FOCUS OF UNIT 4
- Recognize that there are no innocent bystanders.
- Identify strategies for responding to racist or antisemitic incidents that will promote peace.
- Identify and understand the choices that people can make when confronted with racist or antisemitic incidents.
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KEYWORDS FOUND IN GLOSSARY
Print the UNIT 4 Glossary as PDF
Fact Sheets on real-life heroes of human rights:
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.”
– Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1960
Unit 4 Lesson Plan
This unit begins with a video and classroom discussion about people who have stood up to intolerance and hatred. Students explore what it means to be a hero and how they can make a difference in the world.
Video Discussion Guide
Ask students to consider and discuss the following questions:
- Elizabeth Moore formerly belonged to the Heritage Front, a white supremacist group who she said, hated everyone who was different from them. Why do you think people might be attracted to such groups?
- Elizabeth pointed out that choosing your voice can be really hard because it often means not following the crowd. It takes special courage, for example, to report cases of bullying. If you witness a classmate being intimidated or attacked, or if you are such a victim, what are your options?
- Len Rudner remembers the woman behind the door, who refused to get involved when he was being beaten up as a child. What do you think that woman was thinking? What is the danger posed by those who simply “mind their own business” when witnessing an injustice?
Get students thinking about what it means to be a hero
1.Ask students to name their favourite superheroes (e.g., Spiderman, Wonder Woman, X-Men, Galaxy Rangers, Buffy). Share who some of your own heroes are with the class.
Ask what these superheroes have in common and what makes them superheroes. Create a simple T-Chart (as follows) to help with the discussion.
|What do superheroes have in common? (e.g., super-human powers, altruistic, fight evil, never die)||What do superheroes have in common? (e.g., super-human powers, altruistic, fight evil, never die)|
2. Distribute Fact Sheets on the real-life heroes to each group.
Groups will review the Fact Sheet information and make a list of the characteristics displayed by these people (e.g., normal people doing great things; identified a problem and tried to find a solution; committed to an ideal or a humanitarian cause; had a vision of a better world; risk-taking).
3. Ask the following questions and list more attributes on the board:
- How are the real-life heroes you just read about different from superheroes (e.g., they have only human powers, they have emotions like fear, they look like you and me)?
- How do real-life heroes deal with situations in which a dominant group limits the rights of others?
- What activities about inclusiveness can we learn from the experiences of these real-life heroes (e.g., the Holocaust and other racist incidents might not happen if people recognize that any group can be targeted by hatred)?
- How do these real-life heroes model good citizenship?
Have students think about the roles we play
- Explain that each of the real-life heroes was involved in a situation that included perpetrators, victims and bystanders.
- Have each group identify the perpetrators, victims and bystanders in their research.
Focus on the choice that bystanders have to make: will they do nothing and be part of the problem or will they do something and be part of the solution? Emphasize that there is no such thing as an innocent bystander; you have a choice to make and whether you choose action or inaction, either choice will ultimately have an impact.
Remind students that taking action can mean many different things – from telling a teacher about an incident involving bullying to standing up for someone who is being bullied; from helping someone in a wheel-chair navigate his or her way into the school to starting a club to improve your school’s wheel-chair accessibility. The important thing is not to stand by and do nothing.
Inspire students to think of themselves as heroes
Distribute the Choose Your Voice handout
- Ask students to fill out the handout individually, describing situations in which they can be a “real-life hero.”
- Pair students so that they can compare lists and then formulate one combined list.
- Pair students with other pairs (four students per group) and again compare their lists and formulate one combined list.
- Asks the groups of four to share their lists with the class to formulate one large list.
Consider pairing exceptional students and/or second language learners with partners who can be supportive.
Create posters that illustrates the “voice” of a hero
Distribute and discuss the evaluation criteria before the students begin to work.
The list of situations in which they could be real-life heroes, developed in the Debrief and Consolidate part of the activity, will help students in designing their posters.
1. Preproduction Decisions
Before the students begin to produce their posters, spend time examining a number of posters that promote an idea or product, or that attempt to persuade the viewer to take some form of action. Point out the different features of posters with students and the different functions that posters serve in our society. Discuss the “voice” that dominates the poster and how this is achieved. As well, draw the students’ attention to any persuasive techniques they notice in the posters they are examining. Be sure to hang the posters around the classroom for students to use as references when they produce their own.
Create a poster to inspire other students to become involved in making the world a better place. Your poster should illustrate an opportunity – in your community, at school, with friends or in your family – to choose to be a real-life hero.
The posters developed by the students should be displayed in a prominent place within the school.