Microaggression Activity

This activity teaches students to recognize how different audiences can interpret language and microaggressions. It teaches students to understand the implications of their speech.


Students will learn to identify microaggressions and will be able to reflect on how they can modify questions or comments in ways that are less likely to reflect stereotypic assumptions and beliefs. Using two versions of the worksheet provides more examples for students to consider, but the activity works equally well with either version.

Estimated Time

10-20 minutes

Group Size

This activity works best with a class size of 30 or fewer, but could be modified for larger class by having students work in groups.  For larger classes, the instructor can rotate among the groups during discussion and/or have teaching assistants facilitate discussion in the smaller groups.


This activity will be more effective if the instructor first defines microaggressions and provides examples of how they operate.  Then, pass out the worksheet so that half the class has Version A and half has Version B (or choose one version and distribute it to all students) and ask students to follow the provided instructions. Students then answer the discussion questions and discuss them in small groups or as a whole class.