The Moment

Appropriate Ways to Teach Kids About Slavery

This week, a photograph of a math assignment asking fifth graders to set prices for enslaved people went viral. Assignments like this are clearly harmful. But students can learn about slavery in ways that recover the lives and histories of enslaved people or dehumanize them; celebrate their resistance or erase their agency; recognize how slavery shaped our nation or ignore it completely. Educators can teach this hard history—and teach it well—in any discipline, to students of almost any age. Here are a few examples of how.

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