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Its all about the dress

Classroom ideas.
Today I woke up to find the world shaken by the debate about a picture of a
dress that circulated the Internet. While many stated the dress is black and
blue, others (me included) were absolutely sure it was white and gold.
Immediately, I decided that it would make a great idea for a lesson plan or
at least a topic for a class debate. The potential is immensurable. Some of
the ideas that occurred to me included:

Using the picture in class to show how many of my students would

stand on which side, and to foster tolerance and respect.
Furthermore, many students who do not get along well might find out
that they ended up in the same team.
Using the whole situation as a trigger for a short story. Being a
Composition teacher whose favourite subject isnt precise this one,
my challenge is to make the burden of having to build up a short
story out of thin air easier for my students. Thus, I am determined to
help them spot stories in everyday life and emerging (and apparently
shallow) debates that circulate the Internet.

This is what I did.

I gave my students one slit of paper each and told them to look at the
picture of the dress (see below) and to write down in complete silence and
secrecy what colour the dress was. I didnt give them any hint as to what
colours were being debated. I collected the slits in bag and read them aloud
to find out what colours they could see. Some kids were abashed to see that
their friends saw the dress in a completely different way! And I was utterly
taken aback when I found out that a whole class saw the dress black and
blue and only I saw it white and gold!
I divided the class into two groups according to the results of the poll. Then I
asked them how they felt about the opposing group. I allowed them to
express whatever feeling they came up with and then what they would do in
order to convince the other group to see the dress the colours they did.
Again, I accepted all ideas.
After exploring the students ideas and debating about their possible
outcomes, I raised awareness about the fact that they had actually made up
a story about a current issue and out of thin air. They added this idea to the
section labeled Ideas for a short story in their notebooks - they are
supposed to carry one with them at all times because you never know when
a great idea may strike you!

Later on, we discussed the reason why they perceived the colours
differently, and I guided them to reflect upon the concepts of tolerance,
respect, and acceptance.