Lesson Plan

Walk in My Shoes--Teaching Tolerance

What forms of cooperation are vital for working and playing within diversity?
Marla Kay D.
Classroom teacher
Forest Lake Education Center
Longwood, United States
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My Grades 6
My Subjects English Language Arts

Students will be able to provide ideas and details on how to collaborate within a diverse setting

English Language Arts
Grades 5 – 7
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook / Attention Getter

Activity: Conversing

"Not Like Me" game ( You will need 2 types of "prizes" such as candy or  pencils, etc.)

Before students enter the classroom, decide on  criteria for selecting two teams.  This game consists of one team receiving extra attention, while  the other team will not.    ( i.e.  rows of seats,  light hair/dark hair)  The objective is for students to be able to empathize with the main character of a story.

As students enter the classroom,  show each child where to sit.  ( Team 1 area, Team 2 area)  When seated, step "out of character" and favor one team over the other.  Welcome the students to class.   Greet each student, going down the "favorite" team area or row.   Happily greet each student, giving him/her one of the "better" gifts (favorite type of candy--or new pencil).   Next, go to the second team area, say a brief "hi and welcome" and gently toss a "non-favored" piece of candy or broken pencil to each one.   Continue talking and smiling to the "favored" team, and ignore the other team.  

 After a minute or two, "act yourself" again, and ask students to discuss in their pod groups how they felt with this activity.  How did it feel to be in the "favored" group, and how did it feel to be in the "ignored" group?   What did you think about the other group?

 Report out to the whole group.  Introduce the word, "diversity".  Ask students to talk about challenges that may be present on the school campus in the area of diversity. ( Race, gender, religion, etc.)


2 Direct Instruction

Ask students to open their mobile devices and go to their Literature course in Schoology.   A PDF of  Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary words and an Esperanza Rising  excerpt should then be opened in their Notability app. 

In pod groups ( 4-5 students), discuss meanings, as they read in Esperanza Rising, yesterday. 

Review the vocabulary words discovered yesterday.  Students can refer back to the excerpt if necessary.  Discuss connections that may be made with various Tier 2 and 3 words.


3 Guided Practice


In pairs, create a concept web/ map in the Popplet app, to visually show relationships between word pairs from the Esperanza Rising  excerpt.  ( These words are highlighted on student copies.)    Share within pod groups.


4 Wrap-Up

Use a "Write to the Source" task from Teaching Tolerance website, www.tolerance.org.

1.  Select an essential question.

(What forms of cooperation are necessary withing diverse societies?)

2. Review the Esperanza excerpt.

3.  Students write a short story that tells bout an experience from Esperanza's point of view.   Narratives are written in first person, with appropriate details and dialogue to develop the plot, setting, and characters.

4.  Plan to share stories at a later date.