Understanding Privilege (Social Justice, Civil Rights, White Privilege)

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  1. Social Justice can be a difficult topic to cover with your class, but teachers shouldn't be afraid to teach these important lessons! This bundle contains lessons and activities about variety of introductory social justice topics including privilege, gender, stereotypes, prejudice, discrimination and
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Privilege can be a difficult subject to cover in the classroom, but that doesn’t mean teachers should avoid it. This resource offers teachers an easy way to tackle this challenging yet important topic in their high school classrooms.

1. Discussion partners (40 mins- 1 hour)

Prep: print discussion partners activity double sided for each student.

•Students work together in groups of 2 and discuss each statement. Students record whether they and their partner agree or disagree with the statements.

•After they have finished their discussion they answer reflection questions on the back. The last question asks students to think about what the word privilege means to them and how the statements might relate to the idea of privilege.

•In the last 15 minutes of class the teacher may read the statements aloud and have students tell whether they agree or disagree by show of hands. Teacher may ask some students to explain why they agree or disagree.

2.Privilege walk (40 mins- 1 hour)

Prep: print the privilege walk exercise from online (see link below) , review instructions (the class will need a large space), print “What is Privilege” and double sided reflection worksheet, print exit card.

•Before the first activity, the teacher should read the privilege statement (What is Privilege?) to ensure that students understand the intended take away of the activity.

•For this class students participate in the privilege walk. The privilege walk is a commonly used activity when teaching the concept of privilege and many different versions exist online. The teacher may want to spend time to read several variations to see which is most suitable for their class.

Recommended link to privilege walk: https://peacelearner.org/2016/03/14/privilege-walk-lesson-plan/

•After completing the privilege walk, student complete the reflection worksheet.

At the end of class, students complete the exit card / discussion group proposal for the next class where they will examine one type of privilege in depth. The teacher should make sure students fully understand each discussion group topic before they make their choices.

•After class the teacher should make small groups of 2-3 students based on student’s preferred topics. 2 or more groups may choose the same topic.

3.Case Study brainstorm and analysis (1 hour- 1h 30 m)

•Students work in small groups to complete the graphic organizer and answer questions about their topic.

•Students brainstorm ideas for a case study where they create a story about a fictional character who lacks privilege in their chosen area.

•Students complete a good copy where they draw a picture of their character and write their case study.

•Teacher should collect good copies and distribute to a new group at the beginning of the next class.

•The new group will read the case study created in the last class and answer the questions on the back of the paper. (30-40 minutes).

4.Privilege Self Reflection (40 mins- 1hour)

•Students create a visual representation of their own privilege / lack of privilege.

•Students complete a short reflection and answer questions about how privilege affects their own lives.

•The teacher may want to use the privilege self reflection as an assessment piece.

Similar Resources:
Introduction to Stereotypes, Prejudice & Discrimination

What is Toxic Masculinity?: Exploring Perspectives Through Media Analysis

Gender and Society: A Mini Unit Examining Gender Norms and Stereotypes

Total Pages
13 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
4 days
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