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A Ripple of Hope-Using History”¦s Powerful Stories to Teach Tolerance


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Keywords: tolerance, prejudice, peace making, history, civics, responsibility
Subject(s): Video, Social Skills, Technology, Podcasting, Writing, Reading, Information Skills, Social Studies, English/Language Arts, Drama, Civics, History
Grades 3 through 8
School: Pond Road Middle School, Robbinsville, NJ
Planned By: Linda Biondi
Original Author: Linda Biondi, Robbinsville
Objectives: Students will
understand that the struggle for equality of rights had difficult beginnings and continues to this day
be able to define prejudice, discrimination and racism
develop a more personal understanding of bias and racism and the way it impacts their lives

NJCCS:

Technology:
8.1.4.E.1 Investigate a problem or issue found in the United States and/or another country from multiple perspectives, evaluate findings, and present possible solutions, using digital tools and online resources for all steps.

21st-Century Life and Careers
9.1 All students will demonstrate the creative, critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving skills needed to function successfully as both global citizens and workers in diverse ethnic and organizational cultures.ew Jersey Core Curriculum Standards Social Studies

6.1 All students will utilize historical thinking, problem solving, and research skills to maximize their understanding of civics, history, geography, and economics. A.1 Analyze how events are related over time. 2 Use critical thinking skills to interpret events, recognize bias, point of view, and context.



Activities
ƒęStudents will record their reactions on classpress (an online blog site)
ƒęStudents will take notes, record their reactions, and write scripts which will be used to create a videotape, "How We Can Make This a Better World."
ƒęStudents will interview people who have experienced prejudice.
ƒęParents and community members will be invited to share information about their cultures
ƒęCreate a book that incorporates writing from earlier lessons as well as new ideas and materials. Students are asked to assume a role from which to write such as a reporter, history detective, or poet

This program begins on the first day of school. One of the first activities the students will do is to write a poem, ”§Where I Am From”Ø, which provide them with opportunities to examine their own identities. Students will read trade books, listen to oral history stories, and examine artifacts on loan from local museums to help them understand bias and patterns of discrimination, interpret stereotyping, deepen their awareness of history”¦s role in understanding the present, and increase their literacy skills. Students will record their thoughts, feelings, and questions in their History Journals. In addition, students will record their thoughts on Classpress, an educational blog forum Reading skills that will be enhanced during this unit include interpretation, empathy, and personal response.

The class will visit Kidsbridge, a non-profit Tolerance Museum and learning lab .

: The United States is one of the most diverse societies in the world. Because today”¦s students differ in age, academic needs, background, and culture, the classroom is an ideal environment to be taught tolerance. Examining artifacts, photos, and examples of oral history tell a story about our past and provide a link to from the past to present”Kfrom the present to the future. Students need to understand that what we do now really matters to the future. This program will deepen their understanding of history while promoting attitude changes of positive behavior.

"Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance." Robert F. Kennedy




III
Comments
I would like to have the students be able to work on this project in small groups. Idealy, 6 Flip cameras would be perfect.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
ƒę Students will record their reactions on classpress (an online blog site)
ƒę Students will take notes, record their reactions, and write scripts which will be used to create a videotape, "How We Can Make This a Better World."
ƒę Students will interview people who have experienced prejudice.
ƒę Parents and community members will be invited to share information about their cultures
ƒę Bring in newspaper articles that demonstrate current examples of respect for diversity
ƒę Create a book that incorporates writing from earlier lessons as well as new ideas and materials. Students are asked to assume a role from which to write such as a reporter, history detective, or poet
Follow-Up
All lesson plans for this project will be posted on the teacher”¦s website and will be shared with colleagues. This program will be eligible for the Character Education Partnership (CEP) which annually recognizes schools and districts in the United States and elsewhere for implementing unique and specific strategies in character education.
Materials: Flip Video, Headsets, Flash/USB Drives