Classroom Lessons

Classroom Lessons


Kaepernick & Fellow Athletes Take a Stand

NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has added momentum to a remarkable wave of protests by athletes against racial injustice and police killings. Students discuss tweets about the protests, consider multiple points of view about them, and construct a timeline of events. 


Standing Up at Standing Rock

What is happening at Standing Rock? Students learn about and discuss the growing protest by the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies to stop a pipeline. 


Black Lives Matter Lesson Series: Part 2

Through a series of engaging "opinion continuum" exercises, students explore a range of views about the phrases "Black Lives Matter" and "All Lives Matter."


Black Lives Matter Lesson Series: Part 1

This first of three lessons on the Black Lives Matter movement serves as an introduction.  Students learn about the origins of the Black Lives Matter movement through tweets, quotes, and discussion of the movement's principles.  


Back-to-School Quiz: What the World Did Over the Summer

Help students catch up on what’s been happening in the news  –  from the presidential campaign, to Colin Kaepernick's protest, to Brexit  –  with this fun quiz and discussion questions. 


Could the U.S. Move Beyond a Two-Party System?

Polls show that a high percentage of voters are dissatisfied with the 2016 presidential nominees of both major parties. And yet, as in past years, third parties have struggled to gain a foothold. In this lesson, students learn about U.S. election laws that make it difficult for third parties to emerge, and discuss reforms activists have proposed to give voters more choices. 


About those Conventions...

Splits and controversies made for extra drama at this summer's Democratic and Republican national conventions. In this activity, students learn about and discuss what conventions are for and how they work, and what happened at the conventions this summer. 


Zoos, Circuses & Theme Parks: Should We Cage Animals for our Entertainment?

Is it ethical to keep wild animals in captivity?  Animal rights advocates have convinced many people to reconsider their attitudes. Students explore the issue through two readings and discussion questions. 


After police shootings: Acknowledging our feelings, moving to action

This activity acknowledges the painful feelings surrounding the killings in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas, and points the way to positive action.


Discussing Tragic Events in the News

When upsetting things happen in the world, it can be very helpful to give young people a chance to share their feelings and thoughts about it. Here are some basic questions to help students share thoughts and feelings, formats to structure these discussions, and other resources.