Rivkah Nessim and Sarit Katinka
This activity is similar to Philosophical Chairs. The students stand next to sayings posted around the room, that reflect most closely who they consider themselves to be, and follow up by discussing their reasoning and motives with each other.
The students learn the skill of Distinguishing Different Perspectives. They learn to Understand Motives (both HOTS taught in the English literature curriculum) and learn to think more rationally and mindfully about the way they see themselves and others, and the way others may see them.
The objective is also to enable them to learn to accept the fact that others (people not in their ‘in-group’) have valid views of their own, and to challenge them to examine whether their interests can be reconciled and if so how.
Lead-in / Preparation
Different sayings or headings should be printed in large black font and posted around the room.
Estimated Class-Time Required
Description of Activities
This activity is for a mixed Jewish and Arab group of students. The sayings that the students have to agree with are related to their national identity.
The students are asked to choose a saying that fits their personal beliefs or sense of identity. The sayings are posted around the room, and the students are asked to stand next to the one they have chosen. If there are groups next to certain sayings, each one in the group must explain to the others his reasons for choosing it. Then, each group is asked to explain to the whole class why they chose their saying as a group.
The final stage is a group discussion led by the facilitator about their thoughts such as if they for example, don’t consider themselves Israelis, what are their reasons for living here, what are their national ambitions; what are the possible implications of living in a country but not considering yourself a citizen of that country; what are the factors involved in establishing your identity – political, emotional, cultural for instance; is there a possible solution to one’s feeling of belonging? How many different groups can each student feel they belong to, and what are the characteristics of each one?
What is the difference in interests of each group, and how can they be reconciled with each other?
Key Vocabulary / Phrases
Interests, culture, identity crisis, rationale, tradition, people groups, out group/in group, Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish, Moslem.
- I AM ISRAELI
- I AM PALESTINIAN.
- I AM JEWISH.
- I AM MOSLEM.
- I AM AN ISRAELI JEW.
- I AM A JEWISH ISRAELI.
- I AM AN ISRAELI MOSLEM.
- I AM A MOSLEM ISRAELI.
- I AM A MOSLEM PALESTINIAN.
- I AM AN ARAB ISRAELI.
The group discussion led by the facilitator can enable students to reflect on the activity and consolidate their learnings.
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