Wednesday, February 7 (Day 3)

Here are stories from DC area classrooms from Day Three of Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools.


Milo’s Museum Read Aloud

Mundo Verde Bilingual PCS educators, Ms. Dani and Mr. CJ, started their morning meeting in their first grade classroom with a read aloud of Milo’s Museum. Students gathered around the carpet as Mr. CJ began to read Milo’s story. Several students excitedly raised their hands when Mr. CJ stopped to ask, “Milo is looking at her community and realized she did not see her community in the museum. What do you think she will do?”

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Student responses included, “I would make own museum,” “I would first ask permission [to change the museum],” and “I would ask my mom [for help].” Students responses were affirmed as the story continued and they learned Milo actually pursued some of their ideas, like asking an adult and even creating her own museum to reflect her community.

At the end of the story Milo changes the name of her museum to “The People’s Museum” when her friends ask her if they could incorporate items from their community into the museum.

As a closing activity, students were invited to draw a picture of an item that was special to them and their family that they could include in a museum. Some students drew pictures of family members that have passed away, while other students drew pictures of their favorite pet, sport, or game.

Students' completed products will be posted around the school community along with items students created in other grade levels as part of the Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools.

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Black Muslims in the United States: An Introductory Activity

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As part of the Black Lives Matter Week of Action, Teaching for Change staff member Alison Kysia visited Luke C. Moore High School to teach Black Muslims in the United States: An Introductory Activity. She began by asking the class if they could name any Black Muslims, and the students called out names including Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Khallid Muhammad, and Louis Farrakhan. Kysia then handed each student a  short biography of a Black Muslims. After carefully reading their biographies, students participated in a role play activity where they took on that person’s role.

Students tried to “meet” other Black Muslims who fit the descriptions on a questionnaire, which included a person who was enslaved, someone discriminated against for their skin color or religion, a woman, an activist, and a Black Muslim who is alive now.

After the meet and greet, Kysia asked students to reflect on what they had learned. Students pointed out that they had not learned about Black Muslims who had been enslaved before. They also discussed the connections between hip-hop and principles of Islam through artist and activist Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def).

When asked if they could meet any of the people in the role play, one student said, “Malcolm X because of the inspiring words he spoke and his commitment to activism.” Another student explained, “I grew up in the Nation of Islam I didn’t know the story or activism of Clara Muhammad, so I would like to meet her.”

Kysia’s lesson allows students to examine U.S. history through a new lens that connects the Black experience with the Muslim experience, and plants the seed for further exploration.


Making Connections: The Indian Independence Movement, Civil Rights Movement and the Black Lives Matter Movement

By Laura Fuchs (high school teacher)

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On Tuesday, students were able to make connections between our world history content and Black Lives Matter movement today.

We are currently studying the Indian Independence Movement and Partition. This allowed us to relate the Civil Rights Movement's peaceful methods to Gandhi's Salt March and history. From there students were able to evaluate the principles of the Black Lives Matter movement and compare those to the writings of Gandhi.

On Wednesday, students continued reading about the Indian Independence Movement and then compared and contrasted the methods used in India to the myriad of Civil Rights Movement leaders we have had in the United States. Students read the Resistance 101 biographies and then went around the room interviewing each other to learn about people who have made a change in our history. After that they related it back to the content they have been learning about with India. 

These lessons helped the students see the connections between what happens in other countries and what happens right here in Washington, D.C.

I really enjoyed making these connections and was inspired to do it thanks to BLM at Schools Week of Action. In the past I would have had the students make informal connections, but this really inspired me to fully incorporate it in to our units and spend half the period on each topic.


One Read Aloud

For the DC Black Lives Matter Week of Action in Schools, Inspired Teaching Fellow Brittney Henderson (‘13) and her kindergarten students at West Education Campus (DCPS) read One by Kathryn Otoshi, a book that addresses the importance of inclusion in a diverse community. Afterwards, the class discussed why everyone must be kind to each other even when people aren’t kind to them, and created posters to demonstrate how to be kind.

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One is a favorite book among parents participating in Teaching for Change's Roving Readers program. Parent readers act out the book with students and emphasize standing together in solidarity against a bully, while also showing compassion for that person.

Brittney incorporates Black Lives Matter into her classroom “to teach her students how to value every person and help them understand that being a good citizen means respecting all voices and valuing all people, regardless of their identities.”


A is for Activist Read Aloud

DCPS Celebrates #BlackLivesMatterAtSchool

 
 
DAYMykella Palmer