|Introducing the Lesson
Studying Chinese Exclusion provides a good opportunity to distinguish between
the terms “prejudice” (which refers to attitudes) and “discrimination” (which
refers to actions) and see how these two ideas are related. In this lesson,
students will examine actions that were taken to discriminate against the
Chinese and exclude them from American society. The local and state ordinances
that students look at in the first activity are all examples of discrimination
that grew out of the prejudice discussed in the previous lesson.
Discuss the terms “prejudice” and “discrimination” with
the class and come up with a class definition for each term. Ask for contemporary
examples of prejudice and discrimination against groups in society to make
sure students understand these terms. Ask if students can give examples
of prejudice towards the Chinese in 19th century America.
In addition to the activities designed for students, there are two resources
provided that could be used as additional or background information by
the students in the lesson. “Milestones in U.S. Immigration Policy” briefly
outlines immigration policy that affected Asian immigrants and “Legislation
Affecting Rights of Chinese Immigrants” references specific, mainly
state, statutes affecting Asian immigrants.