- Melody Casey
- English Language Arts
- Material Type:
- Lesson Plan
- Middle School
- Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
GEBD Ideas Worth Sharing: The Danger of a Single Story (Lesson 1 of 5)
Students will demonstrate their understanding of how writers make intentional choices that impact the message of a story. This lesson was developed by Jaclyn Garing as part of their completion of the North Carolina Global Educator Digital Badge program. This lesson plan has been vetted at the local and state level for standards alignment, Global Education focus, and content accuracy.
Students will demonstrate their understanding of how writers make intentional choices that impact the message of a story.
Learning Targets and Criteria for Success
Students will examine how stereotypes are built when a person or cultural group is shown as one thing over again. It is not representative of all. Students will challenge their perceptions by considering other interpretations and points of view which are largely shaped by culture.
Learning Tasks and Practice
Tell students to list the other middle schools in the area and write a quick response stating what they know or believe to be true about that school. After students write their responses, have them compare their perceptions in small groups.
Discuss how stereotypes are built when a person or cultural group is shown as one thing over again. It is not representative of all. Students have arrived at a default position limiting the possibilities.
Prewriting: Tell students that writers begin by writing lots of anecdotes: small moment stories that show pivotal points and life themes. Students will gather ideas for memoir writing by creating a best/worst moments life graph (see Student Sample Life Graph). They will select one event they will write about. Students are given ten minutes to briefly “flash draft” the memory and retell the story.
Investigation: Students will view the video The Danger of a Single Story, By Chimamanda Adichie. They will have access to the written transcript to take notes on important points. The teacher will pause the video to allow students an opportunity to share their ideas and respond to the message. Major points to discuss:
- Other cultures stir imagination and take you into world’s otherwise unknown
- Single stories limit possibilities
- Show people as one thing and only one thing over and over and that is what they become
- The danger of a single story is that it creates stereotypes that are incomplet
Rewriting: Students will write their event again told from the perspective of someone other than themselves. With a different point of view, students will be asked to respond to the following questions:
- How does engaging with more than one story help you to get a full picture of the event?
- Were you able to recognize misunderstandings you never considered before? Describe.
Collecting and Documenting Evidence of Learning
Student "Flash Draft" Anecdotes (Pre/Post)
Best/Worst Life Graph
Students respond on a post-it sharing what they learned about the danger of a single story. Post-its will be placed on the global learning wall and revisited throughout the unit.