2017 is off to a busy start. From back-to-school goal setting to observing Martin Luther King Day to helping students prepare for Inauguration Day, there’s plenty for you and your school community to process and discuss. These readings and resources from Perspectives for a Diverse America can help foster those discussions, regardless of what grade level you teach. (Make sure you’re logged in—for free!—so you can explore each one.)
Set the tone for the new term and calendar year with activities that help support authentic relationships and build community. 20 Face to Face Advisories, originally published by The Origins Program, offers fun suggestions for making the most of homeroom and teaching the anti-bias competencies that lie at the heart of Perspectives.
Did you know Penguin Awareness Day falls on January 20? Celebrate this little-known holiday with this sweet story, for K–2 readers, based on the true lives of two Humboldt penguins. Z and Vielpunkt’s partnership at a German zoo sets the stage for discussions about respecting all families—however they form—and accepting each other exactly as we are.
When a hard-fought election is over, how does everyone move forward? Ms. Allen’s class is about to find out when the aftermath of a class election turns ugly. At a time when the inauguration is on everyone’s minds, this story for grades 3–5 can help students focus on perhaps the most important part of moving forward: treating each other with respect.
“After his death, we marched.” Bring a new perspective to MLK Day with a recording for middle-grade students, provided by oral-history organization StoryCorps. The account captures a heartfelt conversation between Taylor and Bessie Rogers, a couple who watched Dr. King’s last public speech together and continue to find insight and inspiration in his words.
Your students might be too young to vote, but they still have a voice! Use the student task “Truth to Power: Writing for Letters for Change” to give your upper-level students the chance to speak up to an elected or corporate official on a social issue that affects them. We’ve included discussion points, a planning guide, a rubric and everything else you need to make this activity work in your classroom.