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Title Reading Bias / Writing Tolerance website, a program of the Missouri History Museum

Project Observe high school students in progress and develop program overview for website

Written on behalf of 501creative www.biasandtolerance.org/tour.php


Reading Bias / Writing ToleranceBodoniTopics in Modernism

Tour Slide 1: Welcome!

It’s a metamorphosis! Students in this six-part program become engaged individuals, well-versed in the act of close-looking. As informed, active and inquisitive thinkers, program participants evolve into what we call ‘allies,’ those who through increased self-awareness are able to understand bias and practice tolerance in our society-at-large. As we increase the number of allies in our community, we increase our ability to make a difference in today’s world!

In this program tour, you will learn about our two lesson formats: lessons centered on museum artifacts and group-based, interactive lessons conducted by Anti-Defamation League facilitators. Each lesson format is taught both at the museum visit and in the school classroom.

Our students internalize these lessons through various methods of engagement: journal writing, picture making, poetry writing and more. Please move forward with the tour to learn more about our lessons and student activities!


Tour Slide 2: Artifacts as a Catalyst

Some might call it ‘analysis,’ but we prefer ‘close-looking.’ We’ve worked hard to develop a powerful library of artifacts for this program. In each artifact-based lesson students practice close-looking. As a group, or individually in their journals, students study an artifact and respond to questions: What do I see? What do I think I know? What have I learned?

Historical artifacts represent a powerful resource for close-looking. This program uses artifacts as a catalyst for increasing students’ self-awareness when encountering bias and discrimination. Students not only increase their literacy skills but also learn to interrupt stereotyping. This program illustrates by example the idea that one can much better understand the present by closely examining elements of the past.

We believe developing the skill of close-looking is a powerful tool in creating our program’s allies, informed individuals who can make a difference in our world.

Please examine our questioning first-hand by reviewing the artifact at left.

Tour Slide 3: To Facilitate Understanding

Anti-Defamation League Facilitators create a special dynamic in a room of middle school and high school students. ADL facilitators know how to make seemingly unrelated historical artifacts personally relevant to students’ lives today. Facilitators ask important questions and draw dialogue out of the students. Students develop a personal understanding and awareness. Students look closely at how bias and racism impacts their lives, and in turn, bring an increased awareness to their everyday world.

As a result, our graduates make a difference in our world’s struggle with bias. They bring an awareness of bias, an understanding of tolerance and overall, an increased sensitivity to the table.

Tour Slide 4: Ways of Engagement

“Record your thoughts in your journal!” This prompt is often heard during program lessons as students are encouraged to record observations, questions and feelings in their journals. Picture-making and poetry writing are two other methods of engagement that the students use to express ideas. By the end of the program, students have compiled a comprehensive set of thoughts, reflections, questions and comments that they can review.

The well-used journal is central to the success of the final project, a personal artifact
in the form of a book. Students select a role as a journalist, history detective, filmmaker, etc., through which they can write and reflect upon the totality of their experience in the program.

In addition to selecting a role for their voice, students select a theme for their message. Examples include, “Seeking Justice,” “This I Believe” and “A New Tomorrow for ___.” This project is an opportunity for the student to outline his or her power to make a difference in our world! It should reflect and encapsulate the totality of the program experience, but also help him or her look forward to a life full of informed close-looking and greater understanding!

Tour Slide 5: Making it Happen - A Call to Action

Are you a St. Louis teacher who is interested in involving your class? Are you from outside of St. Louis and are interested in bringing this program to your city? Contact us – we look forward to your involvement in the program!



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