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.”

96 LESSONS

The Little Rock Nine and the Children’s Movement

This series of lessons commemorates the integration of Little Rock Central High School in 1957. One lesson features the biography of Daisy Bates, a leader of the desegregation crisis. Another focuses on the nine African-American youths who risked their lives for equality. The final two lessons examine how school integration affected the Little Rock community.This lesson focuses on questions of justice and the role youth have played in social and political movements. By reading a combination of primary and secondary sources, students will learn how the Little Rock Nine came to play their important role. These teenagers’ participation in school integration stemmed not from the prodding of the parents or activists, but from within themselves.
Grade Level
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
Social Studies
Civics
History
Social Justice Domain

Talking Back

This is the twelfth lesson in the Reading Ads with a Social Justice Lens series.As children learn about justice and injustice, and become increasingly aware of stereotypes and bias in the world around them, it is crucial for them to develop a sense of agency and power in confronting these issues. By responding in writing to some of the issues that arise in their critical viewing of advertisements, students have a chance to work on communication skills while striving for greater social justice and performing civic activism.
Grade Level
Social Justice Domain

Sustainability

This lesson encourages students to interview local community activists. An effective way to show students how to interview is for the teacher to model it and do an actual interview in front of the students. Invite a person who is an activist as a guest to your class, and interview her or him in front of the class. Then use the lesson steps to help students conduct their own interviews. (Note: Question and answer activity based on "The Children's March." Download the Teacher's Guide here.)
Grade Level
Subject
Social Studies
Social Justice Domain

Contemporary Movements

The civil rights movement of the 1950s and ‘60s, during which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came to prominence as a spokesperson for black people seeking equality, has been the catalyst for many contemporary civil rights movements (e.g., the Chicano movement, labor movement, environmental movement, women’s movement, LGBT civil rights movement, immigrant workers rights). This lesson invites students to see that they are part of a continuum in the long struggle for equal rights for all people.
Grade Level
Subject
Social Studies
History
Social Justice Domain

Music and the Movement

Music always has been a part of political movements. The civil rights movement was once described as the greatest singing movement in our nation’s history. Many of the songs grew out of the rich culture of the black churches in the South and fit different moods and situations: Songs for joy. Songs for sorrow. Songs for determination. Songs for irony. Songs for humor. Songs to get you past the fear. Songs to celebrate. In this lesson, students will identify political issues that are important to them, choose a song and then rewrite the words to support the issue and fit the music’s rhythm.
Grade Level
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
Social Studies
History
Social Justice Domain

The 26th Amendment

This is the fifth and final lesson in a series called “Expanding Voting Rights.” The overall goal of the series is for students to explore the complicated history of voting rights in the United States.
Grade Level
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
Social Studies
Civics
History
Social Justice Domain