The kids enjoyed it.
We did a simulation activity to help kids understand segregation and discrimination. The idea was shared on our county website so I cannot take credit for it.
I put out new markers and crayons, fresh paper, and wrinkled, nasty paper from the recycle bin with broken crayons. Before we started the activity I told students that the only rule for the activity we were about to do was they could not ONLY use what I gave them (no sharing or getting materials elsewhere in the room). I asked students to draw a picture of their favorite thing to do after school. I secretly selected one group of students (students wearing red or bright pink shirts) to get new crayons and fresh paper. I was careful to make sure the group encompassed all of minorities just to cover myself (you never know). The rest of the class got 4 random, broken crayons and the wrinkled paper. Then I put out peppermints that I give out when kids have a tummy ache and then a mixed bag of Willy Wonka candy with Twizzlers, Gobstoppers, Lemonheads, etc. The kids in red could choose any candy they wanted. The rest of the kids only got 1 red peppermint. I made sure the kids did NOT eat the candy when they picked it out.
Can you believe not one child complained or grumbled ?!?! I about fell over!! We have PREACHED this year "You get what you get and you don't pitch a fit!" and our kiddos have taken it to heart! Sweet things! I then called the kids to the carpet and asked the more outspoken ones to talk about how they felt. I explain what I was up to and why and how it related to segregation and discrimination Then they all got to pick out 1 piece of candy of their choice since they were good sports- and got to eat it then too!
The light started to spark but the concept was still just too big for my kids. I really feel blessed that this is a concept that is foreign to most of my students- I would hate the alternative. My co-teacher shared this fantastic idea and they GOT it (well, as much as an 8 year old can get such a heavy, controversial topic).
Have you seen the video or read the book The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss? It is a great, child friendly example of segregation and discrimination ("They had no stars upon 'thars!").
We watched it and then related it to the definitions for segregation and discrimination. It was really the perfect,simple example!