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Lesson Plans

Carolyn Woodward
English and journalism teacher
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Related File

A PDF handout that asks students to fill in all the groups in their high school.

Lesson Plans

Finding Diversity

Finding Diversity

Carolyn Woodward of Clarkrange (Tenn.) High School.

Carolyn Woodward
Clarkrange High School
Clarkrange, Tenn.

Title: Finding Diversity

Overview and Rationale

In rural areas where racial diversity does not exist, students often fail to realize that diversity takes many forms and must be considered by the newspaper staff.

Goals for Understanding

  • Essential Questions
    • What unrecognized forms can diversity take in a school?
  • Critical Engagement Questions
    • Why is recognizing diversity important to a newspaper?
    • How can we assure diverse coverage in our newspaper?

Tennessee Language Arts Standard 1.0: Writing Standard: The student will develop the structural and creative skills necessary to produce written language that can be read and interpreted by various audiences.


Yarn in four colors (red, green, blue, yellow), overhead projector (or computer monitor), handout sheets with transparency copy, handout (related document)

Overviews and Timeline

Activity 1 (20 minutes)

  • Upon entering classroom, students will be given a “necklace” of yarn in one of four colors to wear for the remainder of the class.
  • Normal classroom procedure will follow, but students with red necklaces will be given special treatment (allowed to run fun errands, asked if they are comfortable, etc.) and students with yellow necklaces will be ignored completely. Others will be treated normally. This should continue until it becomes noticeable and students begin to object.
  • A discussion should follow of how each group felt during the activity and how it made them feel about the class and the teacher.
  • End this activity by emphasizing that recognizing diversity is important to accurately tell the story of the school and to build readership.

Activity 2 (20 minutes)

  • Allow students 10 minutes to list as many “groups” as possible that exist in the school. Remind them that these groups can be organized as well as casual. For instance, skateboarders are just as much a group as is the National Honor Society.
  • When they have finished, pass out the worksheet, place the transparency of the worksheet on the overhead and fill it in as they call out their answers. Have them fill in their worksheets at the same time.
  • Discourage derogatory stereotypes, should they be mentioned.

Activity 3 (40 minutes)

  • Give each student a copy of a recent school newspaper and have him/her count how many times each group is mentioned in that issue.
  • When everyone has finished, have one student per edition report the findings.
  • Students should then analyze which groups have been neglected and why.


Students should return to class next timewith three story ideas for each of the groups that were considered neglected.

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