Students at NYC's Beacon High School.
Photo© Carolina Kroon

About Morningside Center

TeachableMoment.Org is a project of Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility, and furthers our mission of fostering social responsibility in young people.

Morningside Center
educates young people for hopeful and intelligent engagement with their world. A national leader in fostering social and emotional learning (SEL), Morningside Center reaches tens of thousands of educators and students each year through an array of programs that develop such skills as handling anger, being assertive, solving conflicts creatively and nonviolently, and dealing well with diversity. We help teachers make their classrooms more caring and productive. We support students in taking leadership to improve their communities--from the classroom to the world.

Morningside Center relies on individuals to help support our work, including the free lessons available on TeachableMoment. Please contribute!

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Iraqi family finds refuge in Jordan. Photo © Lori Grinker

Nothing Like My Home
The Iraqi Refugee Crisis

Morningside Center's Nothing Like My Home Project uses the arts and media to engage young people in the plight of 4.7 million Iraqis displaced by war.

Latest Activities

The classroom lessons on TeachableMoment.Org foster critical thinking on issues of the day and a positive classroom environment. Teachers are free to use these lessons in their classrooms. We welcome feedback! Send comments as well as requests for permission to reprint materials for widespread circulation to:
Curriculum writer Alan Shapiro's email address has changed. His new address is:

Hundreds more interactive classroom activities are available on our elementary, middle, and high school index pages.

GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE: Fitting the Facts Together & Acting on Them (9/22/10) Student readings explore the scientific evidence on global warming, the views of climate change deniers, and ideas for student action on climate change, including a day of action on October 10, 2010, sponsored by, Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network.

Controversy over the NYC Muslim Community Center & the 9/11 Experience (for younger students) (9/22/10) This lesson asks children to watch and discuss three public service announcements by the Council on American Islamic Relations featuring Muslims who were part of the 9/11 rescue effort; consider the news about the controversy over the Cordoba Project ("Ground Zero Mosque"), and discuss a Niemoller poem that relates to standing up for the rights of others.

ISLAM & ISLAMOPHOBIA (for younger students) (9/15/10) Students talk about their cultural heritage, watch an online video about American Muslims, discuss their understanding of Islam and Muslims, and share their own experiences of being treated unfairly.

GETTING TO KNOW YOU: Classroom Activities for Starting Off the School Year This 28-page PDF booklet includes great activities to get your class (grades preK-12) off to a good start in the new school year.

BAN ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Does it Violate ''Due Process' and 'Equal Protection'? (9/8/10) A student reading provides an excerpt from Judge Walker's ruling that California's Prop 8 is unconstitutional and describes competing opinions on gay marriage. A critical thinking activity follows.

PAKISTAN'S 'STAGGERING DISASTER': How Students Can Help (9/1/10) A brief student reading suggesting the dimensions of the crisis is followed by suggestions for student discussion and inquiry, and ways to translate compassion into action.

NYC MUSLIM COMMUNITY CENTER: Why There? Why Not? (8/30/10) Three student readings describe plans for the controversial center, multiple perspectives about it, and an overview of mosque protests in New York City and elsewhere. Suggestions for a fish bowl discussion follow.

THIS IS JUST TO SAY: NCLB and Race to the Top Leave Education Behind (8/23/10) Alan Shapiro's essay challenges us to consider current education policies and what real reform might look like.

AL QAEDA AND THE TALIBAN: What Threat to the U.S.? (8/4/10) President Obama continues to maintain that Al Qaeda and the Taliban "threaten America and its allies." Is he right? Three student readings present some of the basic background information on Al Qaeda and the Taliban and on differing views of counterinsurgency.

CHECKING FACTS WITH SNOPES, FACTCHECK & POLITIFACT (7/14/10) The internet is loaded with information--but much of it is inaccurate. Three student readings examine three reliable factchecking sources--Snopes, FactCheck, and PolitiFact. Discussion questions, writing assignments and opportunities for group work follow.

. . . And more for elementary, middle & high school.

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