Prejudice and Perspective – letters to the editor

In recent classes, we have been broadening our focus on prejudice and stereotypes from the novel (The Outsiders) to the real world. Our aims are to:

  • develop an open-mind that is capable of considering opposing viewpoints
  • learn how to express these ideas in a real world setting (opinion pieces / letters to the editor).

Here is our brainstorm of possible topics to investigate. Students will search for news articles about one of these topics. We will then practise the ‘Step Inside’ routine in order to consider multiple perspectives on the story.


We are also learning about the genre features of the ‘letter to the editor’ text type. Our initial brainstorm about features of this text type is summarised below. We then compared what we thought we already knew with some example letters.


Students will develop two letters in response to a news story, writing sensitively from two different perspectives.





Stereotypes of gangs (intro to The Outsiders)

Year 8 has just kicked off our third unit, which focuses on stereotypes, prejudice, and point of view. We started by brainstorming some ideas that came to mind when we thought about the ‘stereotypical gang’ member. We followed this up by listening to a podcast about Gangs at Harper High in Chicago in order to expand our understanding about what gangs are like. Original lesson and resources are here. Students showed the development of their thinking using the ‘I used to think… Now I think…’ strategy. Some of these ideas are recorded in the comments below.