Blue Eye / Brown Eye is an experiment first performed in the USA by Jane Elliot in 1968. The experiment was performed by Elliot on the day after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, to demonstrate what prejudice was to her third grade class. This activity enables pupils to experience, first hand, what prejudice is like. Pupils are involved in a classroom “experiment” (or role-play) in which those with blue eyes are treated very differently to those with brown eyes. Pupils should be kept in ignorance of the fact that this activity is ‘pretend’.
Blue eye/Brown eye experiment Key Stage: 3/4
National Curriculum Key Stage and Targets: (1.2a)
Exploring different kinds of rights and obligations and how these affect both individuals and communities. (1.3b)
Exploring the diverse national, regional, ethnic and religious cultures, groups and communities in the UK and the connections between them.
Cross-Curricular Elements: English – speaking and listening, RE – prejudice and discrimination, Drama – role play
Further Learning Opportunities: Report write up of experience from the point of view of a blue-eyed or brown-eyed pupil.
Blue eye Brown eye activity