Charlottesville Roundup: Lessons to Use in Your Classroom Today

In response to the recent events in Charlottesville, Teaching Tolerance teamed up with several organizations to support educators as they return to the classroom. The result was a powerful webinar and this collection of resources.
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In response to the recent events in Charlottesville, Facing History and Ourselves, Teaching Tolerance, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Federation of Teachers, and EduColor teamed up to support educators as they return to the classroom. Hosted and led by AFT, we asked educators what topics they were most concerned about and addressed them in a co-hosted webinar, “When Hate Is in the Headlines: Resources for K–12 Educators.” Together, we offered thoughtful, intentional teaching strategies and lessons on the events and on the fight against bigotry and intolerance.

This webinar can now be accessed on-demand. Here is a roundup of some key resources that we shared. You can find a more complete list on the sharemylesson webinar page and explore the AFT’s #CharlottesvilleCurriculum collection for additional resources.


How do we talk about controversial issues and current events?

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) offers a rich collection of classroom resources on its site, After Charlottesville: Teaching Resources about Racism, Anti-Semitism, and White Supremacy, in addition to lesson plans on current events, including a new lesson “The Alt Right and White Supremacy” and Race Talk: Engaging Young People in Conversations about Race and Racism.


How do we understand the power of monuments, memorials, and symbols?

Facing History and Ourselves has curated lessons, videos, and study guides in response to Charlottesville, including a new lesson, “After Charlottesville: Contested History and the Fight against Bigotry,” which explores the power of confederate symbols; a lesson on analyzing and creating memorials; and a report on the effort to create a memorial to Ell Persons, a lynching victim from Memphis.


What is the history of hate? And what is the alt-right?

The Southern Poverty Law Center and its Teaching Tolerance project are providing valuable resources to help teachers make sense of the news. These include the SPLC’s map of hate groups currently operating in the United States, its report on the history of the Klan, and its guide to countering the “alt-right” on campus. Teaching Tolerance explains the “alt-right” and offers a guide to hate symbols you might encounter.

Teachers who participated in the webinar kept the conversation going both during and after the webinar using the hashtag #CharlottesvilleCurriculum. We encourage you to join in. Continue reading and sharing your experiences, questions, and best ideas using this hashtag as we work together to build a better future.

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