PGCE History and Citizenship
                                                                                    Alison Stokes
LESSON PLAN                                                        Date: December 2001

Study Unit: Key Stage 3 Citizenship                       Topic/SoW: Promoting pupils’ spiritual,
                                                          moral, social and cultural development.
Title: Stereotyping and pre-conceived ideas.

Background to lesson: No information will be given about the picture to be used as to allow the
pupils to give their own thoughts. There may be some knowledge of Asian religious culture/dress.
Aims: To show how we easily stereotype people in our society through their dress and image.

Objectives/Intended Learning Outcomes:
   - citizenship: To develop and promote pupils’ awareness of the diverse cultures that exist
       within their society. Promoting respect for diversity and difference.
   - Cross-curricular: Knowledge of multiple religious cultures through RS.
   - Literacy: Using the genre of a picture to tell a story in their own words.
   - Personal transferable skills: working within pairs to consolidate information.

Key Question[s]: What is this person doing?

Year Group/Class: Key Stage 3, possibly year 8 & 9.       Teaching Time: Class Time: 50 minutes.

Resources: Photocopies of the picture (1 between 2). White/black board. Paper for writing a story.

The Teaching Activity: Allow pupils to look at the picture for a few minutes, in their pairs. Then
ask them to think about what they think this person is doing. The question aims to start off the
thinking, though from events in America on September 11th, the general feedback revolves around
the assumption that this is a Muslim terrorist. The lesson then aims to progress into allowing the
pupils to give reasons as to why they feel this man is either a Muslim or a terrorist. The pupils are
then asked to write a short piece on who they think this person is and what they think he is doing.
The teacher provides no information about the picture, but helps steer the discussion toward
stereotypical imagery.
Episode 1: Settle class and take register. Handout the photocopies of the picture, 1 between each
pair, and ask the students to look at the picture for a few minutes.
Time 5 minutes.

Episode 2: Ask pupils to turn to the person next to them and discuss what they think the man in
the picture is doing. Go round the class ensuring that the pupils stay on task whilst helping them
develop ideas.
Time 15 minutes.
Episode 3: For feedback on this discussion it would beneficial to be able to use a white/black
board to ‘mind-map’ these ideas. Each pair should try to contribute some idea of what they thought
was going on. Be prepared to have some strange ideas given, though most will centre around the
fact that this man is thought of as a Muslim and possibly as a terrorist. Highlight these issues on
the board and discuss how they reached these opinions. For example, they may have reached the
conclusion that this was a Muslim man because of his dress. They may have thought he was using
his radio to listen to the events unfolding in America on September 11th.
Time 15 minutes.

Episode 4: Put forward the question: ‘What if I told you this picture was taken in London’s Hyde
Park in the summer of 1996 during the cricket season?’ Keep this discussion brief, but it will allow
them to see that they have begun their train of thought from an assumption of current events. Ask
the pupils to start a piece of work, explaining what they think this man is doing and why.
Time 10 minutes.
                                                                     PGCE History and Citizenship
                                                                                     Alison Stokes
Episode 5: Conclude the lesson by saying that this piece of work can be finished as homework.
The pupils will be asked to think about what pre-conceived ideas they have on different cultures
and religions, ready for a discussion on this topic, next lesson.
Time 5 minutes.

Learning Outcomes – Actual: Ideas about judging people at face value. An understanding that
people’s dress can indicate their religion but not their political beliefs. An awareness that the
events in Afghanistan and the terrorist attacks on America are not the only links to the Muslim
Reflection and Review of Lesson + Action Points to be taken: This lesson will rely heavily on
the teacher guiding the pupils thinking and it can be impossible to tell exactly what the pupils may
come up with. Testing this lesson out, may be the only way to see the direction this heads.
Action point: ensure the pupils stay on task and don’t allow this to become too much of a debate on
the war in Afghanistan. This lesson will need re-thinking in future years as, and when, the war

Using the ‘concept approach’ of delivering citizenship in the curriculum, this scheme of work covers
the key concept of ‘equality and diversity’ and promotes citizenship through PSME work. Work may
have been approached through RS on the different cultures within our society, but this scheme of
work aims to explore the images that we create are created by ‘first impressions’ or pre-conceived
ideas. This lesson would be given as an introduction to the topic to get the pupils thinking about
stereotyping of people through their culture, using images presented to us by society and popular

The following lesson would allow us to build up a picture of what we think of different cultures and
religions and what the facts really are. This would involve further work in RS but we would have to
edge around religious beliefs and concentrate more on difference and diversity of image. The
pupils would be asked to create two columns entitled ‘pre-conceived idea’ on one side, and ‘facts’
on the other. This would allow them to compare and analyse the complexity of cultural diversity
through image, at a glance. One idea of doing this kind of work may be through a type of card sort.
The class would be divided into groups and each group given a group of cards. Some of the cards
would have facts on them about different religious and cultural groups, and others would read
images and half-truths given in society and the popular press. The pupils would have to try and
identify which were the facts and a discussion would take place on what had been chosen.

The third and perhaps final lesson I would run on this theme would involve an excursion of some
kind, mainly because I believe that citizenship is not something that should be confined to the
classroom, but should involve pupils learning and interacting with the society in which they live.
Ideally, I would take pupils to a Mosque or Asian community centre. This would carry regional
implications, as in the South West, for example, it may be more difficult to find such a place locally.
However, if this were a school in the Midlands I may be the one being educated by the pupils. The
amount of ethnic diversity in the class will dictate the type of location you may wish to visit, but in
either a vastly ethnically diverse school or not, this could be a valuable exercise. I believe that
pupils in the South West would find a Mosque an extremely interesting place to visit; though a visit
to the shops of Handsworth in the Midlands might provide a more ethnically mixed experience!

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