Articles for a Jigsaw Activity in 8th and 10th Grade
By Christy Gill
I found articles relating to the media portrayal of black victims of racial violence versus white perpetrators of mass shooting as well as articles about "missing white women syndrome." I distributed the articles based on student reading levels and other knowledge of each child and they took notes on their different articles. I distributed to the students:
“When the media misrepresents black men, the effects are felt in the real world” by Leigh Donaldson and “When The Media Treat White Suspects And Killers Better Than Black Victims” by Nick Wing
“Race of mass shooters influences how the media cover their crimes, new study shows” published at The Conversation
“Trayvon Martin shooting: Debate over photos escalates” by Dyland Stableford and “Coverage Of Michael Brown Shooting Story Triggers Brilliant #IfTheyGunnedMeDown Hashtag” by Jessica Dickerson
Then, in a jigsaw activity, students met in groups of 4-5 and each student shared information on a different article. Students then reflected on their learning about media representation of various issues.
Students were very engaged in the activity and had many relevant questions related to the content. Many expressed dismay when they learned about photos chosen in coverage of violent crimes and headlines describing assailants and victims of different races. Many students were interested, surprised, and pleased to learn how much the Black Lives Matter movement places emphasis on other aspects of identity and intersectionalism such as LGBTQ+ identities, dis/abilities, and religion.
My students come from a largely middle class demographic and found so much of this content enlightening, challenging, and thought provoking. Even students who were initially resistant found issues of agreement. Overall, this experience facilitated hard and good conversations about familiar yet difficult topics.