Lesson Plans that Build Racial Understanding
A set of four lesson plans on race and diversity can now be downloaded by educators at no cost. Designed for high school teachers, and suitable for youth leaders in non-school settings, the lessons are designed to promote greater understanding of differences among high school students. The activities in the four lessons have been tested with high school students in Chicago and have been found to open up constructive dialogue among students. Teachers have reported that the activities encourage students to recognize and respect differences in the classroom and also promote a sense of community in their classes. Each of the lessons is completely self-contained and can usually be completed during a 45-minute class period. One whole-class activity causes students to examine issues of identity and then commit to making personal changes in behavior. Another lesson utilizes personal stories to reflect on the Thanksgiving holiday and on Americans’ acceptance of difference. In a third, students explore the meanings of "race" and "racism" and consider how they might personally work to overcome their own biases. The final unit enhances a sense of community in a classroom and promotes a broader sense of community outside of school.