Grades: 4-5

Duration: One full class day


Students will be able to define discrimination and list Article 2 from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of discrimination by writing a journal entry based off today's lesson. The entry should include their personal feelings and be at least 9-10 sentences in length.


students Human Rights journals, pencils, UDHR overhead, definition of discrimination overhead, and yellow and red stickers.


1. Students, please pull out your Human Rights journals and write a short paragraph illustrating what discrimination means to you. Allow five minutes for writing.

2. We have been studying human rights. At this point put up the overhead of the UDHR. The articles which have already been studied will be crossed out on the overhead. Today we are going to explore Article 2 which states: Freedom from Discrimination. This article will be highlighted on the overhead. Have the students copy Article 2 into their journals. Tell them that they need to remember this!

3. In order to explore the concept of discrimination in a meaningful manner the students must be able to understand what discrimination is. Explain to the students that discrimination can grow from assumptions and stereotypes that people make about others. For example, tell the students how European settlers assumed that Native Americans were not as good or civilized as them because they looked different,spoke a different language, and had a different religion. You can also talk about the Civil Rights Movement in explaining discrimination.

4. Ask the students if they have observed any kind of discrimination in their every day life. Do they see discrimination on TV? What about in their school or neighborhood? Discuss there comments as a group.

5. Now put the definition of discrimination overhead up. Definition: Making a distinction in favor of or against a person or thing based on the group, class, or category. Have the students copy this definition into their journals. Tell them that they need to remember this!

6. Next, inform the students that in today's lesson you will divide them into two groups--a majority group and a minority group--until one hour before school gets out. NOTE: A letter was sent home to the parents describing the activity. The note explains that in this activity children will learn how assumptions and stereotypes are formed and how it feels to be discriminated against. Parents who oppose this activity can have their child excused from participating.

7. Before you separate the students strongly remind them that this experiment is just an activity and they are just acting.

8. Randomly assign the red and blue stickers to students. Have them place the stickers on their clothing. The reds will represent the majority and the blues the minority. The minority will not be given the same privileges as the majority, for example:

a. The majority(reds) will have free time to read or talk with friends. During this time the minority(blues) will have to work.

b. The majority(reds) may work together on any project. The minority (blues) have to work individually.

c. The reds will get extra recess. The blues will not.

d. The reds will get excused first for lunch, recess, and at the end of the day. The blues will get excused last.

e. The reds will get all the teacher's praise and attention. The blues will get the teacher's negative comments.

f. Add any other privileges you feel appropriate.

NOTE: To ensure that everyone has an opportunity to be in the majority and the minority group, switch groups halfway through the day.

9. One hour before school ends stop the mock discrimination experiment. Have the students get into small groups and discuss their thoughts and feelings on the activity. Some discussion starting questions could be: How did being in the minority make you feel? The majority? What was most memorable? What was most hurtful?

10. Have students pull out their Human Rights journals and complete the evaluation described below.


1. First, have the students rip out a piece of paper from their journals. On that paper have them list Article 2 from the UDHR and define discrimination.

2. Next, have students open their journals to the entry they did this morning on discrimination. Below that entry students will compose a new entry illustrating how they now feel about discrimination. This journal entry will demonstrate the students new knowledge of discrimination based off the lesson and must be 9-10 sentences in length. (Have students hand in both assessments).