Group Discussion and Communication
Activities and guides for fostering inclusive discussion
- Setting Ground Rules – Approaches to setting discussion ground rules.
- Inclusive teaching checklist – A checklist of teaching techniques, including many for large courses, to assess equitable practices.
- Dialogue, Discussion, Debate - Handout that helpfully distinguishes among the three modes of classroom discourse.
- Group Process - Handout with a selection of vetted exercises that will assist instructors and students in developing group cohesion, thoughtful engagement, and reflective responses to challenging material, including for large classes.
- BARNGA Classroom Game - Simulation game that encourages participants to critically consider normative assumptions and cross-cultural communication.
- Dominant Narratives - Discussion-based lesson plan and activities on dominant narratives: explanations or stories told in service of the dominant social group’s interests and ideologies.
- Perfectly Logical Explanations - Discussion guide intended to serve as an example of how to engage with “perfectly logical explanation” or dominant narratives raised in classroom discussion.
- Who Owns the Zebra? - Group activity of a puzzle requiring everyone’s participation to solve with a focus on how social identities can influence experiences of inclusion and exclusion.
Tools for students to explore their own identities, including many for large courses.
- Examining Identity - Handout and an exercise that helps identify notions of privileged and non-privileged identities across a wide range of identities.
- Find Your Emotional Triggers - Exercises to help participants identify things that “push their buttons” for negative emotions (anger, frustration, etc.), to harness angry emotions and turn them into positive ones.
- Social Identity Wheel - Handout with activities that encourage students to identify socially and reflect on the various ways those identities become visible or more keenly felt at different times, and how those identities impact the ways others perceive or treat them.
- Invisible Knapsacks - Discussion-based activity guides students in understanding privilege as a concept and recognizing the ways their own privileges benefit them and impact daily life.
- Mapping Social Identity Timeline - Activity that asks students to create a visual map of their socialization in some aspect of identity (such as race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.) through the course of their life.
- The 5 Minute Poem - Activity that has students spend five minutes writing a brief four-stanza poem about where they are from.
- Core Values - Handout with exercise designed to allow participants an opportunity to explore their personal values on a profound level.
Teaching About Racism
Techniques and approaches to teaching about race and racism
- ‘We Can’t Ignore This Issue’: How to Talk With Students About Racism - Article with advice from experts on how to discuss race and racism in the classroom, including in any discipline, not only those that focus on cultural issues (June, 2020).
- Teaching About Current Events - Lesson plans and articles about current events, especially related to Black Lives Matter
- Teaching Racism as an Idea - Article on an approach to teaching about racism from Inside Higher Ed.
- Teaching Racist Texts in an Anti-Racist Classroom - Discussion about and strategies for teaching To Kill a Mockingbird as an example of how to engage racism in texts we teach.
- Implicit Association Test in the Classroom - A page supporting classroom use of the IAT test created by Harvard psychologists to identify implicit associations and biases, especially around race and gender. Can be taken by the public; includes resources for classroom discussions about the test and its results. Note the test’s critiques, as well.