Lessons

These robust, ready-to-use classroom lessons offer breadth and depth, spanning essential social justice topics and reinforcing critical social emotional learning skills.

“Teaching Tolerance provides me with the means to promote social justice, challenge bias, and engage students in discussions about diversity that would perhaps not happen otherwise.”

85 LESSONS

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.
Grade Level
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
Social Studies
SEL
ELL / ESL
Social Justice Domain

Caring for Hair

Among the characteristics that can take on meaning for young children is hair—hairstyles, hair texture and type. In this jigsaw activity, students will review information from brochures/websites about local hair care providers, interview a local hair care provider, synthesize the material, and teach it to others. Students will identify similarities and differences between the providers and gain a deeper understanding of diverse ways people care for their hair.
Grade Level
3-5
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
SEL
ELL / ESL
Science & Health
Social Justice Domain

The Shape of Home

This lesson gives students a chance to explore diverse concepts of “home”– and find ways to deal with loss and make fellow students feel welcome at school.Please note: When you teach this lesson, be sensitive to the reality that not all students may be living in a home with their family.
Grade Level
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
Social Studies
History
SEL
Social Justice Domain

Brush Up on Respect

Whenever I feel that students are starting to pick on each other and get disrespectful, I use this activity to get them to think about their behavior. For this activity, you need a tube of toothpaste, a four-by-six index card, a marker, a popsicle stick and a toothpick.
Grade Level
3-5
Subject
SEL
Social Justice Domain

Happy Faces

Everyone has a bad day once in a while. This activity helps students be sensitive to schoolmates who might be having a bad day and gives them a way to cross boundaries and bring cheer to others.
Grade Level
K-2
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
SEL
Social Justice Domain

Speaking Kindness in Democratic Classrooms

For educators who hope to create a democratic classroom, one of the first steps is to co-create classroom rules with students. This lesson invites students to reflect on student-to-student verbal interactions and develop a set of guidelines for speaking to each other with kindness and respect.
Grade Level
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
Social Studies
Civics
SEL
Social Justice Domain