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  Case: I Wish I Were Black!
As a teacher of 5th grade students, I try to make sure that my students have a good sense of all the people and cultures that make up this country. Last couple weeks, I paid special attention to the African American people who have made significant contributions to the US. We read a book written by Walter Dean Myers. We have studied scientists, writers, and political figures. Students were very engaged and interested in the content. Yesterday something happened that puzzled me. Three of my White students told me that they wished they were Black. This was not my intention when I planned all my lessons on contributions of African Americans. How should I address this issue?
Solution: (Rates are posted for this solution!)
I think that one way to acknowledge what your students feeling is to ask them why they felt that way or have the write about it. It would be important to see if they are feeling that way because of the accomplishments of the African Americans you taught about or if it went deeper into more cultural values. If it was about the accomplishments then you could do as some others have suggested and turn it into a research project. The research project could focus on the accomplishment or occupation and you could put as a requirement that they find people from different cultures or races that were all very similar in their accomplishments or occupations. If it was more about cultural values then you could have students research more into the values of that specific culture or see if there are any other cultures that share that value that really stuck with them as well.
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) Yes
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement Yes
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue Yes
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: Yes I think if the student continually expressed interested in being someone else I would address this situation with this solution. A longer more thoughtful project involving research might give the students some appreciation for their own race.
Rated On: October 20, 2014 12:55 am
Rated By: Adam Sanchez