Deconstructing Normal

For the final presentation of our fifth grade lesson series, we attempted to incorporate the tools and foundation in the conversation and thought process that we’d begun to explore with our young peers in the previous lessons. To do this we selected a word to deconstruct both in social and emotional contexts:“Normal”.

What does it mean to be “Normal”? With this lesson we want to bring to the forefront of the conversation two main points; one being that there is no such thing as normal and the second being society and powerful branches of media and consumer-based corporations play a very large part in creating boxes for people to fit their identities into. 

We want students to leave with these two points in mind, and begin to further contemplate concepts ranging from vocabulary’s role in societal hierarchies to systemic oppression on every level.
In order to begin to inspire these processes, we brought in questions based on stereotypes, reaction to exclusion from mainstream media (particularly for people of color), and conversation topics on intersectionality as well as shared/unique parts of our identities not generally connected directly to privilege or lack thereof. 

Our concluding notes for this lesson are centered around celebrating diversity and understanding the importance of difference in society. We also want students to feel as though they can notice that many in the class around them have hopefully shared a little bit about their own unique lives, struggles, and gifts.