In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, educators are looking for ways to address students' anxieties, build the classroom and school community, counter bias and harassment, and address political issues raised by the election. Below is a collection of activities and teaching ideas from the TeachableMoment section of our website that may be helpful. We'll be generating additional activities in the weeks to come.
Activities specifically about the election
Exploring Solidarity, Post-Election
Through small-group activities, students learn about and discuss acts of solidarity and mutual support in the wake of the presidential election.
Sanctuary Cities in the Spotlight
What are sanctuary cities, and why are they girding for conflict in the wake of Trump's election? Students explore the concept of "sanctuary" and learn about efforts by advocates to defend undocumented immigrants.
Anti-Immigrant Bias, Then & Now
Students learn about opposition to past waves of U.S. immigrants and consider Donald Trump's immigration stance in light of that history.
Election Emotions: Sharing & Community-Building
In this activity, students share their feelings about the election, have a listening circle, and then participate in a community-building activity.
Building Community, Post-Election: The Power of Kindness
In this activity students think about ways to be kind, and create a wall or bulletin board of art and writing to remind each other of the power of kindness and how everyday actions can make a difference in the world.
Building Community, Post-Election: Sharing our Values
This activity aims to help students create a classroom and school community that is safe, welcoming and supportive, despite some turmoil in the outside world.
Addressing Election Anxiety
(Posted pre-election) The 2016 election has caused anxiety among many students, as well as a surge in bullying and harassment in many schools. We provide suggestions for supporting students and strengthening your classroom community in these challenging times.
See lessons leading up to the election here. Also, search TeachableMoment for past lessons on many of the issues now in discussion, including on the electoral college, Obamacare, immigration, climate change, etc.
Activities to counter bias, harassment and stereotyping
Countering Anti-Muslim & Anti-Arab Bias in School
These general guidelines are aimed at helping to make our schools safe and supportive environments for youngsters with these backgrounds; and to prevent and counter expressions of bias against these groups in any school.
Interrupting Oppressive Behavior
What to do when students make hurtful remarks - or worse? Eight tips on what to do when students make hurtful remarks.
Exploring Stereotypes: First Thoughts
Ask the class, What do we mean by "stereotype"? Elicit that a stereotype is a general statement about a group of people based on incomplete information.
Helpful strategies and guidelines
When upsetting events happen in the world, they arouse strong feelings in many of us - sadness, anger, fear, confusion, worry. We tend to carry these feelings around with us through the day, at work or at school.
3 Quiet Minutes
Consider giving students a few moments of silence and calm by asking them to focus on an object. If students respond positively to the experience, repeat it.
Teaching about Controversial or Difficult Issues
10 suggestions for upsetting issues in the news in constructive, thoughtful and sensitive ways.
Microlab for Exploring Tough Issues
Well-structured small-group discussion can help students discuss issues of the day that concern them.
See additional activities on handling difficult issues on TeachableMoment.