Unity in Diversity
Stephanie Lawson / Irini Douladellis

ESL Activities: 11.A Mixed Bag of Apples

Theme: Culture, language and identity - Stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination

Key Learning Area: English

Age Group: Primary Upper (10-12) - Secondary Lower (13-14)

Resource Type: Handouts

Stimulus Name: Difference

Betty and Dan

Students recognise that individuals and groups have both common and different attributes and that each individual may be a member of many different groups. Students recognise, appreciate and value individual differences and perspectives.

This lesson is an adaptation for beginning and intermediate level ESL students of the activity I am, you are, we are... In this lesson students will work together and explore similarities, differences and stereotypes of apples. They will relate their discussion to different people in Australian society and conclude that there are similarities and differences amongst people living in a multicultural society.

Worksheets to download
Apple outline (PDF)

Resources Needed

Bag of apples; enough for each pair of students to have one between them, include at least 3 varieties.

Suggested Activities
Apple outline for stereotypes

1. Introduce students to the terms 'similar' and 'different'.

2. Ask each pair to select an apple from the bag. Give the students time to examine their apple.

3. Initiate activity by introducing an apple to the class with a narrative that focuses on its physical characteristics e.g. "It has this bump because it was dropped on the way to the shop."

4. Ask each pair to introduce their apple in a similar way to the rest of the class.

5. As a class, brainstorm stereotypes about apples (red, shiny, smooth-skin, sweet, fall from trees etc). Using downloaded master of apple, write a stereotype on each master and display.

6. Identify ways in which all the apples in the class are similar. Record similarities on a chart.

7. Identify differences between all the apples in the class and record these differences on the above-mentioned chart.

8. Ask students whether they agree with the statement that 'all apples are the same'. Discuss.

9. Refer to chart of similarities and elicit from students if any of these similarities match the displayed stereotypes.

10. Suggest to the class that the apples are like people in Australia, for example, they are different, but in many ways similar. Some differences between people are only skin-deep. There are lots of similarities among people in Australian society.

11. Note: apples can be substituted for different varieties of potatoes, or different socks etc. It's up to you!

Additional Strategies

1. Ask students to think of situations when they like to appear the same as others, and situations where they like to appear different.

2. Writing task- Students choose a friend to write about. Using handout (apple master with similarities and differences), write a list of similarities and differences between self and friend. Display.

Related Resources

Additional activities related to stereotypes:
Shiman David and McLean Barbara ,1991, The Prejudice Book-
Activities for the Classroom,
The Alfred Dreyfus Anti-Defamation Unit of B'nai B'rith

ESL Activities 1: My Friends and Peers
ESL Activitie
s 2: My Feelings About Myself
ESL Activities 3: Cultural heritage
ESL Activities 4: Different culture
ESL Activities 5: Iceberg
ESL Activities 6: Pride and Prejudice
ESL Activities 7: What is Beauty?
ESL Activities 8: Who Am I?
ESL Activities 9: Journeys From Afar
ESL Activities 10: Our Paths to Australia

ESL Activities 12: Victims of Culture

Copyright Acknowledgement
Adapted by teachers at Beverly Hills Intensive English Centre, NSW
fromThe Prejudice Book- Activities for the Classroom
David Shiman and Barbara McLean
Date: 14 September 2004