Classroom Lessons

Classroom Lessons

A Circle on Events in Ferguson

In this circle activity, students share their thoughts and feelings about events in Ferguson and reflect on a quote about protest from Martin Luther King Jr.

Suggestions for Discussing the news from Ferguson

In this brief activity, students share their thoughts and feelings about the grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer who killed unarmed black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. 

Grappling with Extreme Inequality

The world's richest 85 people have as much wealth as half the people on earth. Students develop graphics or concepts to demonstrate this extreme inequality, express their thoughts and feelings about it, consider four ways people are working to address the problem, and discuss how they might take action themselves.

Carry That Weight: Addressing Campus Sexual Assault

In this lesson, students learn about a performance art piece by Columbia University student Emma Sulkowicz that dramatizes her reactions to the handling of her campus sexual assault case. Then students consider the wider issue of sexual assault, particularly on college campuses. 

A Thanks Giving Circle

This circle activity invites students to share their feelings about gratitude and to express  gratitude for things large and small. 

25th anniversary: Fall of the Berlin Wall

Twenty-five years after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, students learn about the wall's rise and fall, and consider the legacy of the Cold War. (See also our companion lesson on the 25th anniversary of Solidarity's victory in Poland.)

Ebola in Africa: Fostering empathy in an interconnected world

In small and large group reading and discussion, students consider the U.S. response to Ebola and the need to develop a sense of our interconnectness and responsibility to each other in the face of such global challenges. Extension activities include a video, slideshow, and additional readings.

A Lesson on Ebola

This lesson provides factual information to students about Ebola.  Providing accurate information about the disease may help prevent misinformed students from targeting classmates who are from Africa (or thought to be from Africa), which has happened in some schools.  If students have been targeted at your school because of Ebola fears, please see these guidelines and resources for addressing this challenge.

Ebola: Guidelines for Handling the Targeting of Students

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa and irrational reactions to it in the U.S. are creating challenges in some schools. Here are some suggestions and resources to help school staff restore calm and safety when students are being targeted because of Ebola.