This lesson is designed to help students move beyond the assumptions they might make about others and become more perceptive, thoughtful, and curious about their fellow citizens. It can serve as a preliminary step in a project that engages students in dialogue with young people in other schools and regions.
Students begin by reflecting on their own identities and the assumptions others might make about them. They also brainstorm questions that others could ask them that would help them see beyond their initial assumptions. Then, they turn their attention to a video in which young people from across the United States discuss their own values, what they perceive to be “American” values, and how well they think the United States is living up to its values. Students will practice identifying the assumptions they have made about the young people in the video, and then they will brainstorm questions they could ask those young people to better understand their identities, values, and perspectives.