Learning Activity 2: ‘Group Cohesion and Group Conflict’


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Learning Activity 2: ‘Group Cohesion and Group Conflict’

Activity: What are the effects of group conflict and group cohesion on individuals, groups and communities?

Time: 225 minutes (3 days)

Description: Through watching clips from Toy Story 3, students will understand the meanings of group cohesion and group conflict, as well as identify and analyze how group conflict and cohesion influence individuals to conform or resist, causing internal tensions within the individual, groups and communities. By the end of the lesson, students will be able to analyze groups from psychological, anthropological and sociological perspectives.

This lesson will focus on inquiry-based learning as an instructional method, which will assist students in building the skills to (perhaps interview and) analyze their chosen groups for the culminating activity. Through the practice of interviewing and collecting information from their peers, students will be prepared to ask useful questions (if interviewing a real group) or seek effective answers (if looking at groups in movie or television show). Teacher-led discussion of discrimination against Ken in Toy Story 3 will train students to identify and address social justice issues that rise within groups. Journal entry homework will ensure feedback and guidance for student success and Narrative Report task will help students practice for the final report required in the culminating activity.

Strand(s) and Expectations

Strand(s): Social Organization

Overall Expectations:

-demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics of groups in Canadian society as identified by anthropology, psychology and sociology

-analyse the psychological impact of group cohesion and group conflict on individuals, groups, and communities
Specific Expectations:

-identify and compare anthropological, psychological, and sociological perspectives on conflict among individuals, groups, and communities

-analyse anthropological, psychological, and sociological perspectives on group cohesion

-demonstrate an understanding of discrimination and exclusion in social relationships, from the perspectives of anthropology, psychology, and sociology

Essential Questions:

  1. What are ‘group cohesion’ and ‘group conflict’?

  2. How do group conflict and group cohesion impact individuals, groups and communities psychologically?

  3. How can we look at conflict among individuals, groups and communities through psychological, anthropological and sociological perspectives?

  4. What role does discrimination play in causing exclusion within and without groups?

Planning Notes

  • I will have prepared the portions of the movie I would like to share with the class each day

  • TV/DVD player will be booked

  • Handouts (organizers, exit tickets, etc.) will be photocopied and ready

  • Mini-Lectures will be prepared and ready, along with overhead projector

  • Corners will be set up for Day 1; Character Stations will be set up for Day 2

  • Classroom tables will be set up in pods of 4 for group activities; however, students may be required to and are welcome to move around when watching the video

Prior Knowledge Required

  • What are social groups, including psychological, sociological and anthropological theories and views? (this will be taught in prior lessons)

  • How do social scientists study groups? (this will be taught in prior lessons)

  • Listening, critical thinking and writing skills

Teaching/Learning Strategies

  • Day 1: Corners, Mini Lecture, Character Reflection Homework

  • Day 2: Think/Pair/Share, Character Stations, Exit Ticket

  • Day 2: Give One, Get One, Mini-Lecture, Inquiry- “Sandwich” Planner, Mini Essay homework


  • Study skills (notetaking—students will have to take notes from presentation/lecture; they will also take notes during their narrative-sharing with partner)

  • Critical Thinking skills (students will apply their prior and new knowledge to real life situations and to social science perspectives—this skill is needed in order to analyze chosen group for CA)

  • Communication skills (students will be asked to orally present their findings to the class; they will be asked to write a report based on their narrative-sharing with partner, connecting to social science lenses—these skills will prepare them for oral presentation and written report for CA)
  • Interpersonal/group skills (students will share experiences and ideas with peers on a number of occasions throughout the lessons; they will interview and listen to a peer’s experience with exclusion/discrimination; they will also work in groups to analyze a character from Toy Story 3—these skills will be required for CA, as students will work in groups of 3)


Minds On

10 mins

Assessment as/for/of Learning strategies and tools used


--Each corner of the room will have a number 1-4, 1 being “least likely” and 4 being “very likely”. Students will be asked to respond to statements, by moving to the most appropriate station, based on interests, such as “I love playing sports.”

--They will be asked to notice which classmates they have a lot in common with and think about whether they would most likely hang out with those classmates: review common interests and values, etc.

AasL/AforL: reviewing what makes groups


60 mins

Part 1: (25 mins)—Presentation/Lecture:

  • In-Group/Out-Group

  • Psychological, Anthropological and Sociological perspectives on Group Conflict and Cohesion

(adapted from Images of Society textbook, pgs 270-71, 289-91)

*see appendix 1

Part 2: (27 mins)—Toy Story 3

--Class will watch a long clip of Toy Story 3

--Students will identify groups, cohesion and conflict factors in handout provided; handout will guide them as they watch movie *see appendix 2

Part 3: (8 mins)—Debrief

--Debrief ideas from movies, based on groups


5 mins (to explain homework)

Homework: Journals

--write a brief paragraph in response to the following: Decide which character would mostly likely be part of your “in-group”. Why? Which character would you most likely be in conflict with and why?


AasL/AfL: Reflection/checking for understanding


Minds On

15 mins

Assessment as/for/of Learning strategies and tools used


Reflect on homework from previous night; pair up with a person at table and share ideas

AforL/AasL: Reflection/checking for understanding


53 mins

Part 1: (25 mins)—“Character Stations”

--Class will engage in ‘Character Stations’ activity: There will be five stations; each station will have a character that the students will analyze (possibly Woody, Buzz, Ken, Barbie and any other character of choice)

--Students will be numbered from 1-5 and go to the station to which their number corresponds

--Groups will identify what group(s) the character is part of and reasons for cohesion; they will also brainstorm conflict that may be emerging and identify how it/they relate to EITHER a psychological, anthropological or sociological view (definitions will be provided on board or overhead)

--Each group will share their findings to the rest of the class

Part 2: (28 mins): Toy Story 3

--Students will watch two short clips (23 mins), this time with a keener eye towards feelings of exclusion

--Debrief some main ideas from the clips

AasL/AforL: students will be able to identify conflict and cohesion and connect to social science concepts; cooperative learning


7 mins

Exit Ticket: Discrimination

*see appendix 3


AforL: diagnostic to see whether students are able to identify exclusion/discrimination


Minds On

10 mins

Assessment as/for/of Learning strategies and tools used

Give One, Get One

--Students will be prompted to write down one time they (or someone they know) felt excluded and how they felt

--They will then get out of their seats and find two different to share their experience with and collect from the others’ experiences

--Debrief: on board, list the reasons for student feelings of discrimination (eg: race, gender, etc.) * This might take place during the Mini-Lecture



58 mins

Part 1: (10 mins)—Presentation/Mini-Lecture:

  • Conflict Resulting from Inequality (adapted from Images of Society textbook, pg 292)

  • Inquiry as a Learning Method, introduce activity for the day

*see appendix 4

Part 2: (15 mins)—Discrimination in Toy Story 3

--Debrief Movie: As a class, we will brainstorm which character(s) face discrimination in the movie. Using one character as an example (most likely Ken), we will discuss how this affects Ken psychologically, and how it plays into sociological and anthropological issues

--What kinds of questions would we ask Ken to help us understand his situation in psychological, sociological and/or anthropological perspectives? Eg: What were the tensions in Ken’s mind before releasing Barbie from “jail”? What did Ken do or avoid doing in order to remain as an accepted member of his group? Would you consider Ken part of the “conflict perspective” or the “functionalist perspective”; why?

Part 3: (28 mins)—Sharing and Collecting:

--Students will pair up and take turns acting as the social science inquiry-based learner, while the other is interviewed

--Each student will share an experience (could be a personal one or one they’ve heard about from someone else) about facing discrimination and the aftermath of it, answering the partner’s questions in as much detail as possible

--Each student will have about 14 mins to share his/her narrative, while the partner takes notes

--In “Sandwich” planner worksheet, students will jot down their notes on their partner’s narrative. They will be required to think critically about their partner’s story and connect it to a psychological, as well as, EITHER a sociological or an anthropological view. They must also provide a hypothetical solution to the issue faced by their partners; ie: how they would tackle the situation if it were to recur.

*see appendix 5

AasL/AforL: diagnosing Ken’s group membership

AasL: sharing and reflecting on partner’s narratives


7 mins

Homework: Narrative Report

--Homework: complete their thoughts on the analysis of their partner’s narratives of discrimination. Using the “Sandwich” planner to guide them, they will write a short report and bring it back to class the next day for feedback. Checklist will be provided to help them succeed in responding to all aims of the task.

*see appendix 6


AofL: students will be able to connect partner’s experience to psychological, sociological and anthropological concepts


  • Needs of ELL students kept in mind and support provided as necessary

  • Use English subtitles during movie clips for students with hearing impairment

  • Students with LD will be paired up with students stronger in the specific area of learning

  • Ensure students understand the goals and expectations of each task

  • Accommodations made for students with visual and mobility disabilities

Resources (APA Citation)

  • Lasseter, John, Anderson, Darla K. & Unkrich, Lee. 18 Jun 2010. Toy Story 3 [Motion Picture]. United States of America: Walt Disney Pictures & Pixar Animation Studios.

  • Hawkes, C., Gerrard, D., Holland, D., Hawes, R., Keirstead, M., & Watt, J. (2001). Images of society: Introduction to anthropology, psychology, and sociology. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson.


  • Appendix 1: Mini Lecture-Day 1

  • Appendix 2: Graphic Organizer-Groups

  • Appendix 3: Exit Ticket-Discrimination

  • Appendix 4: Mini Lecture-Day 3

  • Appendix 5: Graphic Organizer-Sandwich

  • Appendix 6: Checklist: Narrative Report


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