More than ever, it seems that our world is deeply divided. Gifted children may feel especially passionate about areas of social justice and/or enjoy debating current affairs. However, our society seems to have forgotten the art of respectful debate, and often resorts to hurling insults and opinions to shut down conversations. 2020 has given us a lot to talk about, whether it’s the American election, or coronavirus protocols, give your class some tools to have these tough conversations. Remember, problems need to be discussed before they can be solved!
Identify Bias (Theirs & Yours)
To have personal biases is to be human. We all hold our own subjective world views and are influenced and shaped by our experiences, beliefs, values, education, family, friends, peers and others. Being aware of one’s biases is vital to both personal well-being and professional success.
Have students ponder their own biases they might have about: gender, race, climate change, Americans, conservatives, liberals/democrats, older people, married people, single people, white people, people of colour, males, females, jocks, etc… Ask what others might assume about you?
- What is Bias? A short video for kids of all ages.
- Lesson from REMC on bias and fake news
- Media Bias for 7/8: Toronto Star’s Classroom Connection – For the Record – The Tinted Lens of Bias.pdf
Form an opinion
Try playing this variation of 4 Corners, which introduces students to the art of persuasion. By the end of the lesson, students are able to express their positions, as well as opposing arguments, on a particular issue.
- Students will work in groups to clearly verbalize their positions on a specific issue/topic.
- Students will practice listening skills while other groups present their positions.
- Students will be able to use convincing arguments to sway others’ opinions.
- Reflect on what techniques and arguments that were the most persuasive.
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