The school year is starting, and it’s likely students will have questions after the “”Unite the Right”” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 11 and 12, 2017.
Educators play a critical role in helping students understand the event—yet how do educators best approach the topics of hate, racism and white supremacy in the classroom?
The Atlantic contributing writer Melinda Anderson created the #CharlottesvilleCurriculum hashtag on Twitter to serve as an ongoing list of resources to help educators teach responsively to current events.
Here are a few to get you started:
Facing History and Ourselves
Facing History and Ourselves is a nonprofit international educational and professional development organization, with a mission to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice and anti-Semitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry.
They offer an evidence-based social studies curriculum for middle and high school students. Identity Charts, for instance, can be used as a graphic tool to deepen students’ understanding of themselves, groups, nations and historical and literary figures; and Not in Our Town shares the story of how the town of Billings, Montana, responded to intolerance in their community. The lesson plan can be used to help students explore issues such as hate crimes, civic participation and universe of obligation.
Social Justice Book List
The National Network of State Teachers of the Year compiled a list of social justice books, broken down by grade level, that could help start conversations, spark ideas, present challenges and brainstorm solutions.
Teaching Tolerance provides free resources to educators who work with children from kindergarten through high school with an emphasis on social justice and anti-bias. The ready-to-use classroom lessons—based on their Social Justice Standards—span essential topics and reinforce critical social emotional learning skills.
The Critical Media Project
The media creates meaning about race and ethnicity—playing an important role in shaping the way populations understand it. The Critical Media Project of the University of Southern California offers lesson plans and resources for talking about media literacy as it relates to race, ethnicity and identity.
Share My Lesson
Share My Lesson, powered by the American Federation of Teachers, is committed to providing high-quality and effective lessons for use in the classroom. Their #CharlotttesvilleCurriculum offers over 300 educator lessons and resources for addressing racism and stereotyping, helping children cope with traumatic events, immigration resources, and teaching social justice.
Courtesy of SYTA.