Classroom Lessons

Classroom Lessons

We’ve added a new feature to TeachableMoment: Teachable Instant. These short activities (5-15 minutes) aim to get your students talking about a topic in the news or on the calendar. We’ll have a new one ready for you by Monday morning of each school week.


A Eulogy Calls Out for Justice

On June 17, 2015, a white man shot and killed nine black churchgoers at a Charleston, South Carolina, Bible study class. On June 26, President Obama delivered the eulogy for Clementa Pinckney, one of those murdered. His eulogy connected the killings to pressing issues related to racial injustice in the United States. In this lesson, students analyze the eulogy to uncover these issues and find out where the president stands on them.


Overcoming Hate: A Circle on the Charleston Massacre

Circles are a powerful way for people to come together, share their thoughts and feelings, be heard, mourn and heal together. Below are suggestions for a circle to help students share their thoughts and feelings following the massacre of nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, on June 17, 2015.  For guidelines on conducting circles, see our introduction to the process here.


Teachable Instant: No vacation nation?

In this brief activity, students take a quick quiz about vacation policies and practices in the U.S. and other countries, analyze a chart comparing vacation policies, and discuss what they think about U.S. vacation policies.


Teachable Instant: Issues & Non-Issues in Campaign Coverage

In this brief activity, students reflect on issues that are most important to them, discuss why 65 percent of media election coverage is not about issues, and consider what they most want to know from candidates. 


A poem to reflect on the year

Students read and reflect on a poem and on their experiences over the past year, and consider things they've learned or goals they want to set for the coming year. 


Teachable Instant: Automatic voter registration

In this brief activity, students take a quick quiz on voter access, then discuss the debate over this issue, including Hillary Clinton's recent proposal to make voter registration automatic. 


Teachable Instant: A Confederate Controversy

In this brief activity, students learn about recent controversies surrounding the Confederate flag, discuss opposing views of the flag, and consider the range of opinion among different groups about the flag. 


Nail Salon Workers & the Real Cost of a Manicure

An investigative report by the New York Times uncovered the deplorable—and frequently illegal—conditions faced by employees at nail salons. This lesson has students consider different points of view on the subject, and how they, and consumers in general, should respond.


Teachable Instant: Tsarnaev & the Death Penalty

Through a quiz and brief discussion, students consider Tsarnaev's death sentence and growing opposition to capital punishment. 


Teachable Instant: Chicago makes amends for police violence

Chicago decided on May 6, 2015, to provide reparations for its history of brutal police abuse, after decades of organizing by activists. This brief classroom activity uses two quotes to help students consider the news and its implications.