This lesson explores the most recent constitutional expansion of voting rights: extending them to people between 18 and 21 years of age. Students will read the 26th Amendment and learn about its history. They will view an NBC report from Nov. 5, 2008, that explains how important the youth vote was to the election of Barack Obama. Finally, they will examine the results of a recent study showing that young voters have very different concerns than older voters, and hypothesize about how young voters might affect elections in 2012 and beyond.
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There is no doubt that modern lifestyle changes have contributed to the problems of overweight and obesity among adults and children. Some school health and physical education programs are tackling the challenge of integrating healthier eating and regular exercise into the lives of students. But what about the social challenges that face children who are overweight? And how do media messages reinforce the bias they already experience among many of their peers? In these lessons, students will evaluate both their own biases related to size differences and the ways in which media shape those biases.
Making art together is one of the most important ways students can engage in a collaborative process, and talk about the messages and methods they believe in. Art takes time and process. Once children have had a chance to look at different symbols and think about the importance of technique, colors, shapes, and styles, it is time with each other and their art materials that will really allow them to express themselves, finding their voices as artists and activists simultaneously.
As students move forward with work on their activist murals, it will be important for them to think about managing their time and materials. It will also be important for them to remind themselves and each other of their messages and ultimate goals. Continuing work on an ongoing project can be challenging for some children, but it is an important part of developing an identity as someone who does good and important work. Make sure you show respect for the challenging aspects of this activity as your students move ahead with their mural.
This activity asks students to read and compare the language of two oral histories, asking them to think about prejudice, stigma and fundamental rights and freedoms.
Ways to use the reading " Home was a Horse Stall" about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II in the classroom
In this lesson students learn about the Reconstruction Amendments (13th, 14th and 15th) that abolished slavery, guaranteed African American citizenship and secured men the right to vote.
On November 20, 1969, Alcatraz island became the unlikely stage for a landmark event in the Native American rights movement.
Educator and author Mara Sapon-Shevin offers strategies and ideas to help students become allies -- people who stand with or for others.
America by the Numbers with Maria Hinojosa, a PBS documentary series produced by the Harlem-based Futuro Media Group, reveals how dramatic changes in the composition and demographics of the United States are playing out across the country.
Before conducting this activity, educators may want to discuss historical information about racism and diversity issues. In the story The Sneetches, written by Dr. Seuss, yellow bird-like creatures take students on an adventure where green stars become the symbol of discrimination and privilege. After reading the story aloud, let students participate in the following activities that can be adapted with or without the story.
Most students are familiar with at least some portraits—pictures or paintings of people—but perhaps they have not had a chance to think about the way a portrait shows a person. In fact, portraitists make a lot of choices when they execute their work. These choices include how the artists see the subject, and how the artists want the subject to be seen by others. It is important for young children to develop a critical eye when looking at portraits, just as they are developing critical thinking skills in other areas. In particular, this lesson helps children start thinking about what a portrait can show about race and racial stereotypes, and how portraitists might reinforce or fight against stereotypes through their art.
In this lesson Students reflect on the ways in which they have experienced or participated in bias based on physical size and appearance, and the ways in which expectations about body image and appearance in our society affect us. They learn about media literacy and examine media images for "attractiveness messages" that consciously and unconsciously impact our attitudes and behavior toward others. Students conclude the lesson by exploring ways to get beyond appearance as a dominant force in their social lives.
Several years ago Birmingham resident Jim Rotch was driving home from a retreat when he scribbled some words on a pad as he drove. Those words became known as The Birmingham Pledge. What seemed a solitary, simple act has grown into a worldwide movement.
The Birmingham Pledge is one effort of the Birmingham community to recognize the dignity and worth of every individual and to share with the world one community’s commitment to eliminate racial prejudice in the lives of all people.
Objectives: Students will learn ways in which the city of Birmingham still works for equity and justice;
students will explore how their own city can join Birmingham in the struggle to eliminate racism wherever it exists; and
students will sign The Birmingham Pledge.
Photocopy or create a large map of the school, including the school grounds and the cafeteria. Then have students identify places that cliques or self-segregating groups gather.
This collection of primary resources and corresponding activities sheds light on the endurance of peaceful protesters in Montgomery, Ala., who overturned an unjust law.
After participating in this activity, students will be able to identify ways they are similar to and different from peers and understand why diversity is positive.
This is the third lesson of the series “Dealing with Dilemmas: Upstanders, Bystanders and Whistle-Blowers,” which is designed to help students think about the importance of standing up for what they believe in despite both external and internal obstacles.
This lesson is part of a series called “Changing Demographics, Changing Identity, Changing Attitudes” The series focuses on how the American identity has and will continue to change as we move toward a plurality nation, how the nation responds to that evolving identity, how changing demographics relate to issues of equality, and what we can do to promote respect for all people living in the United States.
In this lesson, students consider actions we can take to promote respect and ensure equality for all people living in the United States.
This activity asks students to read and compare the language of selected civil rights legislation.By tracing the changes in language (from "handicapped" to "people with disabilities," for example) and the necessity of restating and reinforcing Constitutional rights, the analysis likewise asks them to think about prejudice, stigma and fundamental rights and freedoms.
Friendship circles are groups of people who share some common interests or values. They can be healthy, nurturing and supportive. Being bonded to others because of a shared love of sports, music or extracurricular activities seems natural. But what happens when friendship circles become inflexible?
Collective poetry is an exercise designed to encourage students to work from a shared pattern in order to join their voices in a collective rhythm.
Teaching social justice requires helping students confront their personal biases because studies show that tolerance training can backfire if not accompanied by an implicit/personal component. We used this activity in a university course, "Diversity Issues in Psychology," but it works well for high school, too.
Comic books are visual literature. This simple cooperative group activity allows students to identify confrontational issues within their own school and then imagine solutions.
Many religions have things in common. At the same time, each is unique. In the shared category, Islam, like Christianity and Judaism, descends from the first five books of the Bible. That’s why some people refer to members of all three religions as “followers of the Book.” Some people also call the three religions “Abrahamic” because they all descended from Abraham. In the unique category, Jews were the first to believe that there was one God; Muslims believe that Muhammad was God’s messenger and Christians believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah.
In the same way that religions are both alike and unique, so, too are the members of those religions. In this activity, students learn more about Muslims in the United States and practice graph-reading skills.
In this activity, students will summarize biographies of individuals who fought racism and helped make it possible for a black man to serve as President of the United States. Along they way, they'll discover that they, too, can take a stand for justice and equality and make the world a better place today.
In this lesson, students imagine themselves attending a high school that is polarized by violence between U.S.-born students and foreign-born African immigrants. After learning about the situation, students use problem-solving skills to determine what they would do to deal with the violence if they attended that school. The lesson is adapted from an actual situation that took place at Edward Little High School in Auburn, Maine.
When we put ourselves in another person’s shoes, we are often more sensitive to what that person is experiencing and are less likely to tease or bully them. By explicitly teaching students to be more conscious of other people’s feelings, we can create a more accepting and respectful school community.
In this lesson, students will describe aspects of their identities such as race, gender, class, age, ability, religion and more. They will watch two video clips featuring Marley Dias, an eleven-year-old girl who started the #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign, a book drive with the goal of collecting 1,000 books featuring African-American girls. After learning about the campaign, students will review illustrated books in their classroom and school library and analyze whether the characters in the books reflect their own identities or the identities of their families and friends. Finally, students will write a book review on one of the books and examine how the book’s characters are similar to or different from them.
What is needed to end mass incarceration and permanently eliminate racial caste in the United States? Legal and policy solutions alone are not enough to dismantle racial caste because the methods of racial control within this system are “legal” and rarely appear as outwardly discriminatory. A social movement that confronts the role of race and cultivates an ethic of care must form or else a new racial caste system will emerge in the future.
In these activities, students will imagine themselves in the role of these women and weigh the risks and potential benefits of their actions. In the process, they will develop an understanding of undocumented workers that goes far deeper than the caricatures that are often part of the debate over policy.