ARTICLE

Mix It Up Year Round: Break Down the Walls of Intolerance

Mix It Up at Lunch Day is right around the corner. It's time for you and your students to start putting all you've learned into action!

What forces drive us apart and how we can work to bring everyone together?

You and your students have put in the time and the tough conversations to come to an understanding of the forces that drive us apart—and how we can work to bring everyone together.

Now, in the final weeks leading up to Mix It Up at Lunch Day, it’s time to start putting that knowledge into action!

 

Breaking Down the Walls of Intolerance

1. For this activity, prepare ahead of time 4” x 9’’ rectangular red “bricks” of construction paper. Create one brick for each of your students.

2. Ask students to recall a time they felt bullied, teased or left out—or when they witnessed such treatment directed toward another person.

3. Once students have reflected, distribute a red “brick” and a black marker to each student and allow them to write the act of intolerance down on the brick. Younger students can draw a picture reflecting their experience or dictate to the teacher what should be written.

4. Create a Wall of Intolerance by displaying all the paper bricks together in your classroom or in the hallway.

5. Finally, have students tear a brick—other than their own—from the Wall of Intolerance and take it to their seat. Encourage students to read with their peers the issue written or drawn on the brick and discuss ways to eliminate that specific problem from their school culture.

 

Go Deeper

Have students write journal entries related to the intolerance documented on the Wall of Intolerance and strategize about how they can take a stand against intolerant behavior.

Alternately, have students take a picture of the Wall of Intolerance and write letters to an authority figure, such as a congressional leader. Letters should describe the injustices students have witnessed, what they plan to do about it and how the authority figure can help.

Mix It Up at Lunch Day is getting close, but we want you to spend your time and energy on the big conversations students need to have about diversity and inclusion. That’s why we’ve put together lots of ready-to-use Mix It Up at Lunch Day resources! Download a couple, and event planning will be a breeze.