. Here they are exposed to the language and curriculum. They are slowly integrated into the mainstream population with continued support. The New Arrival Center adds students from all over the world to our population. In addition, East Rock also has a large population of students eligible to receive special education services under every disability allowed by law. This vast diverse population varies in economic standing, national origin, ethnicity and religious beliefs as well as academic achievement ability.

These students make East Rock global not only because of their national origin, but their background and their experiences. With all of their differences, they are very much alike. Society's and government's way of categorizing or identifying us creates the isolation of one group from another. In turn, the need for tolerance is created. I will venture to ask the question: "Why can't we be individuals with many qualities?"

I plan to teach this unit in Social Studies. The 8th grades social studies curriculum is an exploratory survey of the United States history. The students are expected to learn fundamental concepts, which include global perspectives and diversity, and are integrated through the curriculum. In Social Studies we teach about the arrival of America's voluntary immigrant population, which passed through Ellis Island on the east coast and Angel Island on the west coast; with and without documents, over land from Canada and Mexico at various times throughout history. I will be teaching this unit in a class that consists of students on grade level, special education students who are academically below grade level, hearing impaired students as well as English as Second Language (ESL) students. Because of the diversity of the class this unit could be applicable to 5th through 8th grade. The unit will be taught over the period of one marking period, 8 to 10 weeks.

At East Rock I have noticed that with all our good intentions I see groups of students isolated and grouped by their peers. Students who are in various programs such as special education, English as Second Language (ESL) and hearing impaired do not socialize wit peers outside their group until they are integrated into the mainstream via academic classes, elective classes or sports. Usually the one thing that they discover they have in common opens the lines of communication for them to discover more commonalities among them. At this point I have seen friendships grown.

Special education students who are in self-contained classrooms are really isolated. They tend to shy away from any socialization with their peers. This is to avoid negative confrontations that they have experienced in the past. When they are alone with their peers, without their special education teacher or teacher's assistant, their peers will usually attempt to talk to them first because of their inquisitive nature. When their attempts are not successful then they begin to add to the isolation. The special education students that are mainstreamed have already been socially accepted by their peers. The special education students are not usually identifiable by their peers unless they have a physical disability.

Hearing impaired students are isolated initially because of the language barrier. These types of students are usually accepted quickly. Their peers are interested in learning a different kind language (sign) or a new way to communicate secretly. Once the hearing impaired students see the interest of their peers they relax and attempt to teach some sign language. Some of their peer group will participate in sign language classes to foster better communication skills to enhance friendship.

ESL students have a harder time with socialization with their peers. Not only is there a language barrier; there are also unfamiliar behaviors and beliefs due to culture and ethnicity. Some of our ESL students are also refugees, who have never had any formal education. Although the United States is made up of many cultures and ethnicities, people who have been in the United States for a while have a sense of or take part in American culture. The ESL students do not even have that basic knowledge. Thus, integrating them into the mainstream is a much slower process than the aforementioned group. These students must be exposed to and gain some knowledge of the language, the curriculum and the culture before they can be integrated into the mainstream where those commonalities are identified and communication can begin, forming friendships. It is my hope that teaching this unit and introducing students to different cultures and ethnicities will enable them to be able to see that they have something in common from the start so that the communication process will not be delayed.

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Students will:

select reading material that reflects their multicultural heritage and diversity of culture

identify how cultures develop and how they affect other cultures.

use graphic organizers, outlines and graphic aids and/or other note taking techniques to organize information.

demonstrate an awareness of values, customs, ethics and beliefs.

demonstrate an appreciation for global cultures represented in the United States.

give oral presentations of reports, projects or share relevant personal experiences.

investigate the goals and struggles of minority groups in America.

identify the changes in the immigrant population of the United States.

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The United States of America has had a vast collection of immigrants from its inception, with the exception of Native Americans who quickly became the minority in their own land. Today, when we as "Americans" talk about immigrants, we are speaking about people who enter the U.S. from different countries. In fact most of our roots (ancestors if you will) began with immigration status, whether voluntary or involuntary.

The United States had different waves of immigration as well as different entry points through out history. The United States receives more immigrants than any other industrialized nation. Over a million enter yearly, mostly concentrated in seven states: California, Arizona, Texas, Illinois, New York, Florida and New Jersey. Before the Immigrant Act of 1965, most immigrants came to the U.S. from northern and western Europe. Today 90% of immigrants come from Latin America (mostly Mexico & Central America) and Asia. Immigrants today represent about 1/3 of the population growth. Of this immigrant population it is estimated that 200,000 undocumented people enter the U.S. annually (LeMay, 28).

Different groups were treated differently as they entered the United States. Each group had to learn different coping strategies to deal with different status. Some rejected the dominant culture, while others attempted to change the norms and values of the society to improve their lives, while yet others tried to find accommodations with the dominant culture, looking for their piece of the pie.

Groups varied in their rate of assimilation. Some national-origin groups moved quickly and with little dispute. Those who could often chose whiteness. Others moved slowly and faced resistance. Religious groups were faced with persecution. Some had to give up their beliefs before they could assimilate into the dominant culture. Racial groups endured the greatest resistance. They moved the slowest of all, dealing with prejudice and discrimination. (Min & Kim, 16)

Unfortunately, no matter how long you have been in the country or how many generations of your family have lived here, your ancestors help to determine who you are today in America. We are ___________- American. (fill the blank with: African, Italian, Asian, etc). The fact that many are not considered "American" alone means we are something other than equal, creating the start of class structure in America.

The exception to this rule is white Americans. They have a choice in what ethnic identity they want to be associated with. They can choose to claim any specific ancestry or just be white, (unhyphenated white). They can also choose which European ancestry they want to include in their identity (Ore,10).

The activities in this unit invite students to identify aspects of culture that influence our own behavior and sometimes make it difficult to understand the behavior of other people. Culture is a complex idea, and teachers should be prepared to offer students many examples of cultural features.

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Involuntary Immigration: Slavery

The transatlantic slave trade was created to accommodate the Europeans. Europe started to expand their homeland borders in search of new markets, materials, manpower, and land. (Healey, 75)

Slavery was an involuntary or forced type of immigration. Most Africans began their journey into slavery upon being captured in wars and sold by other Africans. Europeans owned and operated the ships, but they supplied the cargo. Groups of African slave catchers would kidnap unsuspecting countrymen who let their guard down to supply the Europeans who then supplied the Americans.

Africans' journey to America was filled with horror, a living nightmare. When boarding a ship, they were stripped of their belongings, branded, chained, and sent below deck, where they would remain for most of the trip, which took weeks, even months. The decks were only a few feet high, so they were shackled lying down, side by side, head to toe. Many captives never made it to America due to death from suffocation, malnutrition, disease and suicide from fear. Many who did not die were permanently disabled from beatings and / or disease. Females were also assaulted to increase the number of slaves to counteract the number that died (in addition to simple pleasure for the crew). Upon their arrival they were sent to holding pens to wait for auction, where they would be bought and sold.

It has been estimated that during the 300 years of the transatlantic slave trade, between 15 million and 20 million Africans were transported to the Americas as slaves. Of these, more than 400,000 were sent to the 13 British colonies and, later, the United States. We may never know a precise number, but current estimates hold that more than 1 million Africans died on the journey. (Diller Chains, website)

During most of the 17th and 18th centuries slavery was legal in all 13 colonies and the South. Slavery helped build this nation; physically and with the skills and trades that they brought with them from their homeland. The slave system was one of the most important keys to this new nation's financial independence, and it grew, up to the moment it was abolished by war. In 1790 there were fewer that 700,000 slaves in the United States; in 1830 there were more than 2 million; on the eve of the Civil War, nearly 4 million. (Diller America, website)

During the Civil War, land that had been abandoned and confiscated became the jurisdiction of the Freedman's Bureau. Approximately 400,000 acres of land along the southern coast of Charleston was set aside for the settlement of Blacks to establish their own communities. The land was divided into 40 acres tracts. In June 1865 approximately 40,000 freedmen were allocated a tract. The Army was also ordered to lend the freedmen animals that were no longer useful to the military. Unfortunately by September, 1865 former land owners demanded the same rights afforded returning rebels in other states. President Johnson ordered the return of land to the white plantation owners, giving little thought to the fate of former slaves. Some African American individuals and organizations are still debating the issue of the government's unfulfilled promise of "Forty Acres and a Mule".


Ask to students to brainstorm what they know about the slave trade. Write the results of their brainstorming efforts on the board and lead a discussion about the slave trade. I will specifically mention The Amistad and Cinque because of their relevance to New Haven, CT. After the discussion, I will show the students transparencies made of images and other information I found at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, "Pictorial Images of the Transatlantic Slave Trade," http://gropius.lib.virginia.edu/SlaveTrade/. Have the students fill in a two column chart to sketch the images in the first and write their reaction to each in the second column.

Voluntary Immigration

Ellis Island

Over twelve million immigrants from all over the world voluntarily and legally entered the United States through the port of Ellis Island, a small island in the New York Harbor between 1892 - 1954. The largest immigrant populations were from Italy, Ireland, Hungary, England and Germany. Others included: Sweden, Greece, Norway, Ottoman Empire, Scotland, the West Indies, Poland, Portugal, France, Romania, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Wales, Yugoslavia, Finland and Switzerland. Many had to leave famished counties and endure months of weary travel, often separated from families for years. Over 40% of the American population can trace their ancestors to Ellis Island. In 1890 President Benjamin Harrison designated the site as one of the first Federal immigration stations.

Passengers who could afford 1st and 2nd class tickets were not subjected to the inspection process. Instead they went through a light inspection aboard ship. The government felt that these people would not become a financial liability for to legal or medical reasons. However 1st and 2nd class passengers were sent to Ellis Island for further inspection if they were sick or had legal problems.

3rd class passengers were transported to Ellis Island where they were given medical and legal inspections. If they were reasonably healthy and their papers were in order the inspection would last 3 - 5 hours. The inspections were conducted by U. S. Public Health Service and Bureau of Immigration, later known as INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service). Currently, the bureau has been divided into 3 separate bureaus as part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security:

1 Bureau of Citizenship & Immigration Services,

2 Bureau of Immigrations & Customs Enforcement

3 Bureau of Custom & Border Protection (National Park Service) (Garret, website)


The students will take an interactive tour of Ellis Island on the internet at http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/immigration/tour/I and answer comprehension questions and write in their response journal.

Angel Island

Angel Island served as the west coast entry point to America. In the beginning of the 20th century (1910 -1940} the new arrivals came from Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Central & South America, and Russia. These immigrants' reception was not like that of the arrivals at Ellis Island, due to the past history between the United States and their home countries.

Around the middle of 19th century, Chinese immigrants begin arriving, fleeing from land stricken by both natural and man made disasters. Initially they were welcomed until the economy began to fall in 1870's. Laws were passed to restrict immigration targeting Chinese people. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the first time that immigration laws limited entry into the United States on the basis of nationality and race. As a part of this system immigration officials planned a new facility on Angel Island, the largest island in the San Francisco Bay, far from the mainland.

This new station prevented Chinese immigrants from communicating with those in San Francisco and isolated those with communicable disease. Like a prison, it was escape proof due to the isolation of the location and the dangerous waters they would have go through to reach other land.

On arrival to San Francisco passengers were separated by nationality. Like the east coast, Europeans with 1st class tickets had their documents processed on the ship and were allowed to enter San Francisco. Other immigrants, including Asians, Russians and Mexicans as well as those who needed to be quarantined for health reasons, were ferried to Angel Island for processing.

At the station the first stop was the administration building. Men were separated from women and children and proceeded to examination. This exam was especially humiliating for Asians, because their medical practice did not require them to disrobe. As well, the color white is commonly associated with death in Chinese culture. Therefore, doctors in white lab coats were often frightening for people from China who were not familiar with American practices. (Hancock feedback) Examinations included testing for parasitic infections. The consequences for failing the test would be hospitalization at their own expense or deportation. After the medical exam they were assigned a detention dormitory while they waited for interrogations by the Board of Special Inquiry.

The Chinese Exclusion Act allowed any merchants, clergy, diplomats, teachers and students exemptions to come to the United States. This caused many people to buy expensive false identities, which allowed them to enter as children of exempt class or children of natives.

After the earthquake and fire of 1906 when municipal records were destroyed, Chinese residents had the opportunity to claim that they were born here and therefore citizens. As citizens, Chinese people could bring their children to this country after their return visits to their native land by claiming new children had been born to them. Some of them were "paper sons" or, not as often, "paper daughters". These paper children were slots, people sold to allow new immigrants to come to this country. This circumvented the discriminatory Chinese Exclusion Act.

Interrogations were developed to prevent the sale of paper children. The immigrant applicant would have to face a Board of Special Inquiry containing two immigrant inspectors and a stenographer, and a translator when needed. This interrogation could last several hours and up to several days. They were asked questions that only a true family member would know. Therefore they prepared themselves with the family history of their sponsor. They also had to remember this information for life, because they were subject to checks on the street.

The length of the entire stay on Angel Island before one could enter into the United States varied for other countries. Japanese immigrants held documents from their government that sped up the process of entry into the country. Most detainees were Chinese. Because of the long delay with the investigation of the legality of papers with paper children, living conditions were of great concern. Immigrants were held like prisoners, under lock and key for 24 hours a day. The people detained created an association on the island to share information and resources. The barracks were deemed non livable because of fire hazard. Under these conditions some demanded to be returned home on the next boat out to sail.

In 1943, Congress repealed the Chinese Exclusion Act, ending 61 years of official exclusion. This repeal allowed Chinese people to become naturalized citizens but it continued to limit Chinese immigrants to 105 a year until 1965.

After closing due to fire, Angel Island served as WWII prisoner of war processing center by the U.S. military. They also painted and carved poetry on the wall. After the war it was abandoned and deteriorated. Angel Island was made into a state park in 1963. In July 1976, the legislature approved $250,000 to restore and preserve the barracks as a state monument. In 1977 it was declared a national Historic Landmark by National Park Service; it is now a place for sight seeing visits. (Immigration Station History, website)


The students will view a video that surveys America's long immigration history and raising key issues, it explains why people leave their home countries, "The Golden Door: Our Nation of Immigrants"

Who are you?


Everyone has identification cards; social security cards, driver's licenses, state identification cards or credit cards are necessary for differentiating them from others. In short, these are called the "individual identity cards."

Identity is a concept created by individuals' characteristics, family dynamics, historical factors, and social and political contexts. Identity is a combination of who we say we are, along with whom the world, our families and friends say we are. Due to all the different input on identity we are considered to have multiple identities that include the intersecting of gender, class, religion, sexuality, race and history. Therefore self identification will change over time due to life experiences. (Ore, 20 21)

Ethnic / Racial Identity

Ethnicity differs from race, class and gender because it is categorized by cultural distinctions - language, dress, food, holidays, customs, values and beliefs. Language is the central component of culture and connecting members of an ethnic group. But in another instance it is the first element of immigrant culture to disappear over generations. This is the result of the need to communicate with the host society to gain access to all that it has to offer. Ethnic foods and ethnic holidays are much easier to maintain over generations than language. Religion helps sustain ethnicity in part by helping ethnic members and/or minority groups maintain native culture traditions.

Members of ethnic groups have emotional ties besides the commonality in cultural characteristics. They have lived through the same historical experiences. Most groups have some ancestors who suffered loss of homeland, or were subjected to violence and hostility in an alien land, colonization and/or even genocide. Major historical events also provide members with a source of ethnic identity. (Min & Kim 17 & 18)

Americans are assigned the ethnic/racial group identity of their biological parents and it is placed on their birth certificates. This identity usually stays with you throughout adulthood. It can cause restrictions or advantages. They can influence your options in friends, partners, education, employment and residency.

The national government has tried to force everyone into one of several ethnic/racial identity categories for purposes of the national census, hiring goals, college admissions, etc. This was originally based on the idea that there is a pure race. In 1990 the U.S. Census assumed that everyone who was not defined as being Native American, Asian, or Pacific Islander was Black or White. During the 2000 Census, people were allowed to identify themselves with as being members of more than one race, but there was not a multiracial category. For those who chose to identify with more than one race with one being Black, traditional were not given a choice, they were counted as Black. (Palomer, website) See lesson 1 and 2.

The concept of "identity" rather than "personality" is being used more often. Although the personality and the identity concepts interact, they are different from each other. The personality is the whole attitudes of a person. On the other hand, identity is the way a person perceives himself and to whom he identifies himself with, which developed through his/her interactions with other people.

The parts of our identity that we notice first are a reflection of how others see usually what makes us stand out from others. There are at least seven categories of "otherness" experienced in society in the United States. People's otherness has been defined on the basis of race or ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, and physical mental ability. (Tatum, 21 & 22)


I will have my students complete the descriptive phrase "I am__________", written on a sheet of paper about ten to fifteen times. I will ask them to complete the phrase as many times as they can within one minute. For those students who want to share we will discuss the first three on their list and discuss why they chose those descriptive terms, to see if they can identify if that is how they view themselves or if it is how they think others view them. (Hancock, seminar 05)


Merriam Webster defines a stereotype as "a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment". Stereotypes are labels or categories that people use to define or describe others in a group.

Generalizations of a group of people are not accurate, but they tend to spread over distance and time, not only by word of mouth but mainstream media as well, including scientific research and even our school textbooks. All stereotypes are negative; for example: all Asians are smart and all African Americans can play basketball.

Unfortunately all stereotypes are damaging because they are accepted as truth that lead to great assumptions about an entire group of people, including people we don't know. Although, it is human nature to categorize people based on our own experiences, stereotyping has a greater negative consequence than making judgments about individuals. (Hancock seminar discussion)

Magellan Health states stereotypes can:

1 Affect your judgments of individuals

2 Lead to discrimination

3 Hurt academic performance

4 Cause group members to try to fulfill the stereotype

5 Damage self image

6 Affect memory

7 Lead to violence

The key to overcoming stereotyping is recognize the stereotypes that you hold as truths and then making personal connections with people of other groups to learn that the stereotypes you hold are unfounded.

Magellan Health offers these tips:

1 Start meaningful dialogue with an individual whose group is being stereotyped.

2 Try to keep communication line open, especially throughout conflict, to avoid misunderstanding.

3 Question stereotypes and recognize them as "overly simplistic representations."


The students will complete lessons in the "Mix It Up" activity booklet, available online for school / classroom use, at www.mixitup.org/teachers. The lessons include:

1 "What Are the Social Boundaries in our School?" The goal is to get to know each other, create ground rules for this discussion, and to start talking about what divides us.

2 "The Mix it up Survey". The goal is to have students explore their perceptions of social boundaries at school, to compare their perceptions with the perceptions of others and to calculate the results of a survey.

3 "Identity Interview". The goal is to have students share thoughts and feelings about personal identity group membership and to learn what they and others consider being important identity characteristics.

4 "Melting Pot or Salad Bowl?" I will update the title and content to one that is more appropriate for current United States' representation, the "Jello Mold", the latest metaphor. The goal is to have students develops the concept of cultural pluralism, assimilation and acculturation.

5 "What's My Role?" The goal is to have students examine media images for messages about societal norms of gender roles.

Lesson III to be completed after mix it up activities.

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Lesson Plans

Lesson I

A Country's Culture


A starting point for understanding differences between cultures is a study of the major practices within one's own culture. Typical customs, ideas, and behaviors are first identified so they can later be investigated.


1. To have students describe in a class discussion major features of the culture researched.

2. To have students list the major features of the culture researched.

3. To develop students' ability to identify customs, traditions, values, and technology of the cultures that are represented at East Rock.


1 "Definitions Relating to Culture" handout

2 culture Sheet ditto

3 computers with internet access

4 books on countries


1. List cultures that are represented in East Rock Global Magnet School on the board. Have students choose one without repeating until all are chosen at least once.

2. Distribute handout of terms and definitions relating to culture (appendix), along with ditto of cultural features.

3. Explain to students that they will give typical examples of each listed feature of their chosen culture: food, clothing, housing, language, religion, laws, type of government, transportation, education and other special features.

4. Give students a few class periods in the library media center / computer lab to research cultural features and complete Culture Sheet.

5. Students will choose one cultural feature to research in detail and give an oral presentation with visuals to the class. So that all students will not repeat the same cultural feature, I will place strips of paper with a cultural feature for the students to draw out of a bag. Presentations can include: a dish, sample of clothing, model or drawing of a home, but not limited to. The students will be encouraged to be creative but must clear their proposal with the teacher.

6. Student will present their project in front of class and submit their cultural ditto to teacher.

Lesson II

We Do Things the Same, We Do Things Differently


It is at this point that student can begin to understand the sources of cultural diversity. In order to discover factors influencing a group's behavior, students can examine two major bodies of information: the various foods and clothing styles of each culture.


1. To increase the students' knowledge of similarities and differences among all the cultures studied.

2. To improve the students' ability to identify in each culture factors influencing specific behaviors and beliefs.


1 " Factors Influencing Cultural Development" hand out

2 "Similarities and Differences ditto

3 books on each country studied


1. Divide students in groups of 3 or 4 who studied different cultures and return their cultural features ditto.

2. Distribute "Similarities and Differences" ditto that is divided into three columns: similarities, differences and factors.

3. Have students look at the category of food on all their completed dittos and find items that are the same or similar in all cultures. They should list them on the Similarities and Differences ditto. They then list items that are not similar under the difference category. If they don't all share a similarity list the ones that do and note which culture they represent. Complete each category.

4. After a short time have each groups' spokesman read aloud some of their findings. Make sure all students are following the correct procedure and have them to continue working.

5. Distribute handout "Factors Influencing Cultural Development." When students have completed their task, have them go back to the food category on the ditto and list under "factors" several influences on the kinds of food that are eaten in each culture. Development. Have available at least one book on each country covered.

6. Follow the same procedure to complete all the categories

7. Discuss findings.


Make a list of items of food and clothing that originated in other counties but are now a regular part of American culture.

Lesson III

Understanding the Effects of Stereotypes


Students will understand that stereotypes and bias affect our lives.


1 Writing paper

2 Flip chart and/or large sheets of paper

3 Magic makers

4 Art supplies (construction paper, scissors, tape, glue, magazines to cut up, etc.)

5 Take Home Activity Sheet: Identifying Stereotypes in the Media


1. Begin with a discussion on the concepts of race and ethnicity. Write each word on the board or a flip chart and ask students to list the attributes that define the terms "race" and "ethnicity". Record their ideas. Next ask students for the names of five different racial or ethnic groups. Ask the name of two or three other groups of people that they think may experience unfair or different treatment, for example: handicapped, elderly or homosexuals, etc

2. Prepare five to seven large sheets of paper (flip chart paper). At the top of each sheet, write the name of one of the groups that the students named.

3. Divide the class into five groups and supply students with a marker.

4. Give each group one of the five sheets of paper. Ask them to list as many stereotypes that are commonly used to describe the category of people written at the top of paper. Give students three minutes to complete the exercise. Emphasize that the students should list stereotypes that they have heard, not ones that they necessarily believe to be true.

5. When they finish, rotate the sheets of paper between groups so that each group works on a new sheet. Have them add any stereotypes not already listed. Rotate every three minutes until each group has worked on every sheet.

6. Post the sheets in class where everyone can see them and give students five minutes to read the sheets.

7. Conclude the lesson with a discussion asking the following questions:

How do the stereotypes recorded by the class make you feel?

What do you notice about the stereotypes listed? Be aware that students may have listed good and bad adjectives, many stereotypes for different groups, or the same stereotype for different groups.

Where have you seen these stereotypes portrayed? Television programs, movies, magazines, books?

How do you think a stereotype might cause someone to act unfairly toward another person?

Extension lesson

Have students to do a written response to a personal experience with biased behavior. Emphasize to the students that they should not put their names on their papers. They can share an experience in which they were a victim of biased behavior or in which they witnessed bias. Prompt them with the following: "Think about a situation when someone made a biased judgment about you or acted unfairly toward you because of your age, skin color, clothes you were wearing, gender, the way you speak, where you live, how much money your family has, or some other reason. Ask students to consider the following questions before they begin to write:

1 How did you know that you were being unfairly judged?

2 What words or actions were directed at you because of assumptions or stereotypes?

3 Why do you think those assumptions were made about you?

4 How did the experience make you feel?

5 How do you think you should have been treated in that situation?

Once they are completed take the written responses( type them if students have recognizable hand writing) so that the class can share in each other experience and discuss without putting students on the spot. I will regulate the type of language that goes on the typed sheet. The discussion may happen a few days later if they need to be typed.

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Teacher Bibliography

Darder, Antonia, ed. Culture and Difference: Critical Perspective on the Biculture

Experience in the United States. Westport: Bergin & Garvey, 1995.

This book attempts to bring into theoretical and political balance questions concerning the construction of identity, the importance of the specificity of experience and the essential need to understand cultural difference with structural power within the existing social order. Diller, Frank. Africans in America. Library of Congress Learning Page. 5/29/2005


This website describes a slave's experience in bondage in America.

Dillar, Frank. A Journey In Chains. Library of Congress Learning Page. 5/29/2005


This website describes the journey that slaves encounter from their point of captivity in Africa to their destination of America.

Garrett, Cynthia R. Ellis Island History - A Brief Look. The National Park Service.

5/29/2005 http://www.nps.gov/stli/serv02.htm.

This website gives the history of Ellis Island and describes the process that immigrants had to go through to enter the United States.

Healey, Joseph F.. Race, Ethnicity, Gender, and Class: The Sociology of Group Conflict

and Change. Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press, 1995.

This textbook contributes to the ongoing discussion by seeking to help students increase their fund of information, improve their understanding of the issues, and clarify their thinking regarding matters of race and ethnicity.

Immigration Station History. Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation. 5/29/2005


This website gives the history of Angel Island and describes the process that immigrants had to go through to enter the United States.

LeMay, Michael C. The Perennial Struggle: Race, Ethnicity, and Minority Group Politics

in the United States. Newark: Prentice Hall, 2000.

This text discuss the different ways of immigration into the United States and laws related to them. It also discuss a variety of theories or approaches that different groups used for assimilation into the United States.

Ore, Tracy. The Social Construction of Differences and Inequality: Race, Class, Gender

and Sexuality. New York: McGraw - Hill, 2003.

This book, which focuses on how race, class, gender and sexuality are socially constructed as categorizes of differences and are maintained as systems of inequality, is an effort to help students move toward a more systemic understanding.

Pyong Gap Min, Rose Kim, ed. Struggle for Ethnic Identity: Narratives by Asian

American Professionals. Walnut Creek: Alta Mira Press, 1999.

Essays written by Asian Americans to express their lives and the issues they have faced growing up in America. Three essayists are immigrants who completed high school in their native country. The remaining 12 are 1.5 and second generation Asian American.

Tatum, Beverly. Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria. New York: Basic Books, 1997.

This book responds to the commonly asked questions about race and racism and help others move beyond fear, beyond anger, beyond denial to a new understanding of what racism is and how it effects us all. Lastly it discusses what can we do about it.

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Students Bibliography

Sparks, Higa & B.. "Children, Race and Racism: How Race Awareness Develops."

Interracial Books for Children 11 3 - 4 1980: 3 - 9.

Discusses how children become of aware of race. Gaskins, Pearl. What Are You?. Gordonsville: Henry Holt and Co, 2000.

Poems, essays, photographs and interviews from mixed-race youth answer the often -asked questions, "What Are You?" The subjects share insights on dating, family life, prejudice and identity.

Muse, Daphne, ed. The New Press Guide to Multicultural Resources for Young Readers.

New York: The New Press, 2003.

This comprehensive reference book is an invaluable guide for selecting reading material inclusive of almost two dozen different groupings of race and ethnicity, gender and disability for children in grades K - 8.

Sheftel - Gomes, Nasoan. Everything You Need To Know About Racism. New York:

Rosen Publishing Group, 2000.

In this easy to - read book, this text answers a few questions such as: How did racism begin in America? How does racism affect me? How can I make a difference? Complete with helpful glossary and a "Where to Go for Help" section, this publication offers students and adults practical ways to detect, cope with and eliminate racism in society today for grades 5 - up.

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Handout # 1

Terms and Definitions Relating to Culture


The way of life of a group of people.

The level of technology, tradition, customs, and values are all part of a culture.


Special practices that are common to one group of people.

Examples would be the way people wear their hair, what clothes they wear, and what kind of transportation they use.


Customs that survive from one generation to the next generation.

Examples would be religious celebrations, festivals and national holidays, and rituals such as how a culture deals with a child's baby tooth falling out.


Scientific knowledge and tools available to a culture.

The more complex and diverse the knowledge and tools, the higher the level of technology.

Technology ranges from the hoe to a spaceship.


Beliefs about what is good, desirable, and worth holding on to.

What we do and what we say are based on values.

Values can be held by many people at the same time. Schooling for all children is an example of a value.

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