Beacon Lesson Plan Library

People Experts

Laurel Withee
Bay District Schools


Students will respond to pictures, providing observations and drawing conclusions about the people they see. Afterwards, they will revisit their judgments, identify a specific source for each one, and examine common influences on perceptions.


The student understands ways judgements about cultural characteristics and degree of technological development influence perception of places and regions (for example, the designation of `third-world country`).


-Obtain pictures of people from foreign lands in various settings and situations (use a book or magazine). Five pictures are needed, and it's best if they do not have captions or related text.
-Affix pictures to chart paper or poster board for quick group display.
-Put a number on the front of each picture where it can be seen by students.
-Arrange desks so that the class can examine the pictures.
-Make student copies of Expert Thoughts chart (see attached file).
-Make student copies of How Do I Know worksheet (see attached file).
-Make student copies of What Makes Me Think So worksheet (see attached file).
-Student writing utensils
-Classroom board and marker


1. Locate the picture book or pictures you will use. Select the five pictures from the book.
2. If using magazine pictures, mount them on poster board or chart paper.
3. Write numbers (1 to 5) on each picture, large enough for students to see from their seats.
4. Download Expert Thoughts, How Do I Know?, and What Makes Me Think So worksheets from the Attached Files and make copies for all students.
5. Arrange room/student desks so that each student can see the pictures you will show.


1. The teacher will announce that all the “people” in the room should raise their hands.

2. The teacher will comment, "Since we have a room full of 'people,' those students who consider themselves 'people experts,' please raise their hands."

3. The teacher will congratulate them, and say, "I'd like to find out how much you really know about people."

4. The teacher will distribute the Expert Thoughts chart and the worksheet entitled How Do I Know? to each student. (See attached file.)

5. The teacher will explain that they will be looking at some pictures. Each picture will have a number (1 - 5), and they will be working with both worksheets as each picture is shown. The teacher will show the pictures to the class one at a time without reading any text that might appear.

6. The teacher will instruct them to answer the questions in the far left column on the Expert Thoughts worksheet as they examine each picture. Then they must think about their answers to What I Know and answer the question How Do I Know on that worksheet. (See attached file.) The teacher will circulate as students write to make sure they are not discussing the pictures, but offer NO suggestions or feedback (verbal or non-verbal.)

7. The teacher will show the pictures individually, and when all students have finished responding to the fifth picture, the teacher will conduct a short class discussion where students share their responses from both pages. The teacher will discourage judgmental statements during the discussion.

8. The teacher will now distribute the worksheet entitled What Makes Me Think So to each student and go over what each statement means. (See attached file.)

9. The teacher will explain that the next step is to find out how many students' responses fall into each statement category.

10.The teacher will ask students to look at their responses on the How Do I Know? worksheet. Ask them to count how many of their responses fall into each of the categories shown, and record the totals on the What Makes Me Think So worksheet.

11. The teacher will write each statement from the worksheet on the board. The teacher and class will look at each category one-at-a-time with the teacher telling the students to raise their hands and hold up the number of fingers that represent their total number of responses in each category (ex: four fingers=four total responses). Record the numbers on the board, and do -collective mental math to find the sum in each category.

12. Teacher will assess the activity using the assessment rubric. (See attached file.)


Students will have drawn conclusions about people based on superficial observations.
They will have identified sources that have led them to those conclusions.
Individually and as a class, they will have looked at four categories of influence on their judgments and perceptions. (See Rubric in attached files.)


A bar graph can be formulated to display class information.
Students can look through the newspaper, magazines, and television advertisements to find specific advertisements or articles that have the appearance of influencing perceptions about people.
The teacher will facilitate as the class examines the totals and discusses where our ideas about people come from.
This lesson also addresses –The student understands how the behavior of family members and peers affects interpersonal communication.
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