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Lesson Plan:

For Teachers: Facing Discrimination and Racism

Type: Assignment
Subjects: History, Political Science
Grades: Grades 11-12
Duration: 2 lessons
Purpose: To analyze facts and draw conclusions
Summary: Students analyze acts of discrimination and racism against Chinese-Canadians, as well as responses to those acts, and generalize about trends and changes in the acts and responses.

Before Exploring

Ask students if they have ever been treated in a discriminatory way or have ever witnessed actions which might be described as discriminatory or racist. What actions, if any, were taken to deal with that action? Lead a discussion about what actions might be appropriate when a person or group of people experiences discrimination or racism. Under what circumstances, if any, might it be unadvisable or prudent to avoid taking action when facing discrimination or racism?

Outline the Opportunity

In partners, have students watch and listen to the clips titled:

"Not welcome anymore", "Finally getting the vote", "Entering the professions", "How prevalent is prejudice?", "Protesting racism on TV", "Demanding justice", "A champion for the Chinese," "The personal impact of racism," and "Not giving up" on the topic A Tale of Perseverance: Chinese Immigration to Canada on the CBC Digital Archives website.

Students will examine the clips for examples of discrimination and racism experienced by Chinese-Canadians and find out what actions, if any, were taken by Chinese-Canadians (or others) to address those acts. They should record their information in point form on the download sheet Facing Discrimination and Racism. Using their findings, students will analyze and note any patterns they see in the types of discrimination and racism towards Chinese-Canadians, any changes in the types of actions taken as a result, and write general statements answering why they think these patterns exist or have changed.

Revisit and Reflect

Gather as a class and ask students to share their findings and reveal their generalizations. Revisit the questions from Before Exploring in light of students' findings.

Assessment Tip
Have students complete a self-assessment of their work. Have students note three things that they learned by doing this assignment.


Ask students to write a journal entry reflecting on the past and present treatment of Chinese-Canadians.

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