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Diversity Lesson Plans & Activities

High School


Fighting Prejudice and Discrimination Against People with Learning Disabilities

In these lessons, students will work toward understanding what it means to have a learning disability. The goal is make them aware of prejudice and discrimination aimed at those with learning disabilities. (from Teaching Tolerance)

Cultural Diversity

Explore African Culture

This lesson plan encourages students to explore oral traditions in Africa. Includes interviewing and storytelling. (from PBS)

Exploring Language: Definitions Activity

Considers language as a vital aspect of multicultural education and awareness. Participants discuss how they define words such as prejudice, discrimination, racism, sexism, classism and homophobia. Issues of power and institutional discrimination emerge. (from the Multicultural Pavilion)

What's Your FRAME?

This activity encourages students to reflect on their individual cultures, histories, and values in order to enlarge their perspective and recognize diversity of belief and background. (from Teaching Tolerance)

Cinderella Folk Tales

This lesson plan compares the plot and setting characteristics of several versions of the Cinderella tale to teach students about universal and culturally specific literary elements. (from EDSITEment)

The Depth and Breadth of "Multicultural"

The Depth and Breadth of "Multicultural" is designed to engage students in a process of defining "culture" and examining its complexity. Often, especially in a class about multiculturalism or diversity, "culture" becomes synonymous with "race" or "ethnicity." This activity reveals the limitations of such a conceptualization and challenges the assumptions that are often made by educators about what students identify as the important strands of the "cultural" in "multicultural." (from the Multicultural Pavilion)

Financial Aid for Minorities

A compilation of options that representatives of minority groups can use for their own benefit. In addition to the wealth of scholarships, grants, and other useful resources, you can find easy tips on how to increase your chances of winning in a financial aid program.

Fables & Trickster Tales around the World

The following lesson introduces children to folk tales through a literary approach that emphasizes genre categories and definitions. In this unit, students will become familiar with fables and trickster tales from different cultural traditions and will see how stories change when transferred orally between generations and cultures. (from EDSITEment)


Genderbread Person

A teaching tool for breaking the big concept of gender down into bite-sized, digestible pieces.

Human Rights and Social Justice

Death Penalty Curriculum Guide

Provides an overview of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a factual analysis of the death penalty, and a discussion of the human rights issues surrounding the death penalty and the criminal justice system in general. Grades 8-12 (from Amnesty International)

A Question of Class

A media journal project exposes classism in contemporary politics. 

(from Teaching Tolerance)

Immigrants, Refugees, and Migrant Workers

Educating About Immigration

Designed to provide classroom lessons, historical perspective, and current information about this important topic to students and teachers nationwide. (from the Constitutional Rights Foundation)

Paying with their Health

Unwilling or unable to complain about working conditions, immigrants routinely suffer chronic problems brought about by pesticide use, harsh weather and the lack of proper equipment. Using primary sources, students will learn more about these conditions. (from Teaching Tolerance)

The New Americans

A site that addresses both historical and contemporary immigration issues in the United States, this interactive Web site/online learning adventure engages users in the immigrant experience in a way that builds empathy and understanding for the subjects of the documentary and countless other newcomers to America. 

(from PBS)

Mexican American Labor in the United States

This lesson encourages students to explore policies and attitudes about Mexican and Mexican American laborers in the U.S. and develop informed personal perspectives of the United States-Mexico border and undocumented Mexican immigrants. (from Teaching Tolerance)

Overcoming Discrimination/Prejudice/Stereotypes

Circles of My Multicultural Self

The Circles activity engages participants in a process of identifying what they consider to be the most important dimensions of their own identity, concurrently developing a deeper understanding of stereotypes as participants share stories about when they were proud to be part of a particular group and when it was especially hurtful to be associated with a particular group. (from the Multicultural Pavilion)

The History of Other Hate Symbols

Recent incidents with nooses displayed on school campuses raise questions about the symbols of hate and prejudice. This project gives students an opportunity to learn some answers. (from Teaching Tolerance)

Sharing Stories: Prejudice Activity

This activity helps individuals explore how they first became concious of prejudice and discrimination and the feelings associated with it and makes participants aware that everyone has experienced prejudice and discrimination and that it comes in a variety of forms, not just racial. (from the Multicultural Pavilion)

Diversity Awareness Quizzes

Critical thinking about all media and information is an essential aspect of multicultural learning. Test your  students' understanding of race, gender, and socioeconomic class with these quizzes, leading seamlessly into a dialogue on stereotypes, misinformation, and prejudices and how they inform teaching and learning. (from the Multicultural Pavilion)

Then and Now: Tolerance as a Casualty of War

This activity helps students understand the injustice and dangers of scapegoating an entire group of people during a national crisis. (from Teaching Tolerance)

Whites, Blacks, and the Blues

By thinking about the intersections of whites, blacks, and others around the blues, students will deepen their understanding of discrimination and prejudice. They will also come to understand the ways in which music can, or cannot, create opportunities for people of different cultures, and with varying degrees of power, to relate to one another and find common ground. (from PBS)

Addiction Resources
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