Classroom Lessons

Classroom Lessons


The Struggle Over Symbols of Hate

Following the violent rally by white supremacists in Charlottesville, this activity has students read, consider and discuss quotes about the presence of white supremacist symbols across our country, what the symbols represent, and what we should do about them. 


Charlottesville: A Reflection Circle

After upsetting events like those in Charlottesville, it's important for people to be able to share their feelings, talk, and be heard, in a supportive environment. This activity, which includes a backgrounder for the teacher, has students share their reflections in a circle.

What did THEY do this summer? A quiz on the political news

It’s been a newsy summer.  Get students thinking about what’s been happening in politics over the summer with this quick survey.


Cities and States Lead on Climate Change

When President Trump announced that the U.S. would be pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, governors and mayors across the country announced that they were still on board and would continue their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and . In this activity, students read about and disucss how cities and states are leading by example when it comes to climate change. 


Loving v. Virginia: An anniversary for interracial marriage

Students learn about the landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision that overturned laws banning interracial marriage, and consider the legacy of that decision today, 50 years on. 


Mass Incarceration & the New Jim Crow

Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow changed the conversation about race, racism, and incarceration in this country. In this activity, students explore Alexander’s argument that our criminal justice system has relegated millions of people of color to a permanent second-class status, and examine how people are challenging the policies mass incarceration and the New Jim Crow.


Group reflections to end the school year

Students reflect on the way their advisory or class has worked together and consider the values that are most important to them as a group now and going forward.


ACT UP, 30 Years On

It's the 30th annniversary of  ACT UP. In this lesson, students learn about and discuss the activist organization whose bold, creative organizing forced government action to combat HIV/AIDS.



Looking for Activities to Close the Year?

Now’s a good time to help students take stock of what’s happened in the year, appreciate the community you’ve created together, and look forward to next year.

Here's a roundup of activities we suggest for students of all ages.


Confederate Monuments and the 'Searing Truth'

The city of New Orleans removed four prominent Confederate monuments that had stood as symbols of white supremacy in that city for 133 years. This lesson uses speeches by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and City Councilmember Nadine Ramsey to explore the legacy of the Civil War and slavery, and how we choose to address that legacy today.