Lesson Plans

Each lesson plan in #TeachResistance is based on a read-aloud about a real or fictional young person who resists against injustice in their life. Browse below by age level, then click on a book title to explore the full lesson. Lesson plans include discussion questions, breakdowns of Common Core and social justice standards, related activities, and an “activist extension.”

K-1st

Books and lesson plans for students in K to 1st grade. Click the book title to explore the full #TeachResistance lesson.

One, by Kathryn Otoshi

In this lesson students will listen to a read aloud of One, which tells the story of Blue and how Red made them feel inadequate. None of the other colors liked Red and the way they treated Blue, but they were afraid to stand up for them. Until One came and stood up to Red and and other colors realized that they had the power to be upstanders and defend their friend Blue. However, Red is not villainized and realizes that they “can be hot and Blue can be cool too” and is encouraged to join the other colors (now numbers). The purpose of this read aloud is to show children that sometimes bullying can occur because someone can feel as isolated as the bullying themselves makes them feel, and we can in fact come together and find common ground as long as we stand up for each other, and stand together. Explore the full lesson >  

1st-2nd

Books and lesson plans for students in 1st to 2nd grade. Click the book title to explore the full #TeachResistance lesson.

Brave Girl, by Michelle Markel

In this lesson students will hear the story Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909. The book is about Clara Lemlich, a Ukrainian immigrant and garment worker in NYC who helped organize a massive general strike to protest the conditions in her industry. Students will learn about Lemlich’s life and what led her to become an organizer of workers across the city, and write their own speeches protesting the conditions in which she worked. Through her story of persistence and solidarity in the face of constant repression, students will explore a model for coming together in order to promote social change. Explore the full lesson >

3rd-4th

Books and lesson plans for students in 3rd to 4th grade. Click the book title to explore the full #TeachResistance lesson.

Crossing Bok Chitto, by Tim Tingle

In this lesson students will listen to Crossing Bok Chitto, by Tim Tingle and write their stories about times they or their families have fought injustice. This fictional story is about Martha Tom, a young Choctaw girl, and Lil’ Mo an enslaved African boy whose family lives in a plantation across the Bok Chitto river. Students will learn about the oral traditions of two different cultures, and how two young children braved friendship and trust. Students will also learn about different forms of resistance by enslaved Africans including oral traditions through religion, alliances with other communities, and escaping enslavement to stay together. Explore the full lesson >

4th-5th

Books and lesson plans for students in 4th to 5th grade. Click the book title to explore the full #TeachResistance lesson.

Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, by Don Tate

In this lesson students will listen to Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton and write their own poems about freedom. This story is about George Moses Horton, an enslaved African who taught himself to read, and eventually became a renowned poet. Students will learn about Horton’s life, most of which he spent enslaved in North Carolina until the end of the Civil War. 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. Explore the full lesson >

Joelito’s Big Decision, by Ann Berlak

Students will engage in a read aloud of Joelito’s Big Decision in order to consider ideas around economic justice and protest as a means to achieve change. Students will then consider ways that they can take a stand about a social issue within their own school or community that concerns them. Explore the full lesson >

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