Outsider Exercise Teacher Instructions
Begin the exercise by modelling different types of personal experiences
you have had. For instance, I had an experience travelling to a foreign
country, learning to ride a bike, going to school, etc. Then talk about a
particular type of experience you've had -- one time when you felt like
an outsider. After you describe this experience, brainstorm with your
class about why you might have felt like an outsider in this situation.
Generally what will come up will be the idea of needing to know the
people. This should then lead to a discussion of what you need to
know about the people. Students will reply with things like names,
where they are from, what they like to do, etc. Lead the conversation
in this fashion until it's narrowed to the idea of needing to know the
customs/culture of the people in order to connect with them. Then
ask what different parts make up culture. Language should be
mentioned, if not, be sure to bring it up. Then briefly discuss how
the lack of knowledge about the language of the community you
felt outside of contributed to your inability to connect with the community.
After you have modelled one type of outsider experience with them,
have the students freewrite for several minutes about their own outsider
experience. Where did it occur? What did they feel during the experience?
Why do they think they felt like outsiders? Did they ever become insiders?
What changed? Students should be sure to describe their experience using detail.
The results of this exercise should be that the students identify at least one
experience that might be useful for their Literacy Essay.