Lesson #3: Prejudice and Stereotypes

Subject: English— Drama: Twelve Angry Men
Title: Lesson 3—Prejudice and Stereotypes
Grade: ENG 3C1
Time Frame: 75-150 minutes

Curricular Expectations:

  • Oral Communication:
    • Listening to Understand: (1.4) identify the important information and ideas in oral texts, including increasingly complex texts, in a variety of ways; (1.7) analyse oral texts, including increasingly complex texts, focusing on the ways in which they communicate information, ideas, issues, and themes and influence the listener’s/viewers response.
    • Speaking to Communicate: (2.1) communicate orally for a variety of purposes, using language appropriate for intended audience; (2.2) demonstrate an understanding of a variety of interpersonal speaking strategies and adapt them to suit the purpose, situation, and audience; (2.4) use appropriate words, phrases, and terminology, and several different stylistic devices, to communicate and engage their intended audience; (2.5) identify a variety of vocal strategies, including tone, pace, and volume, and use them appropriately and with sensitivity to audience needs and cultural differences.
  • Reading and Literature Studies:
    • Reading for Meaning: (1.3) identify the most important ideas and supporting details in texts; (1.6) analyse texts in terms of the information, ideas, issues, and themes they explore, exampling how various aspects of the texts contribute to the presentation or development of these elements; (1.7) evaluate the effectiveness of texts, using evidence from the text to support their opinions.
  • Writing:
    • Developing and Organizing Content: (1.2) generate, expand, explore, and focus ideas for potential writing tasks, using a variety of strategies and print, electronic, and other resources; (1.3) locate and select information to appropriately support ideas for writing; (1.4) identify, sort, and order main ideas and supporting details for writing tasks, using a variety of strategies and organizational patterns suited to the content and the purpose of writing;
    • Using Knowledge of Form and Style: (2.3) use appropriate descriptive and evocative words, phrases, and expressions to make their writing clear, vivid, and interesting for intended audience; (2.4) write complete sentences that communicate their meaning clearly and accurately, varying sentence type, structure, and length to suit different purposes and making smooth and logical transitions between ideas;
  • Media Studies:
    • Creating Media Texts: (3.4) produce media texts for a variety of purposes and audiences, using appropriate forms, conventions, and techniques.

Lesson Expectations:
  • Students will collectively create an understanding of prejudice and stereotypes in graphic form using mind mapping software or a web 2.0 application;
  • Students will analyze teleplay dialogue, inferring the assumptions embedded in characters’ lines;
  • Students will examine the factors that form stereotypical and prejudiced assumptions and attitudes about groups of people and compose a blog response.

Anticipatory Set: (10 minutes)
Defining Via Mind Mapping:

“Prejudice” and “Stereotyping”
- The teacher leads a discussion, mind-mapping on the board/SMARTboard, delineating the definitions and distinctions between “prejudice” and “stereotyping.”
-The class can use either the software program Smart Ideas or the web 2.0 application Creately to complete a dual mind including words, text, and quotations that explore the notions of “prejudice” and “stereotypes.”
creately.png smart_ideas.png

external image clip_image003.gif

Procedure/Instructional Sequence: (50 minutes)
Reading Aloud in Role

ACT II (p. 26-48)
-Students read the teleplay aloud in role, guided and informed by the playwright’s “Description of Characters.”
Task 1:

Small Group Discussions
-Students are divided into small groups, given one of the following quotations from the teleplay, and asked to answer the following two questions for EACH quotation:

1. What assumptions are embedded within the juror’s speech;
2. What factors contribute to assumptions and attitudes like these.

“Look, this boy’s been kicked around all his life. You know, living in a slum, his mother dead since he was nine. That’s not a very good head start. He’s a tough, angry kid. You know why slum kids get that way? Because we knock ‘em down on the head once a day, every day.” (#8, Act 1)

“This boy—let’s say he’s a product of a filthy neighborhood and a broken home. We can’t help that. We’re not here to go into the reasons why slums are breeding grounds for criminals. They are. I know it. So do you. The children who come out of slum backgrounds are potential menaces to society.” (#4, Act 1)

“I don’t understand you people. How can you believe this kid is innocent? Look, you know how those people lie. I don’t have to tell you. They don’t know what the truth is….You know, they get drunk, and bang someone’s lying in the gutter. Nobody’s blaming them. That’s how they are. You know what I mean? Violent! Human life don’t mean as much to them as it does to us….Look, these people are drinking and fighting all the time, and if somebody gets killed so somebody gets killed. They don’t care.” (#10, Act 3)
Task 2:

Whole Class Discussion
-Groups present their findings to the class, explaining how “group characteristics” are assumed.
View 1957

Film Adaptation

Compare/ Contrast Impact of Media from Different Time Periods
-Students will view Acts I-II in the 1957 film adaptation in preparation for task 3;
-After viewing the Acts the class draws comparisons and contrasts between the teleplay and the 1957 version with modern day interpretations of the 21st century (1950s and 2010);
-The class will discuss social values disseminated in popular culture, again with the 1950s and the 21st century.
Task 3:

Application of Inferences in Blog Form
-Students are asked to answer the following question in well-developed paragraphs, complete with topic sentence and supporting evidence in blog-form:

If a film adaptation were made today in or beyond your community, who would be “those people,” as stereotyped by Juror “10”? What factors contribute to this assumption?

-Note: if there is no computer access, students can complete the following response in well-developed paragraphs.