1. As students enter class, the teacher should have already created an "Opening Question" using the Poll Everywhere website, and the question can be projected on the board. Students may use their cell phones to respond to the site; they do not have to sign in, but they will be prompted to use a name for their responses. Students’ answers will populate the website’s “Word Cloud” to prompt a short class discussion. The teacher will instruct them to sign up on their device and contribute an answer to the question.
The teacher can use the Poll Everywhere site to create a question like “What 'appropriate' word comes to mind when you compare racial prejudice of modern-day America to the America of 125 years ago?”
If you use the free version of "Poll Everywhere," the teacher controls the question(s) and the format used. If the "Word Picture" option is selected, students can see their responses populate on the screen as a "Word Picture", which can prompt discussion.
2. After students have responded, the teacher will lead a short class discussion about their responses.
a. What are some reasons a modernized country like the US may still have "far to go" when dealing effectively with racial issues?
b. Explain one reason that Americans struggle with prejudice.
3. After discussion of their responses, the teacher will direct students to watch the YouTube video “Too White to Be Black Too Black to be White” (5:36 min.) and lead students in a discussion of the video.
This is an introductory activity that will lead students in discussing the long-standing racial prejudice issues in America as depicted in short stories like Kate Chopin's short story entitled “Desiree’s Baby". This lesson can be continued using the explore/explain activity in ALEX entitled Racial Prejudice and Sexism in Short Stories.