Lessons

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These robust, ready-to-use classroom lessons offer breadth and depth, spanning essential social justice topics and reinforcing critical social emotional learning skills.

Search by keyword or browse our lesson bank—you can filter lessons by grade level, subject, topic or social justice domain. And remember, you can always create, save and share your own lessons with our Learning Plan Builder.

“[Learning for Justice] provides me with the means to promote social justice, challenge bias, and engage students in discussions about diversity that would perhaps not happen otherwise.”

Grade Level
Social Justice Domain
Subject
Topic

153 Lessons

Maya Angelou

This lesson focuses on questions of identity as students read and analyze Angelou’s inspirational poem “Still I Rise” and apply its message to their own lives. Students learn how Maya Angelou overcame hardship and discrimination to find her own voice and to influence others to believe in themselves and use their voices for positive change.
Grade Level
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
Social Studies
Social Justice Domain
May 3, 2012

Beyond Rosa Parks: Powerful Voices for Civil Rights and Social Justice

Most history textbooks include a section about Rosa Parks in the chapter on the modern civil rights movement. However, Parks is only one among many African-American women who have worked for equal rights and social justice. This series introduces four of those activists who may be unfamiliar to students.
Grade Level
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
Social Studies
History
Social Justice Domain
May 3, 2012

Mary Church Terrell

In this lesson of the series, “Beyond Rosa Parks: Powerful Voices for Civil Rights and Social Justice,” students will read and analyze text from “The Progress of Colored Women,” a speech made by Mary Church Terrell in 1898. Terrell was the first president of the National Association of Colored Women (NACW), an organization that was formed in 1896 from the merger of several smaller women’s clubs, and was active during the period of Jim Crow segregation in the South.
Grade Level
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
Social Studies
History
Social Justice Domain
May 11, 2012

Mary McLeod Bethune

In this lesson, students will read an excerpt of an interview given by Mary McLeod Bethune and will learn that she founded the Daytona National and Industrial School for Negro Girls (now Bethune-Cookman College) in 1904. Through close reading, they will explore and discuss connections between events from Bethune’s life experiences and their own lives, and connections between past and current events.
Grade Level
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
Social Studies
History
Social Justice Domain
May 17, 2012

Reading Ads with a Social Justice Lens

Children are surrounded – and targeted – by advertisements: on television, the computer, even on their journeys to and from school. Children need specific strategies for reading and talking about advertisements and their impact. Reading Ads with a Social Justice Lens is a series of 13 multidisciplinary mini-lessons that provide such strategies and build critical literacy. The lessons are designed for students in grades K-5 and include suggestions for simple adaptations. These lessons open up important conversations about the relationship between advertisements and social justice. Children will see that they have the power to decide how media will influence them. They will also engage in social justice projects that address some of the unfair messages they find in advertising.
Grade Level
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
Social Studies
Economics
ELL / ESL
Math & Technology
Social Justice Domain
June 7, 2012

The Little Rock Nine and the Children’s Movement

This series of lessons commemorates the integration of Little Rock Central High School in 1957. One lesson features the biography of Daisy Bates, a leader of the desegregation crisis. Another focuses on the nine African-American youths who risked their lives for equality. The final two lessons examine how school integration affected the Little Rock community.This lesson focuses on questions of justice and the role youth have played in social and political movements. By reading a combination of primary and secondary sources, students will learn how the Little Rock Nine came to play their important role. These teenagers’ participation in school integration stemmed not from the prodding of the parents or activists, but from within themselves.
Grade Level
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
Social Studies
Civics
History
Social Justice Domain
September 11, 2012
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Group of adults listening to one person speaking.

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