To define race, ethnic group, and culture
To freewrite in individual portfolio
To enhance collaborative learning
Markers and rulers
Student individual portfolios
Access to computer with printer
Divide class into groups of three to five students. Each group should brainstorm and record all words or phrases defining race (5-10 minutes).
Each group should select one person to orally report to class the results. Teacher records words on chalkboard.
Individually, students should write a definition of race selecting words and phrases from chalkboard (3-5 minutes).
Within each group, members should share definitio ns. Using a history or social studies textbook and a dictionary, each group should compare reference definition to definitions from the group.
By consensus, each group should write on newsprint a definition of race and display on wall (5-10 minutes).
Using the steps above, ethnic group, culture, and image should be defined and displayed. It is highly suggested that one or two words be defined each day.
After all words have been defined and displayed, allow each group opportunities to use electronic or printed World Almanacs to collect data on the population of the United States. Each group should be charged to use data and construct a graph that depicts the diverse population providing symbols related to the United States . Allow one class period for this task and display group efforts.
Give each group an opportunity to read all definitions and examine graphs. Each student should then be given time to write a response to the question, “Who is an American?” Students are to include this as part of their cumulative individual portfolios. Give students an opportunity to read each others essays. If students agree, publish for all to read selected essays.
Debrief in an macro class (all students in class) discussion the activities that occurred before students agreed to allow essays to be published. Use the following questions to promote discussion: How difficult was it to agree on definitions? Why?
What are the similarities in the essays. What are the differences?
Were the activities beneficial? Why?