Classroom Lessons

Classroom Lessons

A Lesson on Ebola

This lesson provides factual information to students about Ebola.  Providing accurate information about the disease may help prevent misinformed students from targeting classmates who are from Africa (or thought to be from Africa), which has happened in some schools.  If students have been targeted at your school because of Ebola fears, please see these guidelines and resources for addressing this challenge.

Ebola: Guidelines for Handling the Targeting of Students

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa and irrational reactions to it in the U.S. are creating challenges in some schools. Here are some suggestions and resources to help school staff restore calm and safety when students are being targeted because of Ebola.

Guidelines for Stopping Oppressive Behavior

Eleven suggestions to help adults address oppressive behavior by students.

Why Preserve Endangered Languages?

Students learn about why so many languages around the world are facing extinction, and how indigenous movements are fighting to preserve their languages. They consider several distinctive words for which there is no English translation, and, in small groups, make up a word of their own to describe something in their world. 

Colorado schools debate: Who decides history?

​Students and teachers in Jefferson County, Colorado, joined forces in the fall of 2014 to protest a school board decision to review the Advanced Placement U.S. history curriculum to ensure that it promotes patriotism and discourages civil disorder. In this lesson, students consider how the board's guidelines might change their own history texts, and what prompted students and teachers to protest the board's decision. 

'Occupy Central': Civil Disobedience in Hong Kong

Students learn about protests in Hong Kong (the "Umbrella Revolution") and analyze the different forms of civil disobedience protesters have used to organize for their cause. 

Malala: Standing up for girls

Update:  On October 10, 2014,  the Nobel  Committee announced that this year's Nobel Peace Prize would go to Malala Yousafzai, 17, of Pakistan, the youngest person ever to receive this honor. Kailash Satyarthi of India, a campaigner against child labor, shared the prize. In this lesson, posted in October 2012, students learn about Pakistan and about Malala's campaign for the education of girls, which made her the target of a Taliban assassination attempt in October 2012. The lesson has students read and discuss Malala's blog from her earlier days in Pakistan.  


Columbus and the Clash of Cultures

In small groups and class discussion, students share knowledge about Christopher Columbus and his voyages, learn about the impact of Columbus, and consider some ecological and political results of the encounter 

National Coming Out Day: A Circle on Passing

In this activity, timed to coincide with National Coming Out Day, students learn about what it means to "pass" (as straight, as white, as Christian...) and consider what the pressure to "pass" costs individuals and society. The activity is structured as a circle, but can be adapted for use in a conventional classroom.