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C4 LESSON PLAN TITLE:

EXPLORING MIXED RACE NARRATIVES

Guiding Question:

1. How do we deconstruct and break down what it means to be mixed race?


2. Are mixed race narratives represented within graphic novels?
Purpose/Aim:

1. Deconstruct mixed race identity and understand how it intersects with graphic literature.
2. Understand how identity is fluid, rather than stagnant
3. Practice how to be critical of are and literature; learning how to read the world around
you

Materials:

Binder paper
Pencil
Pens

Main Concepts:

CRITICAL Definition and Rationale for choosing this word, phrase, or

VOCABULARY concept

Comes from word “half” in Hawaii. Originally a word created by


Hapa(optional) American settler teachers to use as a word for half when talking
about math. The main use of the word over time became to
describe those who are half caucasian and half hawaiian.
Currently the term is used to describe anyone who identifies as
mixed.
Mixed Race Identity Biracial - one who identifies with two races
Multiracial/Mixed Race - one who identifies with two or more
races
Multiethnic - one who identifies with two or more ethnicities
Mixed Heritage - overarching term for a person of mixed descent

Race Race​ refers to groups of people who have differences and


similarities in biological traits deemed by society to be ​socially
significant​, meaning that people treat other people differently
because of them. For instance, while differences and similarities in
eye color have not been treated as socially significant, differences
and similarities in skin color have.

Critical critical consciousness as a sociopolitical educative tool that


Consciousness engages learners in questioning the nature of their historical and
social situation, which Freire addressed as "reading the world".
(Paulo Freire, 1972) Understanding the world around you.

Pre-requisites: What are some of the skills and prior knowledge that students need to have to

fully participate in this lesson plan?

Students should have and idea on the concepts of race, and intersectionality. This lesson plan is
directed to Jr and Sr. college students. The class has to be comfortable with each other and have
built trust within the space in order to be effective.

PART 1: CULTURAL ENERGIZER

How will you engage the students? This energizer contributes to setting the “culture” of the

classroom while also connecting the main concepts of lesson plan to the students prior

experiences/knowledge/interests.

Title: What are you?

STEP DESCRIPTION TIME


Step 1 Before you being, let students know they may feel
uncomfortable with this exercise and if they do, feel free to step
out of the room or to the side.

Step 2 Students take out binder paper and a pencil. Students take their 1 min
paper laying it down landscape and fold it in three, horizontally
to where it has three sections. By the end the picture should look
as seen below.

Step 3 Have students write each of these questions within each column. 1 min
1. What is your response when someone asks you this
question
2. how do these words make you feel when you hear it?
3. How do you feel the longer you hear it?

Step 4 For three whole minutes the class will be writing silently. The 3 min
facilitator during the two minutes will be repeating the phrase
“What are you” out loud. This exercise may seem short but feels
longer when practiced.

Step 5 While the facilitator is repeating this phrase the students will be
answering the questions within each column.

Step 6 Ask if any students want to share what they wrote. 1- 4 min

Step 7 Explain why the cultural energizer

The purpose of the energizer it to reflect of the use of words that


are used. It is important within literature, art, and it is important
in life. How one interprets words may affect them internally,
even without that being the intention of the one who is speaking
or writing. Sometimes this can be good, but other times it can be
harmful. (For the graphic literature class, the purpose is to be
aware of words that are being used within the classroom space,
as well as their graphic novel projects. Understanding how to
deconstruct words within literature)

PART 2: CRITICAL CONCEPTS

Title of Lecture or Keynote/PPT Presentation:

STEP DESCRIPTION TIME

Step 1 What are you? 10 min


As an example the phrase “what are you”, which was used in
the energizer are words that may people of mixed race heritage
may experience. Many ask it because they are interested in
ones racial background or ethnic identity. At first it may feel
like a harmless question of interest or curiosity. But over time it
become dehumanizing because of the word “what” may imply
that your not a “normal person.”
It is important to be mindful of the words you use, and there are
ways to ask it that is more conscious of the others feelings
toward the question. For example asking the question directly
“If you don't mind me asking, ethnically what do you identify
as.”
(I would like to add that it also depends on your relationship
with others, and the purpose of your question. And you have to
be ok and accept whatever answer the person gives you)

Why talk about mixed race? 10 min


It is important when talking about literature because it also
comes with three important concepts. These concepts are also
important when talking about literature and art.

1. Representation
2. Assumption
3. Identity
We are going to be intersecting the concepts of mixed race
identity to popular superheroes and sheroes that you may relate
to.
(This is also a graphic literature class, and I will be relating
concepts to popular graphic novel, heroes and sheroes)

Representation 15 min
multiracial identities are not represented accurately. Out of the
hundreds of mixed race characters there are only twelve
characters that have identified as mixed race. Examples of
multiracial characters are:
Kyle Rayner (Green Lantern)​- Mexican American and Irish
mother
Damian Wayne(Robin)​- Caucasian, Chinese, and Arab
Miles Morales (Spiderman)​- African American, Puerto Rican
Connor Hawke (Green Arrow)​- Korean, Caucasian
There are also no writers who identify as biracial. Looking at
representation, mixed race people are shown less than one
percent within popular graphic literature. This is important
because when moving onto our own work we should think of
how to diversify and represent our own identities. And its not
only focusing on race but it also includes other
intersectionalities such as gender, sex, religion, and how are we
critical of these topics.

Assumption 15 min
There are times when assumptions are made towards people
who identify as mixed. For example assuming one's identity
before they tell you. Examples that I have personally
experienced “so where are you really from?” or “your Indian,
right?”

In contrast, much like people who are mixed race where the
qualities as a person are decided for you by others, the same is
done for heroes and sheroes whose identity gets coopted for
them. Citizens and other characters assume they already know
and understand the intentions of the character. For example
Damian Wayne is conantly to his predecessors as Robin by
everyone including his father (Batman), and not seen as an
individual. Others around him assume that he is no different
from any other Robin, when that is farthest from the truth.
One cannot assume that they already know. In order to
understand a concept, topic, or person it is important to create
dialogue. By assuming and already claiming to know, you
silence and dictate who someone is. This silences are person
before allowing them to speak.

Identity 15 min
Identity is a social construct, meaning it's always changing
Step 2 because it is created by us. Whether you identify as mixed or
not, identity is always being recreated and evolving. Due to this
one cannot quantify identity. Quantifying one's identity is what
happens when asked about their ethnic identity. For example
saying you are half Tongan and half Filipino. Can you really be
half a race? It is important to be critical and understand that
those who are biracial are not “part” of something but “whole”
of different aspects of their identity.

We can think about secret identities in relation to the mixed


race experience. How heroes and sheroes are pulled back and
forth between their secret identity can compare to some who
identify as mixed race.
Much like these heroes and sheroes their identity is much more
than their name, it also intersects with their lifestyle and the
experiences that make them who they are. The most difficult
struggle they face is their identity. Are they crime fighters, or
are they normal citizens like everyone else. Although they have
different parts of their identity, both are still a part of who they
are. They cannot quantify their identity but it is something they
constantly learn how to balance.

Slide/ This is an example of critically critiquing art and culture in 5 min


relevance to one's own life. It is important to look at art and
Step 3 literature and reconstruct it to reflect your own experience. This
way your able to apply it to your own work, but it is important
to also remember and give credit to what you are
deconstructing and remember what you are building off of.
PART 3: COMMUNITY COLLABORATION AND CULTURAL PRODUCTION

How will the students learn the main concepts while also learning to create community in their

classroom and participate in cultural production? ​This may include interactive/multimedia

lectures, activities, group interaction, writing, performing, presenting, project-based work, etc…

Title:

STEP DESCRIPTION TIME

Step 1 Students will break into pairs, one person will be person A and
the other will be Person B

Step 2 Person A will repeat the phrase “who are you?” for three full
minutes. The phrase doesn't need o be repeated too frequently
but enough to keep reminding person B.

Step 3 Person B will answer the question until time is up. Even if you
answer the question, answer it in different ways until the whole
time is used up.

Step 4 Switch Roles and Repeat

Step 5 Explain the closing exercise

PART 4: CONCLUSIVE DIALOGUE/CRITICAL CIRCULAR EXCHANGE

Connection: How is this relevant to students? How is it relevant to the unit? How do you bring
back to the problem statement in the unit purpose?
Assessment: How will the students be assessed?

Evaluation: How will the effectiveness of this lesson plan be evaluated?

_______________________________________________

RESOURCES AND NOTES

● Resources

○ PRI’s the World, 2016

■ https://soundcloud.com/theworld/373-how-the-hawaiian-word-

hapa-came-to-be-used-by-people-of-mixed-heritage

○ NYTimes, April 2, 2008

■ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21H9lA6MLHM

○ https://comicvine.gamespot.com/profile/jointron33/lists/biracial-characters

-in-comics/45948/

○ Ethan Lewis, January 11, 2013

■ http://www.denofgeek.com/us/books-comics/10-people-of-colorhis

panics-in-comics/47861/minorities-in-comics-part-2-of-7-10-peopl

e-of-colorhispanics-in-comics

○ Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Herder and Herder,
1972. Print.

Include Hard or Digital Copies of Background Information, Project Instructions, Tests,

Handouts, Worksheets, and Images.