Classroom Lessons

Classroom Lessons


Loving v. Virginia: An anniversary for interracial marriage

Students learn about the landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision that overturned laws banning interracial marriage, and consider the legacy of that decision today, 50 years on. 


Mass Incarceration & the New Jim Crow

Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow changed the conversation about race, racism, and incarceration in this country. In this activity, students explore Alexander’s argument that our criminal justice system has relegated millions of people of color to a permanent second-class status, and examine how people are challenging the policies mass incarceration and the New Jim Crow.


Group reflections to end the school year

Students reflect on the way their advisory or class has worked together and consider the values that are most important to them as a group now and going forward.


ACT UP, 30 Years On

It's the 30th annniversary of  ACT UP. In this lesson, students learn about and discuss the activist organization whose bold, creative organizing forced government action to combat HIV/AIDS.



Looking for Activities to Close the Year?

Now’s a good time to help students take stock of what’s happened in the year, appreciate the community you’ve created together, and look forward to next year.

Here's a roundup of activities we suggest for students of all ages.


Confederate Monuments and the 'Searing Truth'

The city of New Orleans removed four prominent Confederate monuments that had stood as symbols of white supremacy in that city for 133 years. This lesson uses speeches by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and City Councilmember Nadine Ramsey to explore the legacy of the Civil War and slavery, and how we choose to address that legacy today.


Prison Abolition and Restorative Justice

Should we abolish prisons? Students learn about and discuss the history of calls for prison abolition and consider alternative approaches, including restorative justice.


FBI Director's firing sparks controversy

Why did President Trump fire James Comey? This activity briefly explores the news and the debate. 


Strongmen: How should the U.S. relate to repressive leaders?

President Trump has praised leaders of countries around the world who are known to have violated human rights. What should the U.S. stance toward such "strongmen" be? In this activity, students work together to match eight leaders with their country and with charges about their human rights abuses. Then students read about and discuss President Trump's stances toward these leaders and the debate over them.


Should the Public Fund Media & the Arts?

President Trump has proposed eliminating federal funding for public media and the arts. What do students think? In this activity, students learn about the debate, discuss it, and research one program they think either should or should not be funded.