Get Prepared to Teach This Scheme of Work in Your Classroom

From the Unit:

Before teaching these lessons, it is important to read more about Facing History’s pedagogy, teaching strategies, and how this unit is structured.

Understanding the Rationale for this Scheme of Work

History teaches us that democracies are fragile and can only remain vital through the active, thoughtful, and responsible participation of its citizens. In an increasingly polarised world, it is more important than ever for students to understand and embrace the fundamental values necessary to bring about and participate in upholding the democratic ideals of fair-mindedness, freedom, equality, respect and tolerance between people.

In working towards this end, students in Facing History and Ourselves classrooms explore the complexities of identity, the danger of “single stories” and how they can lead to stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination, when our tendency to divide ourselves and others in to groups can become harmful, the importance of valuing and protecting human rights, and strategies for enacting change to create inclusive and welcoming communities.

By engaging in the process of learning about the values that underpin democracy, while also developing their critical reading and thinking, negotiating, collaboration, and active listening skills, this scheme of work provides students with the tools to participate in their communities so that they can bring about the changes they would like to see in creating kinder, more tolerant communities.

Teaching This Scheme of Work

We understand that teachers may use these lessons in a variety of classroom settings and ways. We recommend that, if circumstances allow, you teach these lessons in the order we are presenting them, but you should also pick, choose, and adapt where necessary to fit the needs of your schools and communities. Also, while each lesson is designed for a 50-minute class period, some teachers may need to spread the activities out over several shorter class periods, omit certain activities because of available time, or elect to include Extension activities to explore topics in greater depth. Whenever lessons are modified, it is important that students still have time and space to process the material, both individually and with their peers, especially at the end of the lesson so they can reflect on what they have read, seen, heard, and discussed in a safe and nurturing space.

There is a corresponding PowerPoint for each lesson that includes student-facing slides and activity instructions in the notes section for the teacher. The PowerPoints are intended to be used alongside, and not instead of, the lessons plans because the latter include important rationales and context that teachers should familiarise themselves with before teaching the lesson. The PowerPoints include basic media and prompts from the lesson plans but are minimally designed because we expect teachers to adapt them to fit the needs of their students and class.

Download Lesson 1 PowerPoint Slides

Understanding Identity

Understanding Identity

This PowerPoint for Lesson 1 of the Standing Up for Democracy unit is ready to use in the classroom with student-facing slides and complete teaching notes.

Fostering a Reflective Classroom Community

We believe that a classroom in which a Facing History and Ourselves unit is taught ought to be a microcosm of democracy—a place where explicit rules and implicit norms protect everyone’s right to speak; where different perspectives can be heard and valued; where members take responsibility for themselves, each other, and the group as a whole; and where each member has a stake and a voice in collective decisions. We recommend that teachers create a strong foundation for a reflective classroom through the use of the following:

Even if you have already established rules and guidelines with your students to help bring about these characteristics in your classroom, we recommend taking a moment to review how you might frame your classroom contracts and student journals within the context of this scheme of work, weaving them into your daily practice so they become part of the culture of the classroom.

Assessing Your Students

Each section of this scheme of work includes suggestions for a project-based assessment that is related to the section’s overarching theme, essential question, and key content points. In addition to providing students with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired over their course of study to a novel situation, the assessments are designed for students to work collaboratively and creatively with one another, so they are practising discourse and dialogue, active listening, showing mutual respect for each other and each others’ ideas, negotiating conflict, and active listening. The fourth section’s assessment asks students to synthesise the ideas from the entire scheme of work and apply them to a Choosing to Participate action project that they will propose and perhaps implement in their school or local community.



Get Prepared to Teach This Scheme of Work in Your Classroom

Prepare yourself to teach this unit by reading about our pedagogy, teaching strategies, and the unit's structure.

Lesson 1 of 15
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Understanding Identity

Students consider the question "Who am I?" and identify social and cultural factors that shape identity by reading a short story and creating personal identity charts.

Lesson 2 of 15
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Transcending Single Stories

Students reflect on how stereotypes and "single stories" influence our identities, how we view others, and the choices we make.

Lesson 3 of 15
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Why Little Things Are Big

Students reflect on the power of being labelled and use Jesús Colón’s essay to reflect on their own experiences of being misjudged.

Lesson 4 of 15
Democracy & Civic Engagement

The Challenge of Confirmation Bias

Students define confirmation bias and examine why people sometimes maintain their beliefs in the face of information that contradicts their understanding.



Democracy & Civic Engagement
Step 1:

The Individual and Society

Students explore their identities through a mask-making project.

Lesson 5 of 15
Democracy & Civic Engagement

The Costs and Benefits of Belonging

Students learn about group membership and explore the range of responses available to us when we encounter exclusion, discrimination, and injustice.

Lesson 6 of 15
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Responding to Difference

Students explore a poem by James Berry about the ways we respond to difference and complete a creative assignment about their school or community.

Lesson 7 of 15
Democracy & Civic Engagement

When Differences Matter

Students consider what happens when one aspect of our identity is privileged above others by society.

Lesson 8 of 15
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Blending In and Standing Out

Students use an excerpt from Sarfraz Manzoor memoir to reflect on identity, belonging, and wanting to feel invisible.

Lesson 9 of 15
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Defining Our Obligations to Others

Students are introduced to the concept of universe of obligation to better understand how societies create "in" groups and "out" groups.



Democracy & Civic Engagement
Step 2:

We and They

Students work collaboratively to create illustrated children’s stories that explore issues of conformity and belonging.

Lesson 10 of 15
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Defining Human Rights

Students create a definition for a "right" in order to explore the challenges faced by the UN Commission on Human Rights to create an international framework of rights for all human beings.

Lesson 11 of 15
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Making Rights Universal

Students analyse four rights in the UDHR and decide whether they are universal and enjoyed by all in the world today.



Democracy & Civic Engagement
Step 3:

Understanding Human Rights

Students work collaboratively to create a School Declaration of Human Rights Infographic.

Lesson 12 of 15
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Standing Up to Hatred on Cable Street

Students study the Battle of Cable Street in London by examining testimonies of individuals who demonstrated against fascist leader Oswald Mosley.

Lesson 13 of 15
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Public Art as a Form of Participation

Students analyse the Battle of Cable Street Mural and reflect on the role of public art to commemorate, educate, and build community.

Lesson 14 of 15
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Protesting Discrimination in Bristol

Students use the historical case study of the Bristol Bus Boycott to examine strategies for bringing about change in our communities.

Lesson 15 of 15
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Speaking Up and Speaking Out

Students analyse a spoken word poem about bullying and consider how they might use their voices to call attention to injustice in their schools or communities.

Final Assessment


Democracy & Civic Engagement
Step 4:

Choosing to Participate

Students have an opportunity to explore one issue in-depth and to create an action plan that inspires change in their schools or communities.

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