Middle School (6-8)
High School (9-12)
This video highlights a powerful activity called Dissolving Stereotypes. This activity can be used effectively with students or adults to explore experiences with stereotypes and hurtful words and ways to “dissolve” the hurt caused.
This lesson is part of the Not In Our School Video Action Kit, a comprehensive toolkit featuring films, lessons, and resources designed to motivate students to speak out against bullying, and create new ways to make their schools safe for everyone.
Age-level: upper elementary through high school, adults
Materials: rice paper (enough sheets for all participants), water soluble markers; small bins filled with water
1. Provide participants with a paper and marker. Ask each person to privately reflect on their own experiences being called a hurtful name or being labeled with a stereotype in their lives.
2. Invite participants to write down that hurtful word, label or experience on the paper.
3. Either in small groups or as one large group, participants should come forward to place their paper in the water and allow the stereotype or hurtful name to be dissolved in the water. One option is to invite participants to share what they wrote on the paper, if they wish, before dissolving it in the water.
4. Conclude the activity using some or all of the following questions:
a. How did you feel recalling and writing down the hurtful words or labels? Were you surprised by what came to mind?
b. How did it feel to put these words in the water and watch them disappear?
c. What do you think is the purpose of the activity? What will you take away from this experience?