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Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes

A Class Divided: “Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes” Experiment with Jane Elliott’s Third Graders

Read the questions below and then watch the movie. As you are watching, take notes and come prepared next class for Discussion 1. Each group will be assigned random questions to serve as their discussion points.

  1. Did any part of the film surprise or shock you? Why, why not?
  2. How was the exercise that Jane Elliott designed a response to the children’s question, “why would anyone want to murder Martin Luther King?”
  3. What kind of privileges did Elliott create for her third-graders? What kind of privileges exist in the adult world for certain groups of people based on dimensions of diversity like gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, etc.?
  4. What features did Elliott ascribe to the superior and inferior groups and how did those characteristics reflect stereotypes about those with privilege and those without (in the context of the United States, whites versus blacks)
  5. What did the children’s body language indicate about the impact of discrimination?
  6. How did the negative and positive labels placed on a group become self-fulfilling prophecies?
  7. How does the cartoon below relate to the findings of the experiment?
  8. Do you think children’s responses to the exercise would be different in a 3rd grade classroom today in 2018 versus in 1968? Why or why not?



Each group member will be evaluated based on the criteria below.


5 = excellent/very good

4 = good

3 = needs improvement

2 = very weak

1 = unsatisfactory


Contributes to the discussion by offering quality ideas and asking appropriate questions on a regular basis 5        4        3      2     1


Actively engages others in the discussions by inviting their comments 5        4        3      2     1


Constructively challenges and evaluates the accuracy and relevance of statements made 5        4        3      2     1


Effectively identifies and summarizes main points 5        4        3      2     1
Total __/20


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