Lessons

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.

“Teaching Tolerance 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

61 Lessons

A Nation of Immigrants?

Barack Obama ran for President in 2008. He won, became the 44th President of the United States and served two terms. In this lesson, students will analyze some of Obama's comments about immigrants. Students will also examine their history textbooks to see how the books shape America's view of the immigrant narrative. In the speech, then-Senator Obama made in Philadelphia on March 18, 2008, he said of white Americans, “Their experience is the immigrant experience – as far as they're concerned, no one has handed them anything." Obama's observation points to a complex reality of American culture: The classic immigrant story — of overcoming hardship, working hard and succeeding — is often invoked by white people who recognize the migrant story in their own history. Despite that, many still reject new immigrants to this country.
Grade Level
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
Social Studies
Civics
ELL / ESL
Social Justice Domain

Who Is an Immigrant?

In this lesson, students examine themselves within various contexts—including family, culture and community—as a means to better understand who they are as individuals and who they are in relation to people around them.
Grade Level
Topic
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
Social Studies
SEL
ELL / ESL
Social Justice Domain

Indentured Servitude and Immigration

The lesson focuses on issues of immigration and on the problems and difficulties faced by immigrants as they wrestle with the dilemma of leaving their country due to economic conditions and other hardships. The lesson lets students experience how immigrants examine their current situation and deal with making the decision to immigrate to the United States.
Grade Level
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
Social Studies
History
ELL / ESL
Social Justice Domain

The Immigration Debate: A Lesson from Viva La Causa

In this lesson, students will explore social justice issues within our nation’s immigration debate—a debate that is largely connected in the public psyche to undocumented Latino workers. Students will examine a commentary by Mary Bauer, Legal Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, that encourages everyone to take a hard look at the harm and devastation done to people of Alabama because of the state’s anti-immigrant legislation, HB 56, passed in 2011.
Grade Level
Topic
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
Social Studies
Civics
ELL / ESL
Social Justice Domain

How Does Immigration Shape the Nation’s Identity?

In this lesson, students consider what it means to be an American, using an opinion piece about the “American Identity Crisis” and several related videos as central texts. They answer a series of text-dependent questions, debate their opinions, write a brief constructed response, and make their own video that reflects their interpretation of “the face of America.”
Grade Level
Subject
Reading & Language Arts
Social Studies
Arts
Social Justice Domain
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Teaching Tolerance collage of images

Welcome to Learning for Justice—Formerly Teaching Tolerance!

Our work has evolved in the last 30 years, from reducing prejudice to tackling systemic injustice. So we’ve chosen a new name that better reflects that evolution: Learning for Justice.

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