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Nick News Lesson Plan

Nick News


Grades 5-8

Students will identify the causes and consequences of segregation. Students will gain a better understanding of how to be more inclusive and reach out to diverse groups of people.

1. To heighten awareness of the importance of the basic human need to belong.
2. To increase understanding of the negative consequences that may result from individuals who feel alienated and minimized.

TV & DVD Player
DVD of Nick News with Linda Ellerbee: Black and White Together: We Shall Not Be Moved
Multicolored dot or star stickers

Prior to Viewing: 20 min.

Class Discussion to prepare the students for the video and the activity to follow.

Idea on how to start the discussion/engage the students:

Have students think about a time when they felt included. Ask them to answer the following questions:

*Describe your emotions when you knew you felt included and a part of a group. (examples may include: happy, excited, proud)
*What did other people do to make you feel included? (examples may include: they smiled at me, talked to me, asked me questions, let me sit with them at lunch)
*How did it affect the way you felt about other people in that group? (examples may include: positive, friendly, like they were just like me)

Have students think about a time when they felt excluded. Ask them to answer the same questions as above:

*Describe what you felt when you knew you felt excluded and not a part of a group. (examples may include: sad, unwelcome, uncool, angry, lonely)
*What did other people do to make you feel excluded? (examples may include: they ignored me, teased me, sad mean things behind my back, didn’t let me sit or play or hang out with them)
*How did it affect the way you felt about other people in that group? (examples may include: negative, unfriendly, mean, stuck up, like they were nothing like me)

The discussion should include:
*Have students get into pairs to share their responses to the questions with their partner (count off so students don’t necessarily pair with someone they know well).
*Ask for a few students to volunteer and share their responses.
*Write down common feelings students describe for each question.
*Tell students that these experiences of inclusion and exclusion are very much tied to segregation.
*Review the definition of segregation Segregation – the separation or isolation of a race, class, or ethnic group by enforced or voluntary residence in a restricted area, by barriers to social intercourse, by separate educational facilities, or by other discriminatory means
*Ask students to give examples of when they have witnessed segregation at school or in their community.
*Tell students that segregation can have elements of inclusive and exclusive behaviors or actions.
*Sometimes people segregate to be with others they feel they have a connection to, or to feel safe and comfortable with a group, especially if they have experienced a lot of exclusion in their lives.
*Sometimes people are forcibly segregated from another group because they are considered ‘different’ in some way, which can make them feel inferior and isolated.
*It is important for us to find ways to interact across our differences, and to make people feel included in any group.
*This does not mean that people may not want to still group with others they share similarities with, but it ensures that anyone feels welcome joining any group, regardless of their race, color, nationality, gender, age, religion, interests, etc.

Show Program: 22 min.

Suggest to students to take notes during the video for the activity afterwards.

Activity: 20 min.

1. Place one self-adhesive colored star (or dot or other shape) on each student’s back, making sure it sticks. Instruct students not to look at the sticker on their back. Depending on the size of the group, at least two colors should be used. (The more participants, the more colors it is helpful to use.) The size of each color group can vary (i.e., 2 greens, 4 blues, etc.)
2. Select one to three participants who will get a sticker that is a different color or shape from anyone else’s in the room. (NOTE – Be aware of the students chosen to be excluded. Try not to select students who already may experience exclusion within society or the classroom).
3. Instruct participants to get into groups with people who have the same color sticker (or same shape) in any way they can, WITHOUT TALKING. (Note to facilitator: Students can gesture, put people with the same color or shape sticker together, etc. However, it’s best to let them figure this out on their own.)
4. After all the groups have formed (and the few individuals with the unique stickers have been left out, or been adopted by one of the other groups, or formed their own group or done something else), reconvene the entire group for discussion.

*How did you manage to find your group?
*How did you feel when you found your group?
*How did you feel when you were rejected by a group?
*Did anyone consider asking one of the individuals with the unique shape/color to join your group?
*How does this relate with our discussion and the video on inclusion/exclusion and segregation?

Learning Points:

1. Most people have a need to belong to a group with which they can identify and in which they feel welcomed and proud of their membership.
2. When people are excluded from a group, they may feel alienation and experience a lack of self-esteem and self-confidence.
3. Each one of us needs to be aware that we may sometimes unintentionally exclude others and we need to develop strategies to make others feel included.


Have students think about a person who they know is sometimes excluded from an activity or group. Have them develop two or three ways they could help that person feel more included.

Alternative Activity:

Make signs for various times when people may be excluded (i.e. playing sports, lunch table, working in a group in class) and have students brainstorm strategies for how they can be more inclusive. Students place their strategy ideas under the appropriate sign. The class goes to the signs and marks (with stickers or using a marker) the strategy that they think would be best for each situation. Discuss with students why they felt the strategy selected would be the best way to handle the situation. Explain to students that there are many ways to be inclusive and it always involves being respectful and supportive of one another.

About National MultiCultural Institute:

Founded in 1983, the National MultiCultural Institute (NMCI) is proud to be one of the first organizations to have recognized the nation's need for new services, knowledge, and skills in the growing field of multiculturalism and diversity.

The mission of the National MultiCultural Institute (NMCI) is to work with individuals, organizations, and communities to facilitate personal and systemic change in order to build an inclusive society that is strengthened and empowered by its diversity. Through the development of strategic initiatives, partnerships, and programs that promote an inclusive and just society, NMCI is at the forefront of global efforts to address critical and emerging issues in the diversity field. www.nmci.org

National MultiCultural Institute (NMCI)