Make the Shot!

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman

The intermediate curriculum is geared towards equipping students with the skills to engage in dialogue about diversity, racism and discrimination. The lessons aim to:

  • Introduce students to the ideas of racism and discrimination
  • Illustrate the history of racism and how it continues in our world
  • Equip students with skills to create their own action plan to combat racism


  • Wastepaper basket
  • Scrap paper
  • Masking tape


  • Wastepaper basket set up at front of room
  • Line of masking tape one foot away from basket
  • Line of masking tape three feet away from basket
  • Line of masking tape seven feet away from basket


Has anyone ever heard the word privilege? How would you describe it?


Today, we’re going to look at how privilege can impact us. We’re going to play a game of Wastepaper Basketball. There are three shooting lines (A, B, C), with each group getting a series of points for each basket made.


  1. Count off group A, B, C until all students/youth are in groups
  2. Have groups meet in three distinct areas in the room
  3. Share the following: This looks good, but it’s not accurate (need to breakdown groups so most in group B, fewest in group A and remainder in group C - do this arbitrarily). That looks better. Now, I need you to know that the group that gets the highest score is the champion (expect some groans here because the largest group is expected to get the highest score).
  4. Invite Group B up to the front to join you. Line up at the 3 foot line. Inform them that they each get three shots from anywhere behind the line  for every successful basket. Record the number of baskets. Return students to their seats/area.
  5. Repeat exercise with Group C, but from the 7 foot line, and each student only gets 2 shots. Record numbers.
  6. Repeat exercise with Group A. They can even lean in and just drop their baskets. They each have 10 shots.


1. Tally the scores. Now inform class that for every basket, Group A gets 3 points, Group B 2 points and Group C 1 point.

2. Ask the students:

  • How did it feel being in your group?
  • Group C, how did it feel watching Groups A and B? What did you think when you heard that they got more chances to sink the basket and that their baskets were worth more than yours?
  • Group A, how did it feel to be you? Did it seem fair? Did you care that you had such an advantage? At any point did you think you should give any one from Group C a chance from your position?
  • Can you think of ways privilege like this plays out in our daily lives?
  • If you have privilege, what actions can you take to give better opportunities to others? If you don’t have privilege, what can you do?

3. Based on the definition of privilege and what we’ve learned/discussed so far, what are some privileges that we might have?

  • Go to school
  • Access to healthcare
  • Where you live
  • If you want new clothes, you can get them (generally speaking)
  • Can read and write

4. Looking at this definition once more, what are some areas in which people may be privileged?

  • Economics
  • Politics
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Racial
  • Gender

NOTE: Could include a discussion here around class, caste or privilege to extend the lesson and dig deeper with group.

Victoria Ford

Victoria thinks the world could do with a lot more heart. Her goal? To encourage others to stand up, speak out and push back against hatred.


In this course, we’re going to look at how privilege can impact us.