White Privilege

Below is a video, I created with my grade eight class at Lumsden Elementary School.  The students explored white privilege by studying Peggy McIntosh’s article, “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” and listening to the song, “White Privilege” by Macklemore.  The students were asked to explain what white privilege is by writing an example on their puzzle piece.  They were given the following writing prompts to help them out:

  • White Privilege is…
  • I have White Privilege because…

This project was completed in Arts Education and the students met Outcome CR 8.2 – investigate and identify ways that today’s arts expressions often reflect concern for social issues.  However, this lesson is cross-curricular because it could be used in Health Education and even English Language Arts. Grade eight focuses on social responsibility, efficacy, and creating a better world. The students met this outcome by analyzing Macklemore’s lyrics and recognizing why it is important to be aware of their own privilege.

As with teaching any social justice issue, there were areas of discomfort during this lesson.  Not all of the student’s fully understood the concept of white privilege, which was evident in their puzzle pieces.  Some students had trouble differentiating between privilege and misconceptions/stereotypes.  After creating the video, I had another class discussion to unpack the concept of white privilege one last time.

Check out the white privilege video the grade eight class at LES made below:





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