Start a Conversation:
classroom resources about race and racism
This blog is the beginning of a four-part series on classroom resources available to help educators start conversations on race and racism, the history of protest, teaching with current events, and bringing descendent community member voices into classrooms. For more information on the series, please see our blog from last week. There are a number of online resources from imperative organizations that can help guide a classroom conversation about race and racism. Many of these materials can also be applied to households, workplaces, and conversations with peers.
The first step with having a conversation in your classroom is understanding that many students, families, and educators have experienced or are experiencing trauma related to racism. The following is a list of resources about addressing trauma in the classroom:
- The National Education Association’s “Addressing the epidemic OF TRAUMA in schools.”
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Networks “Addressing Race and Trauma classroom: A Resource for Educators” and “Child Trauma Toolkit for Educators.”
- An article from the journal Educational Leadership by Jessica Minahan “Trauma-Informed Teaching Strategies.”
- Teaching Tolerance has a collection of resources on “Affirming Black Lives Without Inducing Trauma” as well as the “Dealing with Trauma” learning plan.
Here are some lesson plans and guides about race and racism that can be used in your classrooms:
- The organization Black Lives Matter at School has multiple classroom materials as well as recommendations for other organizations’ materials.
- The National Education Association’s EdJustice has a webpage with stories about educators across the country, Black Lives Matter at School events, a guide for school board activism, and classroom resources.
- The National Museum of African American History & Culture has interactive guides on race for teachers, caregivers, and people, which can be found on their page “Talking About Race.”
- Teaching Tolerance’s “Let’s Talk! Discussing Race, Racism, and Other Difficult Topics with Students.”
- The Anti-Defamation League has a number of lesson plans, tools and strategies, blog articles, and children’s literature guides that cover “Teaching about Racism, Violence, Inequity and the Criminal Justice System.”
We hope that these resources from crucial organizations help you have conversations with your students, families, and communities. There are many more resources out there, and we encourage educators to continue to research and utilize resources created by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities and organizations.