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2012 Election Issues: Democracy & the Citizens United Case
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Students will: share their associations with the term "democracy"; come up with a working definition for democracy; consider other forms of government besides democracy by discussing a Winston Churchill quote; watch and discuss in small groups an animated short on the history of the Supreme Court case of Citizens United versus FEC; for homework, research the liberal and conservative perspectives on Citizens United versus FEC; for the next lesson, participate in a dialogue with one half of students presenting the liberal perspective and the other half presenting the conservative perspective.

Subject:
U.S. History
Political Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Homework/Assignment
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Marieke van Woerkom
Date Added:
07/01/2012
9/11 Anniversary Teaching Guide
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Our age-appropriate classroom lessons and activities for grades K-12 aim to deepen your students' understanding of September 11 and develop their critical thinking skills. The guide, written by Morningside Center executive director Tom Roderick, also includes recommended books and other teaching ideas.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Date Added:
09/27/2013
After Newtown: National Rifle Association Vs. Gun Control
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In the wake of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, CT, students learn about and discuss renewed calls for gun control and the National Rifle Association's history of successfully resisting such reforms.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Mark Engler
Date Added:
01/25/2013
Band of Brothers
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

Natural disasters require communities to work together. Students will: come up with a definition of community and discuss the different the communities they are a part of; talk about a time they have helped someone in their community and why; watch a video clip of a group of young boys helping their community in Japan in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami; discuss what it feels like to help people and how it feels to receive help; discuss a time the students worked together to achieve a goal; come up with ideas of how to help people who are affected by natural disasters.

Subject:
Social Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Marieke van Woerkom
Date Added:
06/28/2012
The Boycott, Then and Now
Conditions of Use:
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The boycott is one of the most powerful, time-tested tactics that social movements have at their disposal. History offers many examples of people joining together to exercise their power as consumers in support of movements for social justice, civil rights, and workers' rights. By calling for people to not spend their money on a target good or service, boycotts can aid these movements by drawing on a wider base of supporters who would otherwise be unable to participate.

This lesson examines the historical development of the boycott as a tactic - with examples of its use by both progressives and conservatives - and looks at some recent boycotts that are related to hot-button political issues.

Subject:
Sociology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Mark Engler
Date Added:
06/28/2012
Challenging the Boy Scouts of America's Anti-Gay Policy
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Rating

Student readings examine the Boy Scouts of America's policy of excluding gays, as well as efforts by scouts themselves to challenge discrimination from both inside and outside the organization.

Subject:
Sociology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Mark Engler
Date Added:
12/14/2012
Climate Change Showdown: Keystone XL Pipeline
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Environmentalists passionately opposed to a giant pipeline that would transport crude oil from the tar sands of Canada to the Gulf coast are going head-to-head with proponents of the project. Students explore the controversy surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline and the strategic questions it raises for environmentalists.

Subject:
Social Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Mark Engler
Date Added:
05/16/2013
Columbus and the Clash of Cultures
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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.

Subject:
Social Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Homework/Assignment
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Maxine Phillips
Date Added:
10/08/2014
Coming Out: Jason Collins
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NBA player Jason Collins recently became the first openly gay athlete in a major American team sport. In this activity, students read some of Collins' coming out statement, discuss it, and then consider their views on the impact coming out can have, both personally and for society.

Subject:
Social Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Jinnie Spiegler
Date Added:
05/01/2013
Considering President Obama's remarks on the Trayvon Martin Case
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Rating

This activity aims to facilitate classroom discussion of President Obama's remarks on July 19 about race and the Trayvon Martin case.

Subject:
Law
General Law
Political Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Reading
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Date Added:
07/22/2013
Cut Social Security? Ask a Senior
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President Obama's recent proposal to cut Social Security's cost-of-living increases is part of a major national debate, but one that many students know little about. In this activity, students find out about Social Security by interviewing a senior family member or friend about it, and through reading and small and large-group discussion.

Subject:
Social Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Laura McClure
Date Added:
04/20/2013
Death Penalty: What Is It? What Do We Think About It?
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In late September 2011, the death penalty dominated news headlines. The stories mostly revolved around the case of Troy Davis, a 42-year old African American man who was convicted of killing a white off-duty police officer in Savannah, Georgia, over 20 years ago. Protests against the death penalty were held across the US and the debate over his guilt captured the attention of thousands internationally as well. Over the years Troy Davis's case has helped fuel the global movement to end the death penalty. After three earlier stays of execution, Troy Davis lost a clemency vote taken by the Georgia Parole Board on September 20, 2011. The following day, he was put to death by lethal injection.

Subject:
Social Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Marieke van Woerkomspan
Date Added:
09/27/2011
Developing Our 'Green Intelligence' on Fossil Fuels
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Rating

Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, believes that environmental awareness and action are the next frontier in the field of social and emotional learning. Goleman calls this environmental awareness 'green intelligence'. In this lesson students will develop their green awareness by considering American consumption of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas; learning about new methods of extracting these fuels; and discussing their pros & cons.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Marieke van Woerkom
Date Added:
06/28/2012
Does America Really Have a Budget Crisis?
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

This lesson is designed to get students to think critically about hot-button issues such as the "fiscal cliff," "sequestration," and the ongoing debate about the US budget. Two student readings examine the general debate about the budget and the human impact of budget cuts and sequestration. Questions for discussion follow each reading.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Mark Engler
Date Added:
04/14/2013
Drone Warfare and Obama's 'Kill List'
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Rating

Late in the spring of 2012, the New York Times revealed the existence of a secret "kill list" of suspected terrorists compiled by President Obama and his counterterrorism advisors. The Times reported that the president personally reviews and approves individuals targeted for assassination. This revelation opened a broad discussion about the legality and morality of having a secretive program of extrajudicial assassination managed by the White House. Furthermore, it has shined a light on the increasing use by the U.S. military of unmanned drone strikes as a preferred method for continuing the "war on terror" in the Middle East and Asia.

This lesson includes two student readings. The first reading explores revelations of President Obama's program of extrajudicial assassination - particularly the controversial "kill list" - and discusses the morality and legality of the White House's actions. The second reading provides further background on drones and drone warfare, and discusses arguments both opposing and in favor of it.

Questions for student discussion follow each reading.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Mark Engler
Date Added:
06/01/2012
Fast Food Forward
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

A one-day strike by fast food workers in New York City is a teachable moment for students on the fast food industry and worker organizing. This lesson includes a brainstorm, small-group readings and discussion, and an opinion continuum activity to get students thinking about these issues.

Subject:
Economics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Laura McClure
Date Added:
12/13/2012
Getting to Know You
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These activities will help you get the year off to a good start by engaging you and your students in getting to know each other, practicing listening skills, and discussing the values that will shape your classroom community. There are separate sets of activities for grades Pre-K to 2, grades 3 to 5, and grades 6 to 12. They are adapted from exercises in our Resolving Conflict Creatively Program and our 4Rs Program (Reading, Writing, Respect & Resolution).

Subject:
Social Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Tom Roderick
Date Added:
07/01/2010
HOLIDAYS: SOMETIMES HAPPY, SOMETIMES NOT
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Rating

The holidays are not always a joyful occasion, especially for those facing hardship or stress. In this activity, students share their feelings about the upcoming holidays and consider how they might provide some encouragement for those who are struggling.

Subject:
Sociology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Marieke van Woerkom
Date Added:
12/13/2012
High-Stakes Testing & the Seattle Teachers' Boycott
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Rating

Students learn about the Seattle teacher's boycott of high-stakes tests and the larger testing issue, and consider a range of opinions about the effect of current high-stakes testing on teachers, students, and our education system.

Subject:
Social Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Mark Engler
Date Added:
01/15/2013
Internet Privacy: A Personal and Political Issue
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

In this interactive lesson, students consider the issue of internet privacy, both in their own lives and in society, including government spying, parental monitoring, and corporate tracking of consumers. What is the connection and potential conflict between safety and privacy, both on a personal and institutional level?

Subject:
Information Science
Arts and Humanities
Sociology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Reading
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Date Added:
07/06/2013
Introductions: Getting the Year Off to a Good Start
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Rating

This activity aims to help your class get the school year off to a good start. Students share their names and a high point of their summer; learn a little about their similarities and differences; and begin considering what kind of community they want to create in their classroom.

Subject:
Social Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Marieke van Woerkom
Date Added:
12/14/2012
An Introduction to Circles
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Circles use a highly structured process to create a safe space where people can share their feelings and experiences. Since 2011, Morningside Center has partnered with the NYC Department of Education to introduce Peace and Restorative Circles into schools around New York City. Here, Morningside Center trainer Marieke van Woerkom outlines the basic elements of Circles.

Subject:
Social Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Marieke van Woerkom
Date Added:
03/03/2013
Learning from Hurricane Sandy: What is ResilIence?
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

Students create a web and define the word "resilience," read a blog about the resilience of one Brooklyn school community that was hit by Hurricane Sandy, and consider what being prepared and resilient might mean at their own school.

Subject:
Social Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Reading
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Marieke van Woerkom
Date Added:
11/15/2012
Let's Talk About Testing
Conditions of Use:
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Rating

In this interactive lesson, students learn more about the high-stakes testing debate, explore different points of view about this issue, consider their own views, and identify actions they can take to address their concerns about high-stakes testing.

Subject:
Social Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Jinnie Spiegler
Date Added:
03/12/2013
MLK Day/Inauguration Day: The Power Of Alliance-Building
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Rating

In this lesson students discuss Dr. King's views about alliance-building; consider these in light of Obama's inauguration; learn about the alliance-building work of Ai-jen Poo, founder of Domestic Workers United; and think about things in their own lives that they might want to build alliances to change.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Marieke van Woerkom
Date Added:
01/16/2013
Malala: Standing Up For Girls
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Rating

This lesson focuses on the story of Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old Pakistani girl whose public stance in favor of the education of girls made her the target of a Taliban assassination attempt in October 2012. The lesson has students learn a little about Pakistan, and read and discuss Malala's blog. Because the context of the story is important and complex, background information is provided.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Sociology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lecture
Lesson Plan
Simulation
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Date Added:
10/26/2012
March on Washington: Teaching Suggestions
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The 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Movement's 1963 March on Washington is a great teaching opportunity. We offer some helpful resources.

Subject:
Social Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Date Added:
09/27/2013
NSA Surveillance and the Politics of Whistleblowing
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Rating

Edward Snowden's leak of classified information about the NSA's surveillance of American citizens has touched off a debate about the need for government secrecy versus the public's right to know. Two student readings and discussion questions probe the controversy.

Subject:
Political Science
Sociology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Reading
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Date Added:
06/21/2013
National Coming Out Day: A Circle on Passing
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Rating

In this activity, timed to coincide with National Coming Out Day on October 11, students learn about what it means to "pass" (as white, as straight, 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.

Subject:
Social Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Homework/Assignment
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Date Added:
10/08/2014
Nelson Mandela: Showing by Example
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Rating

This lesson focuses on the leadership qualities of Nelson Mandela, South African civil rights leader and the country's first democratically elected president.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
World History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Marieke van Woerkom
Date Added:
12/05/2013
Nelson Mandela and the Fight Against Apartheid
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Rating

Students learn about and discuss the history of apartheid in South Africa, the long struggle against it, and Nelson Mandela's legacy as a leader in that struggle.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Reading
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Date Added:
07/13/2013
OIL: Saudi Arabia, the U.S. & Osama bin Laden - Three Lessons for High School Students
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Rating

Most Americans are "energy illiterate." These lessons for high school students promote energy literacy, especially about oil. We begin with a student energy quiz, followed by three readings and suggested classroom activities.

Subject:
Social Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Date Added:
10/31/2012
The Politics of Immigration Reform
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Students explore how the growing power of Latino voters improves chances for comprehensive immigration reform and consider some of the economic benefits of immigration.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Political Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Mark Engler
Date Added:
06/12/2013
Poverty in the U.S.
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In 1962, an American activist named Michael Harrington wrote a relatively short but influential study on the problem of poverty in the United States. 'The Other America' ultimately found its way into the hands of President John F. Kennedy, and the book had a profound impact on bringing poverty issues to public attention. It ultimately contributed to the launch of the government's "War on Poverty."

TeachableMoment marks the 50 year anniversary, and addresses the ongoing issue, with a series of readings and discussion questions for high school students. Readings one and two, below, give an overview of Michael Harrington's book and consider the state of poverty in the U.S. now. The next pair of readings in the series will examine the debate about who should count as poor in this country and proposals for combating poverty.

Subject:
Journalism
Economics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Homework/Assignment
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Mark Engler
Date Added:
04/06/2012
The Protestor: Time Magazine's 2011 Person of the Year
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Lesson Objectives: To help students understand why Time magazine chose The Protester as their 2011 Person of the Year. To help students understand how and why the worldwide protests took place during 2011, and their interconnectedness and distinctiveness. To help students understand the role of social media in the protests. To help students reflect on who "has done the most to influence the events of the year". To help students reflect on the meaning of democracy.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Jinnie Spiegler
Date Added:
12/12/2011
Protests Against the World Cup and the Olympics
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Rating

In three readings, students learn about protests surrounding upcoming World Cup and Olympic events; consider whether such events benefit the people of host countries; and learn about Russia's recent anti-gay legislation and the debate surrounding a possible boycott of the 2014 Winter Games.

Subject:
Social Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Date Added:
09/27/2013
Reflecting on National Hispanic Heritage Month
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Rating

This lesson uses Hispanic Heritage Month as a jumping off point for discussing how history is shaped and what we can do together to include a larger variety of voices and narratives in our study of history.

Subject:
Ethnic Studies
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Homework/Assignment
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Marieke van Woerkom
Date Added:
10/08/2014
Should Assault Weapons Be Banned?
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Rating

Student readings review the origins of the AK-47, the 10-year federal ban on assault weapons, President Obama's views on guns, and the NRA's political clout. Discussion questions and an inquiry-oriented plan for "constructive controversy" follow.

Subject:
Political Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Reading
Provider:
Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility
Provider Set:
Teachable Moment
Author:
Alan Shapiro
Date Added:
12/17/2012