In this lesson, students will reflect on the value of knowing American history, practice their research and writing skills, and learn more about the abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
Students explore two forms of nonviolent protest, strikes and boycotts, using as case studies the strike by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance and the #DeleteUber campaign, both in response to an immigration ban imposed by President Trump.
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.
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.
In January 2016, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced its Oscar Award nominations. For the second year in a row, no actors of color were nominated. This has led to controversy about racial inequality in the film industry. In this lesson, students learn about the controversy, identify different points of view about it, take a stand on it, and support their stance.
On June 17, 2015, a white man shot and killed nine black churchgoers at a Charleston, South Carolina Bible study class. On June 26, President Obama delivered the eulogy for Clementa Pinckney, one of those murdered. His eulogy connected the killings to pressing issues related to racial injustice in the United States. In this lesson, students analyze the eulogy to uncover these issues and find out where the president stands on them.
An investigative report by the New York Times uncovered the deplorable and frequently illegal conditions faced by employees at nail salons. This lesson has students consider different points of view on the subject, and how they, and consumers in general, should respond.
Students consider anti-Semitism through reading, discussing, and writing about a recent controversial incident at UCLA.
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.
The world's richest 85 people have as much wealth as half the people on earth. Students develop graphics or concepts to demonstrate this extreme inequality, express their thoughts and feelings about it, consider four ways people are working to address the problem, and discuss how they might take action themselves.
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.
Students use the case of Ray Rice — the professional football player seen physically abusing his fiancé — as a starting point to learn about domestic violence.
What is justice? What is peace? And how are they related? Students consider these questions and the meaning of the chant "no justice, no peace," used by people protesting the police killing of Michael Brown - and by many past protesters.
Should apartment buildings that have both luxury and affordable units have separate entrances for wealthy and non-wealthy residents? Students learn about a controversy over "poor doors" in New York and London, analyze different perspectives, and write a persuasive essay on the issue.
Students learn about Chester Nez, the World War 2 Navajo code talker, who died on June 4, 2014. They consider why he was willing to help the U.S. war effort despite the terrible bigotry that he had endured. Through small group activities, students put themselves in Nez's place to encourage them to empathize with others, and consider how past wrongs can be remedied.
Scientists are getting more specific about the pace of climate change, warning that we have very little time left to stop it. Activists are pursuing divestment movements and boycotts. In this activity, students read about these efforts and plan their own climate-saving action.
Students read President Johnson's March 1964 speech to Congress outlining the War on Poverty and, in small groups, use a graphic organizer to explore how values of justice and equity were translated into policies and programs. They consider: What beliefs led to declaring a war on poverty? And what actions did the President propose to fight that war?
In this critical thinking activity, students research how different constituencies (such as U.S. athletes or corporate sponsors) have responded to the controversy over Russia's anti-gay laws, evaluate those responses, and propose how they would respond if they were in that role.
After discussing the news from New York, students explore how the bill came to be passed - including the strategies and personal experiences that influenced legislators' decisions.
In a jigsaw activity, students learn about three Wikipedia controversies, then decide whether they think Wikipedia is a reliable information source.
Students write about and discuss an ad that has raised issues about beauty, race, and skin color, and consider the role of advertising in reflecting and shaping attitudes.
Students read and discuss two very different views on the role of government and individuals; work in groups to complete a cut-and-paste activity of those views; and participate in an Opinion Continuum activity to consider and discuss their own views.
Students analyze new evidence of growing wealth disparity based on race and ethnicity and overall U.S. economic inequality. Then they consider what they and others might do to reduce inequality.