Previously Featured Content

Browse resources which were previously featured on our Educator Resources page. Many of our featured content pieces tie in with the anniversary of an historical event or address ongoing current events.

June 8, 2018

Student Essay: Gay Olympians are Changing the World

Read one of the 2018 Student Contest award-winning essays by a Chicago student who explores why representation and speaking out matter, highlighting Olympians Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy as role models. 

Video: The Lavender Scare: Gay and Lesbian Life in Post-WWII America

Learn about the attempts to purge the US military and federal government of gay and lesbian employees during the Cold War and decades later.


May 25, 2018

Teaching Idea: The Legacies of Chinese Exclusion

On the 136th anniversary of the Chinese Exclusion Act, teach students about the first law to restrict US immigration on the basis of race and its impact on attitudes toward citizenship and national identity in the United States today.


May 18, 2018

Teaching Idea: Responding with Humanity: Helping Students Raise Their Voices Against Genocide

Use these teaching ideas to help students better understand current crises in countries like Myanmar and to support them in raising their voices against genocide today.

Featured Lesson:  Acknowledging the Past to Shape the Present

The brutal lynching of Ell Persons occurred on May 22, 1917, in Memphis, TN. Learn about present-day initiatives to memorialize the history of lynching in the United States, including high school students in Memphis who took action to commemorate Persons.


May 11, 2018

Teaching Idea: Confronting Antisemitism in Europe Today

Help students examine recent events and statistics about the rise of antisemitism in Europe and to consider how we can respond to hate.

Featured LessonLGBTQ History and Why It Matters

In honor of Harvey Milk's birthday on May 22, use this lesson to teach students about two millennia of LGBTQ history and reflect on why it matters.


May 4, 2018

Featured Lesson: Navigating Jewish American Identity

As we honor Jewish American Heritage Month, teach this lesson that uses W. E. B. Du Bois’ idea of “twoness” as a framework for students to explore Jewish identity and consider how it coexists with other identities.

Featured LessonThe Political Struggle

This week in 1865, President Andrew Johnson unveiled his plan for Reconstruction after the Civil War. Use this lesson to introduce students to the dilemmas the country faced after the war and the political struggle Johnson's plan touched off. 


April 27, 2018

Lesson:  Keeping Watch on Democracy

May 3 is World Free Press Day. Use this lesson plan to help students explore the questions: What role does a free press play in a democracy? What are other basic characteristics of a democracy?

Resource:  Freedom Riders

In May of 1961, the Freedom Riders set out to challenge segregation on interstate buses. Teach this powerful example of nonviolent activism with the PBS documentary Freedom Riders and our accompanying resources.


April 20, 2018

Teaching Idea:  The Power of Spoken Word

As we continue to celebrate National Poetry Month, introduce students to spoken word poetry and explore how artists and students have used it as a platform to speak out about issues they care about.

Lesson:  Continuing Lemkin's Legacy: What Can We Do to Prevent and Stop Genocide?

During Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month, help students reflect on why genocide still happens and what we can do to continue Raphael Lemkin's mission today.


April 13, 2018

Teaching Idea:  Use Poetry to Teaching About Identity

This National Poetry Month, celebrate poems that grapple with the complexities of identity and inspire students to use poetry as a vehicle to tell their own stories.

Reading:  The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

On the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, which began on April 19, 1943, teach students about this historic act of resistance against the Nazis.


April 6, 2018

New Unit:  Teaching Holocaust and Human Behavior

In honor of Yom Ha'Shoah, teach a lesson from our new unit that leads students through the challenging history of the Holocaust while prompting them to reflect on our world today.

Film and Activities:  Watchers of the Sky

April is Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month. Use clips from the documentary Watchers of the Sky to teach students about three individuals who have dedicated their lives to combating genocide: Raphael Lemkin, Benjamin Ferencz, and Luis Moreno-Ocampo.


March 30, 2018

Lesson Collection:  Memphis 1968

April 4th is the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in Memphis. Explore our three new lessons plans on the life and legacy of MLK that ask the question, "What work remains to be done?"

Lesson:  Violence and Backlash

On April 3, 1877, President Hayes ordered the removal of troops from South Carolina, marking the end of Reconstruction. Use this lesson to help students examine the terror and violence committed in response to Reconstruction's social progress.


March 23, 2018

Teaching Idea:  Bearing Witness to Japanese American Incarceration

On March 21, 1942, Congress passed Public Law 503, sanctioning the incarceration of Japanese Americans. Teach a lesson on this history that explores questions about American identity, racism, and citizenship.


March 16, 2018

Lesson:  Stitching Truth: The Arpilleristas in Pinochet's Chile

As we continue to honor Women's History Month, teach this lesson about the women's protest movement in Chile that used art to challenge the silence and brutality imposed by Pinochet's dictatorship.

Lesson:  Defining Freedom

March 25th is the UN International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Teach this lesson to help students understand the realities and aspirations of formerly enslaved Americans within the first few years of Emancipation.


March 9, 2018

Use this teaching idea to help your students draw connections between the long history of black women’s activism against sexual violence and gender discrimination with the #MeToo movement today. The questions and activities focus on the experiences of Recy Taylor, Rosa Parks, and Essie Favrot. 

The #MeToo Movement: Black Women's Activism and The Long History Behind #MeToo

As Parkland student activists continue to take action, help your students explore other moments in history when young people have turned to activism to confront issues that shape their lives.

#NationalSchoolWalkout and #AMarch4OurLivesYouth Taking Charge! Placing Student Activism in Historical Context

 


March 2, 2018

As students take action after Florida's school shooting, use these teaching ideas to spark dialogue about the ways youth can get involved, be Upstanders, and make their voices heard in their own communities.

Teaching Idea: The Parkland, Florida School Shooting: After Parkland, Students Choose to Participate


February 23, 2018

Encourage your students to examine the question "What does it mean to 'be American'?" as the U.S. Senate continues to deliberate over changes to immigration policy.

Teaching Idea: The 2018 Immigration Debate: Who Can Become An American?


February 16, 2018

In February 2018 Poland’s president signed a bill into law which makes it illegal to accuse the nation of complicity in crimes committed by Nazi Germany, including the Holocaust.This lesson provides historical context and key questions to help teach about Poland's controversial new law.

Teaching Idea: Why Poland's New Holocaust Law Matters


February 9, 2018

Fifty years ago this month, black sanitation workers in Memphis went on strike for better working conditions and better pay. Teach about this powerful example of civic engagement and connect the sanitation workers' strike to efforts to create positive change today.

Lesson: Memphis in 1968: The Sanitation Workers' Strike

Blog Post: What Can We Learn From the Memphis Sanitation Strike 50 Years Later?


February 2, 2018

Lesson:  Three Visions for Achieving Equal Rights

Teach this lesson about three key civil rights leaders—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Stokely Carmichael—and the role each played in bringing about change.

Blog Post:  Martin Luther King, Jr.: 50 Years Worth of Lessons From a Giant

Reflect on what the life and civic struggle of Dr. King can teach us about being involved in the work of seeking social justice, particularly as educators in the classroom.


January 26, 2018

Resource:  Race and Membership in American History: The Eugenics Movement

Use this resource on the eugenics movement to introduce students to how beliefs about race have influenced US public policy, including laws on immigration.

Reading:  The Debate in Congress

With immigration in the headlines, look back at a 1924 Congressional debate over a proposal to limit immigration into the United States through a national origins quota.


January 19, 2018

Lesson:  Responding to the Stories of Holocaust Survivors

In anticipation of Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27th, help students process and honor the experiences of Holocaust survivors by creating "found poems."


January 12, 2018

Lesson:  The Philosophy of Nonviolence

In commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, teach this lesson about the goals of the philosophy of nonviolence advocated by civil rights leaders like Dr. King.

Blog Post:  Digital Tools to Explore Martin Luther King's Legacy

Discover digital tools that will bring the words and ideas of Martin Luther King Jr. to life in your classroom and inspire students to participate in their own communities. 
 


December 15, 2017

Unit:  Totally Unofficial: Raphael Lemkin and the Genocide Convetion

The first trial to prosecute perpetrators of the 1994 Rwanda genocide occurred on December 27, 1996. Teach this short unit to help students understand the challenge of preventing genocide.

Lesson:  Defining Freedom

The Emancipation Proclamation was issued January 1, 1863. Teach this lesson to help students understand the various ways black Americans defined freedom in the 1860s and beyond.


December 8, 2017

Video:  Fundamental Freedoms

As the December 10 anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights approaches, share this video with your students to learn more about Eleanor Roosevelt's development into a passionate human rights advocate.

Lesson:  What is a Right?

Use this lesson to engage your students in an analysis of the text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


November 17, 2017

Lesson:  LGBTQ History and Why It Matters

Forty years ago, Harvey Milk became the first openly gay elected official in California history. Use this lesson to introduce students to two millennia of LGBTQ history and reflect on why it matters.


November 10, 2017

LessonResponding to the Rohingya Crisis

Help your students understand the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Myanmar region by providing them with historical context and space to respond to survivor testimony.

LessonUnderstanding Kristallnacht

Teach this lesson to help students investigate what happened in Germany on November 9 and 10, 1938, and the variety of choices individuals made in response to that night’s violence and terror.


November 03, 2017

Lesson: Responding to the Rohingya Crisis 

Help your students understand the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Myanmar region by providing them with historical context and space to respond to survivor testimony.

Lesson: Understanding Kristallnacht

Teach this lesson to help students investigate what happened in Germany on November 9 and 10, 1938, and the variety of choices individuals made in response to that night’s violence and terror.


October 20, 2017

Lesson: Keeping Watch on Democracy

Challenge your students to create a definition for democracy, and introduce them to criteria political scientists use to measure a democracy’s health.

Lesson: Teaching About UNESCO

Help students undertand UNESCO's mission, its relationship to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the implications for America's withdrawal.  


October 13, 2017

LessonUnderstanding the Conditions that Lead to “Ethnic Cleansing”

Share with students recent news of the campaign of violence against the Rohingya in Myanmar, and help students understand the tensions within a nation that sometimes lead to atrocities.


October 06, 2017

Blog Post: Help Your Students Reflect on the Tragic Las Vegas Shooting

Learn how to create a safe space for your students as they process and respond to the heartbreaking events that occured over the weekend.

Lessons and Readings: Can you protest during the national anthem and still be a patriot? Deepen students’ historical understanding of the #TakeAKnee controversy.


September 29, 2017

Lesson: Finding Your Voice
The fate of DACA has intensified an ongoing debate in the United States around the question “What does it mean to be American?”. This lesson from our new unit “My Part of the Story” helps students understand how their voices and stories contribute to the identity of the nation.

Lessons and Readings: Can you protest during the national anthem and still be a patriot? Deepen students’ historical understanding of the #TakeAKnee controversy.


September 08, 2017

Lesson: Finding Your Voice
The fate of DACA has intensified an ongoing debate in the United States around the question “What does it mean to be American?”. This lesson from our new unit “My Part of the Story” helps students understand how their voices and stories contribute to the identity of the nation.

Featured Collection: Teaching After Charlottesville
Use these resources to help your students respond to and make sense of the political and social tensions that intensified after this summers' episodes of hatred, bigotry, and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.


August 22, 2017

Lesson: After Charlottesville: Contested History and the Fight Against Bigotry
Use this lesson to help students consider the power of historical symbols and the conflict over public memory that intensified after the Charleston murders in 2015 and the recent violence in Charlottesville.

Reading: The Walking Boy
A writer recalls how he and his white childhood friends in Alabama treated a black boy walking through their neighborhood. Use this reading to help students reflect on what happens when one’s conscience conflicts with one’s desire to belong.


August 15, 2017

Lesson: Preparing Students for Difficult Conversations
Recent events in Charlottesville are making difficult conversations in the classroom about racism, hatred, and bigotry necessary and inevitable. Adapt this lesson from our Facing Ferguson unit to lay the foundation for a safe and reflective classroom where students feel they can speak honestly about these sensitive issues.

Video: A Contested History
How can the way we remember history fuel conflict and violence in the world today? This video provides crucial historical context for recent events in the United States and helps students consider how our memory of the past affects our beliefs and choices today.


August 04, 2017

Lesson: Citizen Power Makes Democracy Work
Engaged citizens are essential to a healthy democracy, but what does it mean to be a good citizen, and how do citizens learn to use their power to make change?

Unit: Facing Ferguson: News Literacy in a Digital Age
This unit helps students explore the media coverage and protests following the shooting death of Michael Brown, which occurred three years ago this week, in order to become informed civic participants in today’s digital landscape.


July 28, 2017

Digital Book: Stolen Lives: The Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the Indian Residential Schools
Explore the history and legacy of the Indian Residential Schools system in Canada with our latest online book.

Reading: The Warsaw Ghettto Uprising
Learn about the largest armed resistance mounted by Jews against the Nazis during the Holocaust.


July 14, 2017

Summer Reading List: Foundations for Future Voters: Books on Democracy & Citizenship
Made in collaboration with the School Library Journal, Foundations for Future Voters: Books on Democracy and Citizenship includes recommendations for students ranging all grade levels.

Featured Partner: Stand For Children Kindness Challenge
Kick-start your school’s efforts to improve school climate and reserve a spot for the Middle School Kindness Challenge (limited availability).


July 07, 2017

Featured Resource: Fostering Civil Discourse: A Guide For Classroom Conversations
Learn to create a safe and reflective classroom where students learn to exchange ideas and listen respectfully to each other.

Featured Partner: Jewish Partisan Educational Foundation
JPEF launches a new forum for partisan families to share stories of resistance during the Holocaust.


June 30, 2017

Lessons: Standing Up To Hatred and Intolerance
Engage students as civic actors, thinkers, and problem solvers addressing global challenges of membership and belonging.

Blog Post: Flexing our Civic Muscles Together Against Antisemitism, Hatred, and Intolerance
As identity-based hatred continues, we must work together to be civically engaged. Read about our work in France, which aims to do just that.


June 16, 2017

Lesson: Strategies for Making a Difference
End the school year with a lesson providing students practical strategies for making a difference in the world around them.

Summer Reading List: Foundations for Future Voters: Books on Democracy & Citizenship
Made in collaboration with the School Library Journal, Foundations for Future Voters: Books on Democracy and Citizenship includes recommendations for students ranging all grade levels.


June 09, 2017

Video: The Lavender Scare
Learn about the attempts to purge the US military and federal government of gay and lesbian employees that began during the Cold War and persisted for decades.

Blog: Teaching the Missing History of LGBTQ Civil Rights
A Facing History video producer reflects on his own high school education about LGBTQ history after researching the Lavender Scare.

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Everything you need to get started teaching your students about racism, antisemitism and prejudice.