Lesson Plan on Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination

Lesson Plan on Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination

Planned Dates of Classes: Wednesday, September 27th and Monday, October 2nd



Broad Objective:

Promote critical thinking about how humans form stereotypes, prejudices, and behaviors of discrimination


Learning Goals:

  • Students will understand the definitions of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination, and the theories of social psychology related to them (including implicit bias, in-group/out-group biases, minimal group paradigm, in-group favoritism).
  • Students will be able to articulate how these concepts and related theories are related and relevant to everyday life.
  • Students will demonstrate an ability to work in groups to develop a venn diagram and an ability to interpret graphs and tables.



Questions of the Day:

Upon entering the class, students will be given the following questions as a prompt to think about the readings and introduce the forthcoming material. Students will be asked to to be written on a piece of paper on the first day of this lesson and handed in to count for attendance/participation):

  1. What does “Don’t judge a book by its cover” mean?
  2. Can you think of a time that someone made a judgment about someone else based on limited information?
  3. What conditions can lead people to make biased judgments about others?
  4. What is the difference between stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination?
  5. How can we prevent making biased judgments about others?





Q1: Think-about-it: “Don’t judge a book by its cover”

Think-Pair-Share: What does ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ mean to you?


Q2: Judgements based off of limited information: Interpreting Our IAT Results

Prior to class:

Along with the reading, students will be assigned to complete the Gender-Science IAT online and complete a Blackboard survey that will ask them the following questions: (1) Prior to taking the Gender-Science IAT, did you think you had an implicit bias toward a women in liberal arts and men in the sciences?; (2) What were your IAT results, and what were your reaction to your results?; (3) Do you believe your results were accurate (why or why not)?; (4) Do you think the rest of the class will have similar results? They will be told that their responses will be anonymous.


Discussion during class:


  • Beliefs prior to the IAT (slide showing a pie chart between students who did v.s. didn’t think they had implicit biases prior to taking the IAT – students will be asked to interpret the pie chart)
  • IAT results (slide showing a bar graph of the different IAT results – students will be asked to interpret the bar graph)


  • It appears some people have biases and are aware of them, while other have biases but are unaware of them. What might be the consequences of having an implicit bias?
  • Do you believe the IAT is a good measure of testing implicit bias?
  • Now you know the results of the class. What are your reactions? What can we do to change our implicit biases?


Q3: Conditions that can lead people to make biased judgement: In-Group/Out-Group Biases Activity (Mini Lesson)


Materials Needed:

Paper and markers

‘Resource’ (we used candy, but stickers or tokens would also do)



  1. Break class up into two countries (e.g., Country A and Country B). Must be randomly assigned.
  2. Tell each country that they have to design a country flag. Allot about 15 minutes for the flag design.
  3. While students are making the flag, give each student a ‘resources.’
  4. Once students have made their flags, give the following instructions: “We will now engage in a resource game. The rules are as follows: In order to win, you must have the most resources, but everyone must give away their resource.”
  5. Allow time to distribute resources.

Follow Up Discussion on In-Group/Out-Group Biases and Social Identity Theory


  • Ingroups vs. Outgroups
  • Henri Tajfel’s Minimal Group Paradigm (1971)
  • Ingroup Favoritism


  • How many of you gave your resource to someone from your “Country”? How many of you gave your resources to someone from another “Country”?
    • Write these on the board or make a bar graph
    • Ask students to interpret the bar graph
  • Think-Pair-Share:
    • How did you chose who to give your resource to?
    • Now reflect on the types of in-group/out-group biases that exist in the ‘real world.’ What are some groups that naturally occur (an example is a racial/ethnic group, like Latinos)?
    • According to the minimal group paradigm, people tend to group even when there are arbitrarily similar. What happens as the similarities extend to encompass more meaningful similarities (again, like racial/ethnic groups)?



Kassin, S. M., Fein, S., & Markus, H. R. (2016). Social Psychology. Boston, MA. Cengage Learning.

Tajfel, H., Billig, M. G., Bundy, R. P., & Flament, C. (1971). Social categorization and intergroup behavior. 149-178.

Q4: Understanding the difference between stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination: Venn Diagram activity


  • Students will break off into their Teaching Presentations groups and will be asked to create a venn-diagram of these three concepts (see below for an example). Student will work independently in groups for 15-20 minutes.
  • At the end of the work period, one student from each group will be asked to create the venn diagram on the board.
  • When all venn diagrams have been drawn, similarities will be noted and a final venn diagram will be created.


Q5: Think-about-it: Prevent making biased judgments about others

Think-Pair-Share: Now that we’ve learned about stereotypes, biases, and discrimination, what can we do to prevent making biased judgements about others?



6 thoughts on “Lesson Plan on Stereotypes, Prejudice, and Discrimination

  1. Annie Kato

    This lesson plan offers me a lot of content I could use for a lesson on Workplace Diversity in an Intro to I/O Psychology class. I think that having students take an IAT and discuss their results in class is a great way to introduce the concept of implicit biases and would be a very engaging learning experience. I would also plan to use the Venn Diagram activity on stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination because I think that fits nicely with the topic of diversity in the workplace.

  2. Desmond

    I think is a really great lesson plan, and I’m thinking about possibly adapting at least one of the mini-lessons since I plan on spending time on diversity and discrimination in the workplace. I think one interesting point to raise is that in certain cases heuristics can be adaptive, but using these heuristics to make judgments and decisions about people can be problematic.

  3. sbosco

    This lesson plan encompasses a lot of important topics and activities that will facilitate the learning process. I like how you talked about how we as humans develop stereotypes and prejudices, I would a good amount of time talking about this and how the results from the IAT can be related. Another suggestion would be to discuss the differences between prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination. They are very similar and the students should be able to understand the subtle differences before moving on to the other activities. Overall, this is a beautiful lesson plan and I believe the students will really appreciate the activities and lesson.

  4. Leena Roy

    I really like the way that you have discussed prejudice biasness and inequality in a very broad perspective that is applicable anywhere in the world!!


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