Summary: An activity to learn about stereotypes and how they can affect other people.
- Name tags
- It’s important that you play this game once you know the group well, and leave lots of time for debrief and reflection.
- Prepare name tags in advance with both good and bad “labels” or stereotypes. Examples include teacher’s pet, popular, nerd, class clown, athlete, rich, bully, etc.
- Begin by talking about the different labels people carry with them, and the positive and/or negative message these labels can send.
- Give each player a label by sticking a name tag to his or her back, or by having them hold the name tag to their forehead.
- Once everyone has a name tag, the group should mingle and treat each other according to the labels they’ve been given. Players should try to figure out what label they have been given based on how they’re being treated.
- You may want to remind players that the way they are being treated in the game is not personal, and everyone is playing a role.
- Give the group a couple minutes to mingle before gathering them in a circle to talk about the game and to guess what their labels were. When everyone has had a chance to guess, have them take their labels off and see if they were correct.
- What’s a stereotype? How are stereotypes related to this game?
- How did it feel to have others treat you according to your label? Did some labels get treated better than others?
- Are labels helpful or hurtful?
- Do you have to fit into one label? Why or why not?
Activity Length: Medium (15-30 minutes)
Energy Level: Low
Grade Level: 4th, 5th, 6th & Up
Group Size: Large (10+), Medium (5-9)