Classroom Lessons

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Classroom Lessons


Your Word Against Mine: A battle over the term 'illegal alien'

A student at Dartmouth College touched off a successful national campaign to get the Library of Congress to stop using the term "illegal aliens" to refer to undocumented immigrants. Now a Congressional committee is challenging the move. 


Bathrooms & transgender students

In this lesson, students learn about the controversy over new federal guidelines aimed at ensuring that "transgender students enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment." Students explore their own responses to it, and discuss how they can make their school welcoming to transgender students.


Verizon Strike — and a Union Primer

A major strike by workers at Verizon offers a teachable moment: Why do people join unions? Why do they strike? And why are they now striking Verizon?


3 Quiet Minutes

Consider giving students a few moments of silence and calm by asking them to focus on an object. If students respond positively to the experience, repeat it.  


The Debate over Reparations

The demand for reparations surfaced during the 2016 presidential election, creating a teachable moment on this long-debated issue. In this activity, students learn some background on the demand for reparations and join in the ongoing discussion about it. 


High School Students vs. Ted Cruz

Presidential candidate Ted Cruz's plans to speak at a Bronx high school were scrapped after students there wrote a letter to their principal describing how Cruz's views were "actively working to harm us, our community, and the people we love."  In this brief activity, students learn about this action and about Cruz's positions on the issues, and consider how they might respond if Cruz was invited to speak at their school. 


Earth Day Lesson: Plastics and You

We use plastics all the time. So often, in fact, that they’re practically invisible to us. In this lesson, students keep a log of their plastic use, take action to decrease it, and explore systemic approaches (like bag bans and bag taxes) to minimize use of plastics.


Interrupting Oppressive Behavior

Eight tips on what to do when students make hurtful remarks.


Global Shockwave: The Panama Papers

Students learn about and discuss the massive revelations included in the Panama Papers, the impact of tax avoidance on this scale, and how the story relates to the gap between rich and poor.


Should "Fracking" Be Banned?

What is fracking and what is its impact? Students explore the issue and the political landscape around it, including efforts by activists to ban the practice.