ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
FOR ALL (2/12) Classroom lessons to foster respect
for diversity--a concrete way for schools to mark Respect for
ANNIVERSARY TEACHING GUIDE. Our age-appropriate classroom
lessons and activities for grades K-12 aim to deepen your students'
understanding of September 11 and the 10th anniversary ceremonies,
and develop their critical thinking skills. The guide, written
by Morningside Center executive director Tom Roderick, also includes
recommended books and other teaching ideas. Please join us on
to share your thoughts and experiences on teaching on 9/11.
TO CLOSE THE SCHOOL YEAR (for all grades) Five activities
use different methodologies to help you and your
students reflect on the year and look ahead to next year.
Day 2011: OUR WATER FOOTPRINT (4/15/11) Elementary students
consider how much water we consume and what impact it has by hearing
some facts and discussing the story of one girl's water consumption.
OF BROTHERS(for elementary students) (3/24/11) Students
discuss their own experiences of helping others, then view and
discuss a brief video about Japanese children who are working
together to help their community in the wake of the earthquake
OIL SPILL: What happened, and who is responsible? (for
younger grades) (6/9/10) Students discuss the massive BP
oil spill and view two short videos as they consider what happened
in the gulf, their own consumption of oil, and who should be held
responsible for the spill.
Still in Crisis, but No Longer in the News (2/24/10)
Marieke van Woerkom's activity helps younger students consider
how Haitians are faring now that the news media has largely moved
IS HAPPENING IN HAITI? (1/19/10) Help your students
learn about the earthquake and Haiti's history, and brainstorm
about how they can help Haitians now and in the long run.
Dr. Martin Luther King: THE POWER OF NONVIOLENT RESISTANCE
engaging activities, video, and small-group discussion, students
consider the Montgomery Bus Boycott and how they might stand up
against injustice in their own lives.
IN A TIME OF CRISIS Educator Marieke van Woerkom provides
timeless guidelines for opening up discussion on difficult issues--like
the current economic recession--with your elementary and middle
school students. Also included: links to resources on the economic
crisis to inform the class discussion.
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.
GARBAGE PATCH: Two Earth Day Lessons for Elementary Students
With the help of a short video clip, students explore the 'life
cycle' of a plastic bag and develop a 'reduce, reuse, recycle'
ON THE INAUGURATION for grades K-12
Our 15-page PDF booklet includes student readings and interactive
lessons about the inauguration, Obama's inaugural speech, the
challenges facing the new administration, and the inaugurals of
presidents Lincoln and Roosevelt.
OF ANGER for grades
3-6 Students reflect on a time when they were angry. They
describe the ways people communicate and physically react when
they have strong feelings and consider what choices we can make
when we are angry.
LISTENING (for grades 3-6)
In this lesson, students practice active listening by paraphrasing
what they hear.
OF VIEW for grades 3-6 Through
an exercise and roleplays, students consider the importance of
understanding another person's point of view in solving a conflict.
IS COMMUNICATION? for grades K-3 In
these two fun classroom activities, students practice sending
and receiving messages and consider what communication is.
(for grades 3-6) A series of classroom
activities culminate in students interviewing a peacemaker in
their school or community.
AND WIN-WIN SOLUTIONS: Two Lessons for Grades 3-6
The first lesson introduces students to the concept
of conflict; the second has students practice coming up with "win-win
DIFFERENCES for K-2 Students observe that even friends
may disagree in their opinions. The lesson includes an "opinion
continuum" exercise that encourages students to respectfully
express and listen to different opinions.
WELL In this activity for grades 3-6, students practice
the skills of good listening.
& THE ENVIRONMENT: What can we do about it? Through
a series of engaging activities, students learn basic facts about
climate change and consider what we can do about it.
WORKERS, & THE US LABOR MOVEMENT: Unit Plan for 5th Grade
Social Studies An 8-lesson activity helps
students explore issues of work and workplace conflicts through
reading, discussion, interviews, and investigation.
Problem-Solving Approaches (K-12) Regularly instituting
these two approaches in your classroom will build your students'
problem-solving skills and create a more congenial classroom atmosphere.
Mentors for Students By spending a little informal
time each week with a student not from their class, a teacher
mentor can play an important role in a young person's life.
Guides: The Librarian of Basra and Alia's Mission: Saving
the Books of Iraq These two recent children's books
(grades K-12) present a positive opportunity to open up discussions
of the Iraq war with students. Both tell the story of Alia Muhammed
Baker, the chief librarian of Basra, Iraq, who saved 30,000 books
from Basra's library before it burned during the U.S. invasion
Meeting & Meditation
These two classroom practices give your students time and space
to reflect on and discuss their thoughts and feelings.
& The Assertiveness Line (Grades
students these strategies to deal with problems that come up with
friends can help create a more peaceable classroom.
Differently (Grades K-5) Two
great activities to add to your classroom routine: an Opinion
Continuum opener, and a Win-Win Role-Play & Discussion.
K-5) An experienced classroom teacher offers two 10-minute
activities she has found useful in building community in her classroom,
particularly at the start of the school year.
Charade (Grades 4-12) This fun activity can help open
up communication with and among students about their feelings.
It also helps build students' vocabulary and their confidence
in using their full vocabulary range.
Skit: Dealing with a Bully (Grades
K-1) After two puppets discuss how a bully
at their school, youngsters analyze what they've seen and consider
w to respond to the bully.
Heart Story Encourages students to consider the effect
of "put-downs" and to think about how to express "put-ups."
Escalator Uses puppets to introduce young children
to the concept of escalating and deescalating conflict.
strong, Be Mean, or Give In? (Grades 3-5) Uses a student
role play to help young people consider the choices of assertiveness,
aggressiveness, and passivity.
Activities on Diversity In
a group and one-on-one, students consider their similarities and
differences and see that it's okay to talk about diversity.
Stereotypes: First Thoughts (Grades 4-6)
Students consider stereotypes, beginning with stereotypes of
This simple process gives young people--and adults--a chance
to express their feelings about events of the day.
for Exploring Tough Issues Well-structured small-group
discussion can help students discuss issues of the day that concern
Model for Teaching Controversial Issues A classic
guide for how to explore sensitive issues in your classroom.