Begin by providing students with an overview of what you will be discussing throughout this series of Mini-Lessons, such as the following:
Over the next few days, we are going to be learning about policing and the legacy of racial injustice. . Talking about policing can bring up strong emotions, and it’s important to keep in mind during our discussions that we don’t always know who in our class has been impacted by this issue or who has family or loved ones who are police officers. We will start today with a journaling prompt to allow you to reflect on the emotions that you bring into this conversation.
Provide students with a list of feeling words, such as the following:
Then, ask students to complete the following phrase using one of the feeling words you provided or another one.
Knowing we are about to discuss policing and the legacy of racial injustice, I feel _______.
Tell students that they can choose to keep their response private.
Once students have finished, tell them that you are going to do a group brainstorm. Ask students to volunteer to share examples of feelings people might have when discussing policing and the legacy of racial injustice . They can choose to share the feeling they wrote down or another feeling they imagine others might experience. Students should not be required to share and if they choose to share, should only name the feeling, without an explanation, at this time. Create a list of the feelings that students have mentioned.
Then, ask students to read the list of feeling words and discuss the following as a class:
- What do you notice about the words?
- How might you explain this range of feelings? Where do you think they come from?
- Do you have any other reflections?