Not a bad word

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A thought provoking lesson looking at stereotyping and the similarities and differences of people and where they live.

Students explore whether it is surroundings that shape the person and whether peoples' lives can be affected by living in a close community.

Lesson objectives

By the end of the lesson, ALL students will learn: That most people are guilty of stereotyping or having preconceived ideas about people/places.

By the end of the lesson, MOST students should learn: The benefits a sense of community can offer. Stereotypes are not always correct.

By the end of the lesson, SOME students could learn: To begin to think about whether we are products of our surroundings or if our surroundings are a by product of us.

Activities for the lesson

Equipment required: ICT Internet / projector, Whiteboard, Printed handouts

Lesson starter:


Students should be asked to answer the learning objective:

Does where you are born determine your future?

This should be discussed in pairs.


Whole class

Pairs to feedback to the whole class, and teacher to note discussion points on the board.

Celebrity card sort


In pairs, students to complete the card sort exercise. Using Handout 1 - Celebrity card sort, students should cut out the celebrity cards and sort them into those born in rural areas and those born in urban areas and write down the names on the celebrity grid.

Place of birth card sort


Students should now use the place names cards from Handout 1 - Celebrity card sort, to match each celebrity with where they were born. When all places of birth have been correctly identified, students can check them against the celebrity grid to see how many guessed correctly which celebrity is from an urban and rural area.

Students should return to the initial question and reflect upon their initial thoughts and if they have changed.

The correct answers can be found on:



Using Handout 2 - Stereotyping, students to write down how they would describe a person from an urban area, and a person from a rural area. Do they have a preconceived idea about people just because they are from a certain area?

Students should feedback and the issue of stereotyping should be addressed. The question "Do we as a society stereotype people?" could be discussed.

Venn diagram


Students to complete the Venn diagram on Handout 3 looking at the differences/similarities between living in urban and rural areas.

Video clip

Whole class

Students to watch the video at the top of this page.

Class discussion

Whole class

Class discussion on the video. Questions could include:

  • How many have written the same stereotypes as the video on their Stereotyping sheet?
  • How many had the same differences/similarities as the video?
  • Do they agree/disagree with anything in the video?
  • What is and what makes a community?

Developing a sense of community


Following the conversation, Students to complete Handout 4 - Developing a community, in pairs.

This will allow them to start thinking of ways how people can be brought together from within a community, and to start thinking if it is a community that shapes people's lives.

The review

Whole class

Students to offer a final thought. This could be posted in a suggestion box, written on a white board or hands up on how living in a better community could give them a better future.

Written comments


Teachers can use Handout 5 - Comment sheet to collect written comments from the students.

Icon key

Icon Key

Key skills and learning skills

  • Communication
  • Application of number
  • ICT
  • Problem solving
  • Working with others
  • Improving own performance
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Exploring meaning
  • Reflection
  • Research skills
  • Presentation skills

AFL strategies

  • Sharing learning objectives
  • Use of questioning
  • Effective feedback
  • Modelling
  • Pupil self assessment
  • Peer assessment
  • Ongoing assessment
  • Adjusting teaching/reviewing
  • Plenary

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