Assume Nothing: The Role of Stereotypes and Personal Bias in Conflict

Toni Johnson, 5th Grade, Parkside Elementary School

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


This unit will include our first novel study of fourth grade. Using Save Me a Seat written by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan as a catalyst, my scholars will explore assumptions made by people over the course of history and how these assumptions have led to prejudice and discrimination against numerous ethnic and gender groups. By exploring these assumptions, I hope to teach students the dangers of the assumptions they make about people without evidence to support their theories. Through the use of academic conversations, students will also gain the skills needed to deflect and avoid assumptions that they may be pressured to accept as truth.  With this awareness, my fourth grade scholars will find the courage in themselves to ask questions, and communicate clearly to avoid misunderstandings that lead to conflict in our classroom, their own lives, our community, our nation, and our world.