In this excerpt from his memoir, Rodriguez provides a stirring recollection from his adolescence: the first time he experienced racism as a result of being an immigrant in America. As he says, the experience "stays with [him] like a foul odor."
During World War II, a young German girl, Rose Blanche, inadvertently discovers a concentration camp not far from her town. She travels there frequently, taking food to the children on the other side of the barbed wire and meets a haunted fate the day she discovers the camp is gone.
In this poem, the speaker sees a man carrying his son across the street and is struck by the tenderness the man displays for the child. The speaker realizes that humanity must cloak itself in this same caring nature.
Katherine Scholes begins this informative piece by describing the multi-facted nature of the word "peace" and what it can mean to different people at different times. Then she provides concrete ways that each of us can be a peacemaker.
After spending months talking to women in Afghan refugee camps, Deborah Ellis penned this timely novel about life under Taliban rule. Living in Afghanistan with her family, Parvana is a rarity—a girl who can read and experiences life, even for just a few hours, outside the four walls of her home.
In this excerpt, the reader meets two characters from The Misfits: Addie, a girl who is exceptionally tall and smart for a middle schooler and Joe, who is creative and feminine in a way that makes his peers nervous.
Maleeka gets made fun of at school about her clothes, her grades, even the color of her skin. In this chapter, she talks about getting teased on a school trip and how even her friend Char was ashamed to be seen with her because of her clothes.
In her nonfiction book, Abigail Garner demystifies the coming out process for LGBT parents and children using their voices and experiences. This excerpt focuses on the impact of coming out in the school environment with teachers, peers, and other parents.
The American Psychological Association (APA) published “Facing the School Dropout Dilemma: The interaction of sexual orientation with school dropout rates” on its website in 2012. The APA is widely regarded as the most prominent professional organization for psychologists in the United States.
Linda Schubert recounts the fear that consumed her Jewish family living in Nazi-Germany in the late 1930s. Each family member endured individual stress and anxiety, but each also contributed to the family's greater good of the family.
After her father's death, Esperanza and her mother are left with few options and forced to flee to America. The immigration officers are only the first obstacle they must face. Beyond them, the Great Depression and an uncertain future awaits.
This poem's speaker describes being bullied and feeling depressed and skipping school to avoid the harassment. Spiraling downhill emotionally, the speaker ultimately comes to accept and appreciate his/her unique identities.
Are material possessions more important than friendship? Should you act on the impulse to get back when someone hurts you? Will you let pride get in the way of your friendship? This tale about bridges brings these questions to the fore..
This story, illustrated by Don Kilpatrick, describes a group of people who immigrated from Germany to the United States in order to seek religious asylum and practice their way of life in peace, but were met by continued persecution, which only escalated when World War I broke out.
This story tells the tale of how Sarah and Natalie became friends. Sarah, both new to class and in a wheelchair, sits at the desk next to Natalie. At first, Natalie has some trouble getting over Sarah’s appearance and limitations, but with some help from her teacher and Sarah’s aide, she discovers a great, new friend waiting for her.
This excerpt focuses on the lives of African-American students during the civil rights movement. After reading Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech in class in 1963, students in main character C.J.'s school are asked to share their dreams at a school assembly.
Mari and her family have been sent to an internment camp in Utah. She does not understand what they have done to deserve their internment and longs for her backyard in California where she used to grow sunflowers.
In this blog post, Houska emphasizes the enduring spirit of the Native American people and their culture, outlines the group’s past and present obstacles and calls to action young Native Americans to carry on the torch of resilience.
In this blog post, the author details the internal struggle she feels when coming to terms with the bloody heritage she shares with conquistadors like Christopher Columbus and the pride she takes in remembering, embracing and living out her cultural history.
In this excerpt, Garang tells his story of how he became a lost boy when war destroyed his village. Walking with thousands of other orphaned boys, Garang travels thousands of dangerous miles from southern Sudan to a refugee camp in Ethiopia.
Mary Williams and R. Gregory Christie (illustrator)
Brother Pedro meets Juan on a dusty road and sees that the man is very troubled. The priest helps Juan secure medicine for his sick wife. After many years, a prosperous and happy Juan returns to Brother Pedro to help him, yet it is Pedro who shows Juan another miracle.
In this essay, the author identifies vague terminology used by the United States government during World War II to describe their actions toward Japanese Americans and outlines terms that would more appropriately describe the government's actions.
A guide to help students interpret, analyze and evaluate information encountered in a variety of media formats. Use this guide with the spoken and performed texts included in the Perspectives anthology.
Fishbowl is a strategy for organizing medium- to large-group discussions. Students are separated into an inner and outer circle. In the inner circle, or fishbowl, students have a discussion; students in the outer circle listen to the discussion and take notes.
A strategy to introduce the anti-bias framework into group discussion and textual analysis. Students respond to and pose questions from the four anti-bias domains: identity, diversity, justice and action.
A strategy for organizing medium- to large-group discussions. Students are separated into an inner and outer circle. In the inner circle, or fishbowl, students have a text-based discussion; students in the outer circle listen to the discussion and take notes.
In reading against the grain students analyze the dominant reading of a text and engage in alternative or "resistant" readings. Resistant readings scrutinize the beliefs and attitudes that typically go unexamined in a text, drawing attention to the gaps, silences and contradictions.
Shared reading combines aspects of guided reading and read-aloud strategies. During shared reading, a teacher or proficient student reads the text aloud, pausing at pre-selected moments to discuss content and analyze the text. This strategy facilitates close reading of a complex text in small or whole group settings.
This strategy exposes students to multiple short pieces of a text before they read it in its entirety. Students read selected quotes out of context and comment on both the selection and the comments of other students. The activity ends with students reflecting on their reactions to and predictions about the text.
A discussion strategy that asks students to infer how a particular author or character from a text would respond to questions and scenarios. Students must defend their conclusions using evidence from the text.
Students create a large-scale artistic depiction in a community space. As an alternative to the community mural, students can create a set of informational posters that reflect a diversity topic or social justice theme.
Estimated time Two to three weeks Why? One of the ways young students become invested in the democratic process is by become empowered advocates for civic participation in their local communities. When younger students
Students write to a business, school or community leader to call for action in response to a social justice issue from the central text. Alternatively, students can write open, persuasive letters to their peers or family members.
Students investigate, interview and profile a person working for equity and social change. The person can work on the local, national or international level, with an organization or as an individual. The compiled profiles will form a resource for other students in the future.
Estimated Time One week Why? Sharing a book they love helps students develop empathy. Articulating why the book is meaningful to them challenges students to communicate their thoughts and feelings in writing.
Students use online resources to analyze current voter registration and turnout rates in their state and local community. They also explore potential roadblocks to the voting process (e.g., felon disenfranchisement and voter fraud).
Select the parts of your Learning Plan you'd like to print. If your Tasks or Strategies have PDF handouts, they'll need to be printed separately. These are listed on the left side of each Task or Strategy page.