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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!)
Young students; in this case; fifth graders are very impressionable. Every other week they want or wish to grow up to be something different. This is a more humorous predicament than anything else. If anything you may have stressed the single ethnicity a little too much. To remedy this issue (not a problem) diversify. It would be necessary to shed light on the important accomplishments/contributions made by those of several different ethnicities. Anyone of any color or ethnicity can make major contributions to society as a whole. I'm certain they were confused in thinking that the contributions made by those discussed was due to them being black. Have a class wide discussion on contributions made by other minority groups. Or have a smaller discussion of clarification with those four students specifically outside of class; perhaps after school.
 
     
     
  Rating
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:
Rated On: June 1, 2013 6:31 pm
Rated By: Johnnie Skelton
 
     
     
  Rating
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: I like your idea about having a group discussion made by other minority groups. I don't think it would be wise to confront the three students. I agree that fifth grade students are very impressionable and this would not be something I would worry about. I think it really is a great learning opportunity for students to really connect with themselves, race, and culture. I would have all the students in the class do a writing assignment.
Rated On: May 29, 2015 12:43 am
Rated By: ReMuXy
 
     
     
  Rating
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: You are definitely correct that fifth grade students often change their minds about things from day to day. I like your solution about being very careful on the focus of one particular group of people. Focusing seriously on one group of people may not give students the big picture that other groups of people in the United States are just as important as well. I feel that many sometimes get a great deal of information about Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, George Washington Carver in the Georgia Standards for 5th grade instead of other Americans who contributed to the country such as Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Vanderbilt, and Rockefeller. Sometimes students in a particular age group need a wide range of prospects instead of a single one.
Rated On: June 3, 2015 12:29 am
Rated By: Tina Joiner
 
     
     
  Rating
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: This is a great solution.
Rated On: October 16, 2015 6:18 pm
Rated By: uqeMeg
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) No
The suggested solution is relevant to the case No
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement No
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue No
The suggested solution is original No
Comments: I found this a bit harsh.
Rated On: March 7, 2016 1:22 am
Rated By: ezyHes
 
     
     
  Rating
The suggested solution is respectful of the individual (student) No
The suggested solution is relevant to the case Yes
The suggested solution is reasonable (easy) for the teacher to implement No
The suggested solution is likely to solve the problem/issue No
The suggested solution is original Yes
Comments: I don't think that fifth graders are so impressionable that teaching about different cultural minority achievements would make them want to be that race. Their experiences may also add to this.
Rated On: October 15, 2016 1:40 am
Rated By: etyWys
 
     
     
  Rating
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: :)
Rated On: March 15, 2018 1:44 pm
Rated By: aJaTyb