Black Lives Matter in Schools Resources

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Below are links to suggested lessons, films, books, readings, and general teaching guides. Themes connecting to the 13 principles of the Movement for Black Lives or the demands for the week of action are listed in parentheses where appropriate.

Jump to:  Early Childhood and Elementary School | Middle and High School


All Grade Levels

Readings for Educators

Booklists

 

Early Childhood & Elementary

Lessons for Early Childhood & Elementary

  • Rethinking the U.S. Constitutional Convention: A Role Play [3rd-5th]
    A role play on the Constitutional Convention which brings to life the social forces active during and immediately following the American Revolution with focus on two key topics: suffrage and slavery (intergenerational, Black families and Black villages)
     
  • Lesson based on the book One by Kathryn Otoshi [PK-1st]
    A read aloud is to show children that sometimes bullying can occur because someone feels isolated, and we can in fact come together and find common ground as long as we stand up for each other, and stand together (restorative justice, empathy and loving engagement)
     
  • It’s Okay to Feel Different [PK-5]
    This lesson helps students develop an understanding of the importance of diversity in a community (restorative justice, empathy and loving engagement)
     
  • What is Community? [K-2nd]
    Students will identify people and places that make their own neighborhoods special (diversity and globalism)
     
  • Why Frogs and Snakes Never Play Together [PK-5th]
    Students will read, act out, hear a reading, or watch a performance of a play that addresses the important topic of diversity and will spark a discussion about the topic of prejudice (diversity and globalism)
     
  • Lesson based on the book Crossing Bok Chitto by Tim Tingle [2nd-3rd]
    Students will learn about the oral traditions of two different cultures, and how two young children braved friendship and trust and learn about different forms of resistance by enslaved Africans including oral traditions through religion, alliances with other communities, and escaping enslavement to stay together (diversity and globalism)
     
  • Exploring Gender Stereotypes w/ Role Plays [K-2nd]
    Children will use creative, dramatic expression to consider not only the roots of gender stereotypes, but also their consequences and strategies for counteracting them (queer-affirming, trans-affirming, collective value)
     
  • Introduction of Transgender and Nonbinary Identities with I Am Jazz [PK-2nd]
    Students will be able to define the words “transgender” and “nonbinary” and give examples of ways to support people of all gender identities (queer-affirming, trans-affirming, collective value)
     
  • My Family Rocks! [PK-2nd]
    Students explore the definition of family, learn about different kinds of family structures and explore what makes their own family unique (intergenerational, Black families and Black villages)
     
  • Understanding My Family’s History [K-5]
    After exposure to relevant literature in class, students will research their family history by interviewing their parents and then tell their story to classmates (intergenerational, Black families and Black villages)
     
  • Lesson based on the book Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate [4th-5th]
    Students will read the story of George Moses Horton, an enslaved African who taught himself to read, and eventually became a renowned poet and write their own poems about freedom. Students will also learn that there were many forms of resistance by enslaved Africans including efforts to learn and teach others to read and write  (intergenerational, Black families and Black villages)
     
  • Lesson based on the book Milo’s Museum by Zetta Elliott [PK-2nd]
    Discussion questions and class project to accompany Milo’s Museum (intergenerational, Black families and Black villages, centering Black women and femmes)
     
  • Lesson based on the book Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence by Gretchen Woelfle coming soon [3rd-5th] (centering Black women and femmes)
     
  • Lesson based on the book Child of the Civil Rights Movement by Paula Young Shelton coming soon [PK-1st] (ethnic studies)
 

Featured Books for Early Childhood & Elementary

 
 
 

Readings for Early Childhood & Elementary

 

General Teaching Guides for Early Childhood & Elementary

 

Middle School and High School

Lessons for Middle and High School

 

Featured Books for Middle and High School

 

Films for Middle and High School

  • PBS Black in Latin America
    Henry Louis Gates, Jr. uncovers Latin America’s African roots in this four-part series.
     
  • Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock
    Documentary on the life of Daisy Bates, best know for her role with the Little Rock Nine.
     
  • Ruby Bridges
    The true story of Ruby Bridges, the six-year-old girl who helped to integrate the all-white schools in New Orleans.
     
  • 13th
    Ava DuVernay’s in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality.
     
  • Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin
    Documentary about the life of peace, labor, and civil rights activist Bayard Rustin.
     
  • Intersectionality 101
    Learn about intersectionality with this student-friendly video from Teaching Tolerance.
     
  • All God’s Children
    A political, social, and religious analysis of sexual orientation within the context of the traditional African American values of freedom, inclusion, and the Christian ethic.
     
  • Hidden Figures
    Based on the story of three African-American women working at NASA who served as the brains behind the launch into orbit of astronaut John Glenn.
     
  • Eyes on the Prize
    A comprehensive fourteen-part documentary history of the Civil Rights Movement.
     
  • Sylvia Woods: “You Have to Fight for Freedom”
    Dramatic reading of an interview with Sylvia Woods, a pioneer in the struggle of African-American and women trade unionists, who describes why she decided not to sing the “Star Spangled Banner” at school in 1919 when she was 10 years old.
     
  • What Happened, Miss Simone?
    Using never-before-heard recordings, rare archival footage and her best-known songs, this is the story of legendary singer and activist Nina Simone.
 

Readings for Middle and High School Educators

 
 

Additional Resources