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Prejudice Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Prejudices can be very common - in fact, everyone has a prejudice in their lifetime. In this lesson, learn the definition of prejudice, identify examples, and learn ways to look beyond prejudices to see the character of others.

Pre-Judgment

Have you ever looked at someone and made a judgment about them without even knowing them? Maybe you decided they looked smart because they wore glasses, or they were rich because they had lots of fancy jewelry. In a way, you pre-judged them, meaning you made a decision about who they were before learning anything about them.

If you did not know who this was, what judgments would you make about him?
brilliant

This pre-judgment is called prejudice. Can you see how the words are similar? That's no accident! Prejudice is an unfair and unreasonable opinion or feeling formed without enough thought or knowledge. Someone might look at the picture of Albert Einstein in this lesson and think he looks like an ordinary person, or even a little strange. In fact, he was an incredibly brilliant scientist and mathematician!

Where Does Prejudice Come From?

You might be thinking that you would never pre-judge someone. However, at some point, everyone has a prejudiced thought about someone else. This is because there are so many influences on our ideas. Prejudice can come from movies, television, or from friends and family members. It is important to stand up to these influences, and see people for who they are inside, not what others may say.

Common Types of Prejudice

While there are different ways that people can have prejudices, there are some that, sadly, are more common than others. Many times, there is gender prejudice. Gender is whether a person is considered a boy or a girl. Sometimes people think that girls are not able to do the same things boys can do. But there are many examples of girls and women who have proved this wrong, and become strong athletes, scientists, and even leaders of nations.

This young girl could grow up to be a star soccer player one day.
soccer ball

Sadly, there was a time in our history when all races did not have equal rights. Even though schools and public places were segregated, or separated, by race many years ago, there are people who have racial prejudices even today. This is where you are judged only by your outward appearance, and not for anything unique about yourself.

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