Respect for All Teaching Ideas


Respect for All Week

During Respect for All (RfA) week, students in schools across New York City will participate in programs and activities that teach them to value diversity and respect one another. They will also receive important information on what they can do if someone they know has been a victim of bullying or harassment.

RfA Week is also a reminder of the work we need to be doing all year to prevent bullying and to ensure that children can pursue their dreams without fear of discrimination.

Morningside Center helped the Department of Education kick off the Respect for All program several years ago, and we have worked with the DOE to develop and facilitate Respect for All workshops for staff from schools throughout the city.  

We encourage you to use the activities below in your classroom during Respect for All Week (or any time).
 


Elementary School 

Respect for All 

Lessons from the "Celebrating Diversity & Countering Prejudice" units of Morningside Center's 4Rs curriculum (Reading, Writing, Respect & Resolution). 

Respecting Differences K-2
Students observe that even friends may disagree in their opinions. The lesson includes an "opinion continuum" exercise that encourages students to respectfully express and listen to different opinions.

Two Activities on Diversity 
In a group and one-on-one, students consider their similarities and differences and see that it's okay to talk about diversity.  

Exploring Stereotypes: First Thoughts
Students consider stereotypes, beginning with stereotypes of "teenagers."

Face to Face  (video)
A video from a 2nd grade classroom of the Face-to-Face activity (described in two of the lesson collections above, Respect for All and Two Activities on Diversity).


Middle School

Respect for All 2012: Standing up to Discrimination
In this lesson students define the terms "prejudice," "stereotype," and "discrimination," read an an article about a group of vets who took a stand against discrimination, and consider the role of an ally both in the article and at school.

Cultural Banners
After creating a culture web, students work individually to create a "cultural banner" expressing values, traditions, and activities important in their families.

Homophobia: What is it?  What can we do about it?
This two-part lesson for grades 5-8 is aimed at increasing students' understanding of homophobia. The first part focuses on personal experiences of our differences; the second part focuses on what students can do to make their classroom and school safe for everyone.

Islam and Islamophobia
Students talk about their cultural heritage, watch an online video about American Muslims, discuss their understanding of Islam and Muslims, and share their own experiences of being treated unfairly.


High School

Respect for All 2013: What is Bullying?  
In this lesson students explore ways to be allies to those being teased, harassed or bullied in their schools.   

Respect for All 2012: Standing up to Discrimination
In this lesson students define the terms "prejudice" "stereotype" and "discrimination," read an an article about a group of vets who took a stand against discrimination, and consider the role of an ally both in the article and at school.

Coming Out
This lesson, which requires two class periods, aims to help students understand why people come out, and the impact coming out can have on both a personal and societal level.  Students will read and discuss the statements by two celebrities who recently came out (Anderson Cooper and Frank Ocean) and consider taking action to support National Coming Out Day on October 11.



Other Teacher Resources:  
Diversity issues can be controversial. Morningside Center has general guidelines for dealing with controversial issues that you might find helpful:

Teaching on Controversial Issues
Teaching on Controversial or Difficult Issues
10-Point Model for Teaching Controversial Issues
Countering Bias Against Arab American, Muslim and South Asian Students

For more information on our programs, please see our school services.