Role play, questioning and discussion – A role play style activity that explores the concept of stereotypes and the assumptions that underlie them.
- To introduce or examine the concept of stereotypes.
- To raise awareness of assumptions that underlie stereotypes.
Cut the profile sheet into the 6 separate profiles.
What to do
- Read out the following scenario:
Buck’s Bar and Grill is full of diners. The owner discovers that a bag of money has been stolen from an area that only staff has access to. The owner suspects that the employee responsible for taking the bag is still in the restaurant as nobody has left the restaurant in the last 30 minutes and Buck saw the bag of money 20 minutes ago.
- Nominate six students to act as the employees and hand each of them a profile. The rest of the class are to act as diners.
- The six students introduce themselves to the diners, using the information in the profiles.
- Invite the ‘diners’ to ask the employees questions to try to determine which one is guilty. The ‘employees’ improvise their answers.
- After a period of questioning, the diners form small groups (4-5) and are asked to discuss the information that has been presented and reach consensus on who the guilty employee is.
- Each group presents their decision and reasoning to the whole class.
- The true culprit is revealed.
- Lead a whole group discussion on stereotyping, asking students to reflect on their own thinking, rather than reporting on what other individuals had to say in the small group.
- Did we stereotype some of these people? How?
- What assumptions did we make about individuals?
- What sorts of things cause us to stereotype people?
- How does it feel to be stereotyped?
- Are stereotypes accurate or do they cause us to believe things that aren’t based on facts?
Stereotypes Profile Sheet
Background: Serhat left school 3 months ago because his mother needed him to help earn some money after his father returned home to Turkey. He has been working 6 days a week at the restaurant as a kitchen hand and waiter.
Background: Sally has been working for Buck for the last 14 months as a waitress. Buck leaves her in charge on Sundays and Mondays. Sally has a charming personality and gets on well with her customers.
Background: Liz has worked for Buck for the last 2 years as his assistant chef. Liz only works part time as she also cares for her grandchildren while their parents are at work. Liz is reliable but is sometimes argumentative with other staff.
Name: Hyun Jin
Background: Hyun Jin works for Buck on a casual basis. She is not allowed to work Sundays due to her religious commitments and is often unavailable on Saturdays because of her large Korean family get-togethers. Hyun Jin gets along well with all staff and customers but sometimes has problems communicating due to the level of her English.
Background: Bilal was working as a waiter but lately has been working as a kitchen hand due to some customers who refuse to be served by ‘that extremist’. Bilal is hard working but has had trouble getting time off on Fridays to go to the Mosque.
Background: Drew has been working as Buck’s head chef for the last 7 years. He is friendly with all the staff and often laughs and jokes. His meals are famous in the town.
Not to be revealed: He has been stealing money from the restaurant for the past few months because Buck won’t agree to increasing his salary.
Adapted from a Living in Harmony Funded Project, ‘Culture is Cool’, Narre Community Learning Centre, VIC, 2003