Classroom Activities

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Who's Voting Now?

This activity asks students to read and compare the language of selected civil rights legislation.

Grades 9 to 12

Put-Ups

Students are used to put-downs, but what about put-ups? This activity helps students see the positive things that their schoolmates are doing and gives them skills to affirm each other across social boundaries.

Grades 3 to 5

Bella Abzug

"You can't continue to have a world without equal participation of men and women. That's my central thesis."

Grades 9 to 12

Aung San Suu Kyi

"One must ask, 'Are you doing everything you can?' and I think if the answer is try 'Yes,' then you fell neither hopeless nor despairing."

Grades 9 to 12

Wangari Maathai

"The myth of male superiority can only be demolished with shining examples of female achievement against which nobody could argue intelligently."

Grades 9 to 12

How to use 'Chicken Soup' in the classroom

These classroom activities accompany the Teaching Tolerance article, Chicken Soup: A Russian Tale of Giving.

Pre K to K | Grades 1 to 2 | Grades 3 to 5

Using Editorial Cartoons to Teach Social Justice

Using Editorial Cartoons to Teach Social Justice is a series of 14 lessons. Each lesson focuses on a contemporary social justice issue. These lessons are multidisciplinary and geared toward middle and high school students.

Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Graça Machel

"We Africans may be impoverished, but we are not poor. ... We can learn things from others, but we also have a lot to offer the world."

Grades 9 to 12

Activism and Legislation

This activity asks students to read and compare the language of two oral histories, asking them to think about prejudice, stigma and fundamental rights and freedoms.

Grades 6 to 8

Stay in the Mix with Music!

Explore how music divides - and unites.

Grades 1 to 2 | Grades 3 to 5 | Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Timeline of School Integration

Teaching Tolerance offers activities and resources about the winding road toward, and away from, integrated schooling in the U.S.

Grades 3 to 5 | Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Lesson: Dr. King and the Movement

Teaching Tolerance considers the legacy of Dr. King's dream of a just and equal society for all and how much of the dream remains deferred.

Grades 3 to 5 | Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Obama Backlash: Incidents in America's Schools

After Barack Obama's election, some Americans responded with racism and bigotry.

Grades 3 to 5 | Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Immigrants and Us

Almost every person in the U.S. has an immigration history, whether in the distant familial past or in more recent times. As a nation of immigrants, the United States has long struggled with how best to create unity within a pluralistic society, as typified in the motto on the Great Seal of the United States (and the dollar bill): E Pluribus Unum.

Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

The Promise of Brown

Activity Ideas

Grades 3 to 5 | Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Bus Boycott: Historical Documents Highlight Integration Milestone

This collection of primary resources and corresponding activities sheds light on the endurance of peaceful protesters in Montgomery, Ala., who overturned an unjust law.

Grades 3 to 5 | Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Holiday Charity: A Math Activity About Poverty

The holiday season often marks the launch of toy and canned food drives in schools. Use this activity to deepen students understanding of those being served and the dynamics of poverty in the United States.

Grades 6 to 8

Celebrating Connections

This activity can help students understand the similarities and differences in various religious traditions.

Grades 3 to 5

That's Not Fair!

Students will experience the effects of unequal resources on student achievement, share their thoughts about educational disparities and take action to bring about change.

Pre K to K | Grades 1 to 2 | Grades 3 to 5

A Historical Primer On Economic (In)Equality

Classroom experiences that critically investigate the causes and meaning of poverty in our own nation offer students tools for change, and new ways to interpret the world around them.

Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Little Rock Nine: Activities

Activity Ideas

Grades 3 to 5 | Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Controversial Issues

Students always have passionate opinions about controversial social topics. They also often become friends with others who reinforce their ideology. And students don’t often possess the skills to disagree gracefully. This activity invites students to cross their ideological boundaries and become friends with others who think differently than they do.

Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

The Assertion Jar

Students produce assertions on slips of paper and “stock” the classroom Assertion Jar. As a daily or occasional activity, students practice refutation skills by pulling an assertion from the jar and refuting it either orally or in writing. Appropriate as a writing prompt or journal activity.

Grades 3 to 5 | Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

The Aleut Evacuation: An Overlooked Injustice

The history of a proud indigenous people during WWII.

Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Bullying: Tips for Students

This checklist provides suggestions for what kids can do when bullying occurs – written for students being bullied, students who witness bullying and the bullies themselves.

Pre K to K | Grades 1 to 2 | Grades 3 to 5 | Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Census Activities

Explore the U.S. Census data and create your own!

Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Journaling History: Sacagawea and York

As you read about Sacagawea and York, write a journal entry that imagines Sacagawea or York's first-person account.

Grades 9 to 12

A Living History

Students can make a pledge to help end continued racism.

Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Editorial Cartoons: An Introduction

Activities will help students learn strategies for analyzing editorial cartoons.

Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Editorial Cartoon: Censorship

Activities will help students understand how images can come together to make a statement in an editorial cartoon

Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Rediscovering Forgotten Women Writers

Honoring the far-reaching contribution of women authors.

Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Happy Birthday!

Activities for African American History Month

Grades 1 to 2 | Grades 3 to 5

The Path Toward Empowerment

What would a neighborhood survey of businesses reveal about your community?

Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Little Rock Revisited: A Classroom Activity

Black students everywhere made history as pioneers paving the way for racial integration in their hometowns. These activities complement the article, Little Rock Revisited: 40th Anniversary of Integration at Central High.

Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Native American Influences in U.S. History and Culture

Measure your awareness of Native American influences in U.S. history and culture.

Grades 3 to 5 | Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

Bringing Sight to the Sightless

Commemorate the life of Louis Braille.

Grades 1 to 2 | Grades 3 to 5

A Commitment to Nonviolence: The Leadership of John Lewis

Use this excerpt from Lewis's Walking with the Wind to explore the Civil Rights Movement.

Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

Americans may not give much recognition to the UN observance, but for ten years the citizens of Canada have heeded the UN's summons and gone so far as to expand upon the idea of a one-day commemorative event to create a nationwide program toward the eradication of racism.

Grades 6 to 8 | Grades 9 to 12

A Question of Class

A media journal project exposes classism in contemporary politics.

Grades 9 to 12

Migration and the Spirits of Life

Celebrated annually on November 2, Dia de los Muertos, or "Day of the Dead," embraces life as it pokes fun at the Grim Reaper. (Note: In some regions, the celebration spans two days, from November 1st through the 2nd, in which case it is called Dias de los Muertos.)

Pre K to K | Grades 1 to 2 | Grades 3 to 5

The Rights of the Child

Middle school students build their own Bill of Rights.

Grades 3 to 5 | Grades 6 to 8

Shulamit Aloni

"The fight should be for all human rights - - religious, ethnic, sexual. We have to stop grouping people; they aren't pickle bottles and you can't stick labels on them."

Grades 9 to 12

Hanan Ashrawi

"I am not a politician by choice. Instead I try to pursue the objective of institution building, an essential component of the reconstruction of our nation."

Grades 9 to 12

Ela Bhat

"I realized that although eighty percent of women in India are economically active, they are outside the purview of legislation."

Grades 9 to 12

Peace Bikunda

"It started with five women, then 15, then 80, then 150. When it reached these numbers, I realized I had to do something for these women."

Grades 9 to 12

Madres de Plaza de Mayo

"What remains in the end is a deep longing for justice. . .We want you all to remember what happened to our children so that it never happens again."

Grades 9 to 12

Rigoberta Menchú

"Now I would like to see Guatemala at peace, with indigenous and nonindigenous people living side by side."

Grades 9 to 12

Mary Robinson

"We turn away so often. ... Each one of us has an individual responsibility to inform ourselves. To care. To respond."

Grades 9 to 12

Maj Britt Theorin

"Everyone has to take responsibility and do whatever they can to avoid a nuclear war [even] contacting the US President."

Grades 9 to 12

Women Making Change, Women Forging Hope

Teaching Tolerance teamed with Bread and Roses, the cultural arm of local 1199, the National Health & Human Service Employees Union of the AFL-CIO to present the International Women of Hope Project.

Grades 9 to 12