Classroom Lessons

Classroom Lessons

We’ve added a new feature to TeachableMoment: Teachable Instant. These short activities (5-15 minutes) aim to get your students talking about a topic in the news or on the calendar. We’ll have a new one ready for you by Monday morning of each school week.  This month we’ve posted Teachable Instants on Black History Month and Global Divestment Day.


Obama's Free College Plan

In three readings and discussion, students examine President Obama's proposal for free community college, weigh arguments for and against it, learn about the historical significance of community colleges, and consider the question, “Should all higher education be free?” 


New Teachable Instant: Walmart Pay Hike

The nation's largest private employer just raised its wages. This short activity has students consider the significance of Walmart's move and what motivated it.


Black History Month: Everyday hero

This brief activity focuses on the African American girl who refused to give up her seat on the bus, months before Rosa Parks touched off the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott.


Global Divestment Day

A brief activity on the movement to get colleges, cities, churches and other entities to divest from fossil fuels, pegged to Global Divestment Day on Feb. 13-14, 2015.


Black History Month: Order v. justice

This brief activity kicks off Black History Month by examining King's letter from a Birmingham jail in light of current events. 


Obama’s free college tuition proposal

A short activity has students consider President Obama's proposal for free community college.


#JeSuisCharlie: Analyzing expressions of solidarity after the Paris attacks

Students consider responses to the attack on Charlie Hebdo from multiple points of view by examining tweets containing different expressions of solidarity, and create their own tweets.


Who owns the world’s wealth?

In this brief activity, students consider Oxfam's finding that the world's richest 1% will own half of global wealth by 2016. 


The fight for voting rights, from Selma in 1965 to today

The movie Selma depicts the struggle for voting rights for African Americans that led to the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In this lesson, students examine a primary source document to help them understand why so few southern blacks could vote in 1965. Students explore why voting rights were so important to equal rights and how that struggle 50 years ago relates to voting rules today. Students who have seen the movie Selma are invited to share thoughts, but the lesson does not depend on students having seen the film.