breaking the ice

lessons and materials breaking the ice student contributions share your ideas more resources contact us home

Need some help getting started on one of the topics? Here are some ideas:

Brainstorming on concepts of tolerance: Start by asking students why the US has historically attracted so many immigrants. Use their knowledge of US history to elicit ideas of freedom and tolerance. ESL version Relevant aphorisms or quotations: Write a few on the board that tie in with the content or vocabulary unit being covered. Have students discuss them in groups to get the conversation started. Here are some examples. Provocative articles: Choose a level-appropriate article from among the many listed on the resources page. Have sudents identify the issues presented in the article.

Current events: Bring in an article on a local or international incident that will engage students and open a discussion on tolerance issues. Guide the students in defining the issues and exploring solutions. Show a movie: Film is a powerful medium that can often give students an understanding of the human condition more clearly than the written word. Here's a short list of films that have been recommended by educators. Student essays: Students identify with other students and respond well to their experiences and viewpoints. Bring in a student essay from another class or share one of the examples on the Student Contributions page on this site.

Your students' own experiences: In small groups, have students share stories of occasions when they have suffered discrimination. Ask them to describe how they felt and what they did to protect themselves. Use the ideas they contribute to start a whole-class discussion. A history lesson: Incorporate the idea of tolerance on a personal and institutional level into a history lesson on Civil Rights, the plight of Native Americans, immigration, the women's movement, the ADA, the Gay Rights Movement, etc. Use our website: Tell the students about the Beyond Tolerance website. Project it in the classroom and explain its use by both teachers and students. Discuss the need for this kind of site. Tell them to think about things that they would like to contribute: ideas, topics, and writing samples.