Classroom Resources

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New Kids on the Block

Activity brings home the difficulties teen immigrants have fitting into a new culture.

Activity Exchange
Immigration
Justice
Grades 6 to 8

Freedom's Main Line

Learn how activists in Louisville, Kentucky successfully campaigned against segregated streetcars in 1870-71.

Lesson
Events
Justice

Juliette Hampton Morgan: Being a Cultural Anthropologist

Students learn the importance of being an ally through the story of Juliette Hampton Morgan, a white woman who lived in Montgomery, Alabama, during segregation.

Lesson
Diversity
Social Studies

Juliette Hampton Morgan: Becoming an Ally

Students learn the importance of being an ally through the story of Juliette Hampton Morgan, a white woman who lived in Montgomery, Alabama, during segregation.

Lesson
Action
Social Studies

Defenders of Justice

In this activity, students will summarize biographies of individuals who fought racism and helped make it possible for a black man to serve as President of the United States. Along they way, they'll discover that they, too, can take a stand for justice and equality and make the world a better place today.

Lesson
Justice
Grades 3 to 5
Social Studies

Progressive City Planners

In this middle school lesson, students will create their own imaginary cities, deciding where to place amenities such as parks and libraries, as well drawbacks such as environmental hazards. Then they will compare their cities to the real world – where resources and hazards often aren't distributed fairly.

Lesson
Rights
Justice

Interpreting Wealth Disparities

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.

Lesson
Justice

Latinos and the Fourteenth Amendment: A Primary Document Activity

In this lesson, students will work in pairs and use expert reading strategies to analyze the Court’s ruling in Hernandez v. Texas. After participating in a carousel discussion, students will write a three-minute paper describing how the United States would be different if the Court had reached an alternate conclusion.

Lesson
Justice

Pre-Columbian Native Peoples and Technology

The purpose of this lesson is for students to grapple with three separate definitions: primitive, civilized (civilization), and technology.  Students examine or re-examine their own definitions of these words and how these words define what they understand about Pre-Columbian native culture. The objective is to help students determine their own point of view.

Lesson
Justice

Who Has Hair?

Who Has Hair? explores one of the things mammals share in common: hair! Our hair may be different—Polar Bear's doesn't look exactly like Orangutan's or like yours— but we all have hair and want it to be clean and pretty.

Lesson
Diversity
Pre K to K

Racial Profiling

Racial profiling occurs when law enforcement agents impermissibly use race, religion, ethnicity or national origin in deciding who to investigate. This lesson focuses on racial profiling. Students learn what the term means, discuss why it matters, conduct research and present their insights.

Lesson
Justice

Unequal Unemployment

In this lesson, students will examine the growth of unemployment from 2007 through the second quarter of 2009. Using basic and/or advanced math, students will compare and contrast unemployment rates across different states and across three racial and ethnic groups. An extension activity looks at unemployment among Asian Americans and can be adapted for other populations.

Lesson
Justice

What Counts as History?

This lesson asks students to think about what counts as history. It is divided into two parts. Part 1 gets students thinking about what’s included in the history they study, and what’s missing. Part 1 can stand alone as a complete lesson. Part 2 extends the project. In it, they compare how a U.S. history book and an African-American history book address the same time period. They also reflect on how including new groups alters the study of history.

Lesson
Justice

Defusing School Violence

In this lesson, students imagine themselves attending a high school that is polarized by violence between U.S.-born students and foreign-born African immigrants. After learning about the situation, students use problem-solving skills to determine what they would do to deal with the violence if they attended that school. The lesson is adapted from an actual situation that took place at Edward Little High School in Auburn, Maine.

Lesson
Action

Family Ties

About 4 million undocumented immigrant women live and work in the United States. They live in fear of job-site immigration raids and deportations, which result in personal and economic costs both here and back home. In this lesson, students will learn how current immigration policies are tied to those costs.

Lesson
Justice

Poverty and Unemployment: Exploring the Connections

This lesson is the second in a series of lessons called “Issues of Poverty.” Students explore the causes of poverty in the United States and the structural factors that perpetuate it. Students will examine the ways poverty is closely related to economic and political policy, and will work to discover why it disproportionately affects members of non-dominant groups—that is, groups that have historically oppressed groups.

Lesson
Justice

Sexism: From Identification to Activism

Students will identify ways in which sexism manifests in personal and institutional beliefs, behaviors, use of language and policies. Use this lesson to develop plans of action against bias.

Lesson
Gender Equity
Action

Visualizing School Equity

By examining the funding gap in their own state, students will learn about inequities in the system and begin to question why those inequities exist.

Lesson
Justice
Grades 9 to 12

The School Holiday Calendar

This lesson asks students to think about how school districts can address the needs of increasingly diverse populations. It takes as its starting point a debate in New York City’s public schools. 

Lesson
Religion
Justice

How Does Immigration Shape the Nation’s Identity?

In this lesson, students consider what it means to be an American, using an opinion piece about the “American Identity Crisis” and several related videos as central texts. They answer a series of text-dependent questions, debate their opinions, write a brief constructed response, and make their own video that reflects their interpretation of “the face of America.”

Lesson
Identity
Grades 9 to 12

My Multicultural Self

In today's multicultural schools and classrooms, resolving conflict means being culturally aware. 

 

Lesson
Identity

Indian Removal: Does History Always Reflect Progress?

History is often seen as the march of progress. In U.S. history, the chronology of events that led from the settlement of to the formation of colonies, from a newborn nation to the current 50 states, is considered the natural sequence of the nation’s progress. The outcomes of historical events are presumed to be steps forward in our collective journey.

Lesson
Diversity
Grades 9 to 12
Social Studies

Looking at Race and Racial Identity Through Critical Literacy in Children’s Books

This lesson, the second in a series, encourages students to think and talk openly about the concept of beauty, particularly as it overlaps with issues of race and racial identity.

Lesson
Justice

Refuse to Stand Silently By

This activity is designed for use with our free curriculum kit, Mighty Times: The Children's March, designed for the middle and upper grades.

Lesson
Social Studies

Lesson 3: How Art Can Be Activism

This lesson is part of the series, Picturing Accessibility: Art, Activism and Physical Disabilities, which provides students opportunities to discuss what they know and don't know about accessibility, ableism, and stereotypes regarding people with disabilities.

Lesson
Ability
Action

Modern-Day Heroes: People Who Are Making a Difference

This is the second lesson of the series “Dealing with Dilemmas: Upstanders, Bystanders and Whistle-Blowers.” This lesson helps students identify and recognize modern-day American heroes—people who have made or are making a real difference in their communities. Students will research and learn how local movements become national ones through the activism and perseverance of upstanding individuals. The goal is to encourage activism and awareness and enable students to think about what they, as individuals, can do to make a difference in their own community.

Lesson
Bullying
Justice

Change Agents in Our Own Lives

This is the third lesson of the series “Dealing with Dilemmas: Upstanders, Bystanders and Whistle-Blowers,” which is designed to help students think about the importance of standing up for what they believe in despite both external and internal obstacles.

Lesson
Bullying
Justice

In Our Own Words: A Story Book with a Purpose

This is the fourth lesson of the series “Dealing with Dilemmas: Upstanders, Bystanders and Whistle-Blowers,” which is designed to help students think about the importance of standing up for what they believe in despite both external and internal obstacles.

 

Lesson
Bullying
Action

One Survivor Remembers: A Call to Action

This lesson is an excerpt from the teacher’s guide of One Survivor Remembers, a teaching kit built around the incredible life story of Holocaust survivor Gerda Weissmann Klein.

Lesson
Action

The Real Monopoly: America's Racial Wealth Divide

In his historic March 2008 speech on race, Barack Obama explained some of the barriers to opportunity that created the racial wealth divide. In this lesson, students take a deeper look at the lingering economic effects of slavery, segregation and other forms of institutionalized bias.

Lesson
Justice
Grades 9 to 12

African Americans Face and Fight Obstacles to Voting

In this lesson students learn about the Reconstruction Amendments (13th, 14th and 15th) that abolished slavery, guaranteed African American citizenship and secured men the right to vote.

Lesson
Justice

Primary Documents

This activity is designed for use with our free curriculum kit, Mighty Times: The Children's March, designed for the middle and upper grades.

Lesson
Events
Justice
Social Studies

Contemporary Movements

This activity is designed for use with our free curriculum kit, Mighty Times: The Children's March, designed for the middle and upper grades.

Lesson
Action|Justice
Social Studies

Mexican American Labor in the U.S.

Christine Sleeter and Carl Grant wrote this lesson to encourage students to explore policies and attitudes about Mexican and Mexican American laborers in the U.S. and develop informed personal perspectives of the United States-Mexico border and undocumented Mexican immigrants.

Lesson
Immigration
Justice
Grades 9 to 12

Thanksgiving Mourning

In this activity, students will explore the perspectives of two Native American authors about the meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday and then write journal entries.

Lesson
Justice
Social Studies

A Nation of Immigrants?

In his groundbreaking March 2008 speech on race, Barack Obama described the white experience in America as "the immigrant experience." But what does that mean? In this lesson, students will take a close look at their own textbooks to see how the immigrant experience (white and non-white) is treated.

Lesson
Immigration
Justice
Social Studies

Does Rick Warren Represent Diversity?

President Obama angered many advocates for gay equality when he selected Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, despite Warren's views on gay rights. Obama said he made the choice to represent a "range of viewpoints" – but does his argument hold up?

Lesson
Justice
Grades 9 to 12

Inaugural Prayers in History

In this lesson, students will examine the practice of including prayers in inaugural ceremonies, focusing on the messages these presidential selections send about diversity and faith in American life.

Lesson
Religion
Justice
Grades 9 to 12
Social Studies

Ethnicity, Gender and the Courts

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor is the first Latina to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. This lesson helps students look at her confirmation process in historical perspective.

Lesson
Justice
Grades 9 to 12

Place as a Mirror of Self and Community

Students will understand difference and community by exploring a special place in their lives. 

Lesson
Diversity
Grades 3 to 5
Social Studies

The Shape of Home

Jennifer Greene’s story tells of Chief Charlo and a small band of Salish being forcibly removed from their home, the Bitterroot Valley, in 1891. To the Salish, home was not a structure, a town or even a specific site. Home was the land.

This activity was developed to facilitate awareness and understanding of diverse definitions of home as well as the many issues related to children and their homes.

Lesson
Family
Diversity

Marriage Equality: Different Strategies for Attaining Equal Rights

This lesson focuses on the different means that the Constitution provides for people to bring about change. While each of the methods the lesson presents worked in the Civil Rights movement, all three are currently being challenged in the marriage equality movement. Keep up to date on the ongoing struggles by doing Google news searches of marriage equality. Keep a class log of updates from the states where marriage equality is being challenged.

Lesson
Action

Indentured Servitude and Immigration

This lesson focuses on the issues of immigration during times of economic desperation.  It focuses specifically on the problems and difficulties faced by the immigrants as they wrestle with the dilemma of leaving their home.  The lesson also puts students in the situation of an immigrant examining the push factors within their current situation and the possibilities of immigrating to the United States. Students examine what the perceived benefits and difficulties of the journey will be and then reflect upon what the actual difficulties were. 

Lesson
Immigration
Justice

Accepting Size Differences

There is no doubt that modern lifestyle changes have contributed to the problems of overweight and obesity among adults and children. Some school health and physical education programs are tackling the challenge of integrating healthier eating and regular exercise into the lives of students. But what about the social challenges that face children who are overweight? And how do media messages reinforce the bias they already experience among many of their peers? In these lessons, students will evaluate both their own biases related to size differences and the ways in which media shape those biases.

Lesson
Appearance
Justice

What’s So Bad About “That’s So Gay”?

Almost every teacher has heard students use the expression, “that’s so gay” as a way of putting down or insulting someone (or to describe something). These lessons will help students examine how inappropriate language can hurt, and will help them think of ways to end this kind of name-calling.

Lesson
Bullying
Justice

Understanding Religious Clothing

In the United States, different types of religious clothing exist just about everywhere. In this lesson, students will explore how articles of clothing are linked to different religions. First they will research issues around some common articles of religious clothing, such as the hijab and the yarmulke. Then they will explore misconceptions and stereotypes associated with those articles of clothing.

Lesson
Religion
Justice

The Sounds of Change

David Brooks wrote an Op Ed piece for the New York Times called, “The Other Education.” In it, he reflected on the role of music in creating a different kind of education with lessons about personal stories, moral consequences, and life itself. His teacher? Bruce Springsteen, and the stories told through his music. Brooks refers to this second education as one that has influenced and shaped him as much as, if not more, than his formal education. Springsteen seems to agree. In a 2009 Rolling Stone interview, he lamented on the role of music in society, believing that while rockers “don’t have a whole lot of influence,” they can “create a vision of the world as it should be.”

Lesson
Action

Cliques in Schools

Friendship circles are groups of people who share some common interests or values. They can be healthy, nurturing and supportive. Being bonded to others because of a shared love of sports, music or extracurricular activities seems natural. But what happens when friendship circles become inflexible? 

Lesson
Action

Teen Rights

In this lesson, students will explore what teen rights actually are. They will also read about some recent cases where teens felt their rights were violated. Students will debate the nature of rights and will discuss what they believe are appropriate rights for teens.

Lesson
Rights
Justice

Everyone’s a Helper

This lesson helps children identify their own strengths and struggles. Students will work on ways to bring all their strengths together to build a classroom community.

Lesson
Action|Diversity