Classroom Lessons

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Classroom Lessons


 

About those Conventions...

Splits and controversies made for extra drama at this summer's Democratic and Republican national conventions. In this activity, students learn about and discuss what conventions are for and how they work, and what happened at the conventions this summer. 


 

Zoos, Circuses & Theme Parks: Should We Cage Animals for our Entertainment?

Is it ethical to keep in captivity animals that are normally found in the wild? In recent years, the debate around this question has been heating up, with animal rights advocates convincing an increasing percentage of the public to reconsider its attitudes about zoos, circuses, and theme parks featuring water animals. In the summer of 2016, after a long campaign by animal rights groups, Barnum and Bailey's announced that it would be retiring its elephant performers. SeaWorld announced that it would be phasing out the use of orcas as performing animals.

After police shootings: Acknowledging our feelings, moving to action

This activity acknowledges the painful feelings surrounding the killings in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas, and points the way to positive action.


 

Discussing Tragic Events in the News

When upsetting things happen in the world, it can be very helpful to give young people a chance to share their feelings and thoughts about it. Here are some basic questions to help students share thoughts and feelings, formats to structure these discussions, and other resources. 


 

The Significance of Electing Women

Hillary Clinton stands on the brink of becoming the country's first female president. In the lesson, students learn about women who have run for president in the past and consider the significance of having a woman as president of the United States.


 

Everyday people resisting Islamophobia

In this brief Teachable Instant activity, students learn about ways that people in the U.S. and around the world have stood up to anti-Muslim bias. 


 

Orlando Shooting: A Listening Circle

This listening circle on the tragic shooting in Orlando on June 12, 2016, gives young people a chance to share what they are thinking and feeling, encouraging mutual understanding and support.


 

Who are the Libertarians?

In this brief Teachable Instant classroom activity, students find out about the Libertarian Party candidates on the 2016 presidential ballot, and discuss where libertarians stand on the issues. 


 

What's in a Name? The Corporate Branding of Public Spaces

Can you imagine your public school being renamed "Coca-Cola High"? This lesson has students think critically about the trend toward corporate branding of public spaces and consider the significance of “public space” in a democratic society.


 

Your Word Against Mine: A battle over the term 'illegal alien'

A student at Dartmouth College touched off a successful national campaign to get the Library of Congress to stop using the term "illegal aliens" to refer to undocumented immigrants. Now a Congressional committee is challenging the move.