Brown v. Board of Education

On May 17, 1954 the Brown v. Board of Education decision was made. This landmark Supreme Court decision declared that laws establishing separate public schools for black and white children were unconstitutional. The Brown v. Board of Education ruling overturned the Plessy v. Ferguson decision of 1896, which allowed state-sponsored segregation in public schools. To support teachers as they commemorate this important anniversary in their classes, the Share My Lesson team has selected a variety of free lesson plans, educational resources and classroom materials about equity, particularly in schools.

Grades 5, 6-12
Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
Lesson Plans

IRL 1: Free Speech in Schools Podcast

We’re digging into four incredibly important Supreme Court cases – four cases that have shaped how we interpret the meaning of free speech in public schools. Is political protest allowed in class? Is lewd speech covered by the First Amendment? Can school administrators determine what students can and can’t say in the school newspaper? Listen in, and find out how students and schools have gone head to head over how First Amendment rights apply in a public school setting.

Grades 7-12
Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
Audio

American Slavery Lesson Plans: Teaching Hard History

Teaching American Slavery & Emancipation.

If you are lesson planning for the school year, or getting ready to celebrate Juneteenth — the June 19 holiday recognizing the abolition of slavery — this Share My Lesson collection has what you need to teach preK-12 students the history of American slavery. This preK-12 lesson and activity curated collection is in response to a Southern Poverty Law Center report, “Teaching Hard History: American Slavery,” that shows that schools are failing to teach American Slavery. This collection of resources features some of our partner and users’ best material to ensure schools and teachers have the support they need to teach about the history of American slavery.

Drug Testing in Schools

This lesson calls for students to take a stand on whether there should be drug testing in schools or not. Students stand along a spectrum – ranging from “test everyone” to “never test anyone” – to represent their position on the issue. As the class discusses and debates, students are encouraged to consider opposite views, and can move along the spectrum to reflect changed opinions. The lesson concludes with a conversation about the possible outcomes of the policies brought up during the session.

Life Stages: School Podcast

As Adam Laats said, “When it comes to schools, the most important thing is who you are, and where you live.” In this episode, we explore how K-12 education has developed in the US since the 1600s, what teachers can and can’t teach, what rights students have in public school, and how the federal government gets involved. The episode features Mary Beth Tinker, Dan Cassino, Kara Lamontagne, Adam Laats and Campbell Scribner.
This short episode includes a one-page Graphic Organizer for students to take notes on while listening, as well as discussion questions on the back side.

Black History Month Lesson Plans on Nonviolence

The power of nonviolent actions and attitudes as a means to resist oppression and spur reforms is a recurring feature of democratic and democratizing societies. The School Violence Prevention Demonstration Program presents educators with lesson plans that explore the use of nonviolence in history, paying particular attention to the civil rights movement and African American history. Six lessons address: the 1963 Children’s March; the concept of nonviolence using primary sources and stories of participants in the civil rights movement; the power of nonviolence; the story of Rosa Parks; citizenship schools; how music can be used to achieve social and political change.

#MeToo: A Movement for K-12

#metoo Resources for Educators.

The #MeToo and #MeTooK12 movement is an opportunity for schools to reflect on how to address issues of consent, sex education, relationships and undoing a pervasive culture of silence. April is also Sexual Assault Awareness month. The Share My Lesson team curated a collection of free resources to help educators with critical conversations and lesson planning, as well as school procedures and policies and opportunities for reflection.

Grades K-12
Foundations of Democracy
Lesson Plans

Seat at the Table Lesson Plan

“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” — Rep. Shirley Chisholm
Inspired by Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm’s famous words and life story, the Kennedy Institute launched the Seat at the Table Project in which the Institute invited individuals, schools, and community organizations to think about why diversity of representation is vital and what necessary contributions we each bring to the table when we pull up a chair. Download a lesson plan and discussion guide for a family, class or your community.