National Stereotypes Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson will help your students understand national stereotypes. Students will watch a video lesson, work collaboratively to create an anti-prejudice advertisement and test their knowledge with a short quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain the function of stereotypes.
  • Describe theories about how prejudices are formed.
  • Formulate a plan for standing against prejudice and discrimination.


This lesson will take 45 - 90 minutes.

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.


  • cognitive schemas
  • discrimination
  • motivational theory
  • personality theory
  • prejudice
  • social identity
  • social learning
  • stereotype


  • To activate prior knowledge, have students create a five minute quick write about an experience they have had in which their own assumptions and stereotypes proved to be false.
  • Watch the video lesson What is a Stereotype? - Definition, Function & Formation as a class. Pause at 0:31 and discuss:
    • What are cognitive schemas?
    • Why do you think we use cognitive schemas?
  • Continue watching the 'Function of Stereotypes' section of the video. Pause at 2:39. Ask the following questions:
    • According to evolutionary psychologists, what are the advantages to forming stereotypes? Do you agree? Why?
    • Describe the differences in the way we think about people in the group with which we identify socially as compared to other groups.
    • What are the disadvantages of reducing people to stereotypes?
  • Watch the remainder of the video with the class, then discuss:
    • What affect does social learning play on our own prejudices? Provide an example from a book that you have read.
    • Make a text-to-world connection that proves motivational theory.
    • What is personality theory? Think of an example from your own life in which you have made stereotypical assumptions based on your upbringing.
  • Use the lesson's printable worksheet to check for understanding.

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Materials needed: computer/internet/printer

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