ESL etc.

Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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Quick Activity About Privilege

November 24th, 2014 · No Comments

This is a great (and quick) activity to highlight how privilege works, and how it can be largely invisible to those who enjoy it.

The short version: Students are instructed to ball up a sheet of paper. Next, the teacher puts the recycling bin in the front of the classroom, and tells them that, in order to move to the upper class, students need to throw their paper into the recycling bin from their seats. Typically, students in the back complain that this isn’t fair, while students in the front focus solely on achieving their goal. One thing I really like about this is it shows how simply giving everyone “an equal chance” isn’t necessarily fair. Technically, all of these students are given the same opportunity — a chance to score the paper ball from their seat — but not all of these chances are the equal.

You could follow up this activity with discussion questions or a writing assignment. It might also work well with an activity looking at global wealth inequality, like this activity from Rethinking Globalization. You could also use one of these activities about poverty and wealth.

Thanks Rob

Tags: blog · global issues activities · human rights · lesson plans · poverty & wealth

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