Examining Stereotypes

Part of being culturally responsive involves examining stereotypes and planning ways to effectively challenge them
35 teachers like this strategy

About This Strategy

The Examining Stereotypes strategy supports teachers to equip students with the ability to analyze how stereotypes are reinforced or challenged in texts, and to understand the importance of challenging stereotypes.

Implementation Steps

30 minutes
  1. Implement the Building Equity Literacy strategy in the BetterLesson lab, and keep your learnings about equity literacy in mind in order to effectively select a book, text, or article to analyze with students.

  2. Help your students identify the connection between equity and how stereotypes are either reinforced or challenged in the texts you read.

  3. Use the BetterLesson Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning (CRTL) Lesson Plan Template linked in the resources below to create a lesson plan to examine and challenge stereotypes in a way that is responsive to the needs of your learners. Select an upcoming book, text excerpt or article to analyze with your students.

  4. Design a learning experience to help students unpack and address stereotypes.

  5. Debrief the lesson(s) with your students by asking them questions such as, "What were some of your most powerful learning moments during this lesson?" and "What was most challenging about this lesson?"

Special Education Modification

Nedra MassenburgDEMO
Special Education Specialist

Using the Examining Stereotypes strategy to equip students with the ability to analyze how stereotypes are reinforced or challenged in texts, and to understand the importance of challenging stereotypes is an excellent way to support students with disabilities. Teaching examining stereotypes as a tool for students requires significant executive functioning (task initiation, prioritization, working memory, etc.), emotional regulation, reading, and written expression skills.  In order to support students with disabilities in these areas, consider the following modifications:

Modifications:

  1. Use structured handouts that help students with task initiation as well as provide clear benchmarks (bolded words, bulleted lists) to assess task completion when examining stereotypes in lessons.  

  2. Use visual timers and verbal reminders to help students with task initiation and task completion when examining stereotypes in lessons.  

  3. Depending upon the number of students with disabilities present in a classroom, teachers should consider increasing the amount of time they spend on explicitly teaching norms for examining stereotypes in lessons.  The first few rounds of examining stereotypes in texts in a classroom should be followed by explicit individual and whole group feedback on engagement and task completion. 

  4. If multiple teachers are present, careful thought should be put into co-teaching models and how they integrate into a differentiated lesson plan on examining stereotypes. See the resources in the resource section below for more information.

EL Modification

Shannon Coyle
English Learner Specialist

This strategy helps teachers provide a powerful analytical tool to English learners who often face stereotypes related to their home languages and cultures. 

English learners may be required to use all four domains of language, reading, writing, speaking and listening when engaging in the activities involved with this strategy. In order to support English Learners consider the following modifications:

Modifications:

  1. Explicitly pre-teach vocabulary. Ensure learners understand important vocabulary that will be used in lessons including: equity and stereotype, reinforce, challenge. Consider translating words into home languages for learners at lower proficiency level.

  2. Seek out culturally relevant text. When choosing text for learners to analyze, consider the home cultures represented in the class. Partner with the school or local librarian and learners’ language specialist for suggestions. See the resources provided in the resource section below for more information.

  3. Differentiate lesson materials. Ensure English learners at all levels of proficiency use scaffolded materials and have a variety of ways to express learning e.g., graphic organizers, templates, discussion frames, sentence starters, graphics representations of writing, models, audio and video content, etc. See the "WIDA Can Do Descriptors" resource in the resource section below for more information.

Questions to Consider

  • How can you connect examining stereotypes in books with close reading?

  • If your students identified ways that stereotypes were reinforced in texts, what are some ways they might challenge those stereotypes?

Related Resources

See the additional resources below for more information. 

Related Lessons

Social Justice Standards