Lesson Plan

Coronavirus and Racial Disparities

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GRADE LEVEL: High School

COMMON CORE STANDARDS: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening, Language

How is the Coronavirus Impacting People of Color?

Coronavirus is devastating nations and communities around the globe. New demographic data from some U.S. cities and states reveals that the disease is disproportionately impacting communities of color in the U.S. According to the data, African American people are more likely to become infected with and die from coronavirus than other racial groups. For example, in the state of Michigan, where COVID-19 hit early and intensely, African American people comprise 40% of those who have died, yet make up only 14% of the total population.

Black and Latinx people are at increased risk of serious illness related to coronavirus due to systemic inequities in the housing, employment and health care systems. They likely face increased challenges in being able to access COVID-19 testing and treatment because they are more likely to be uninsured and face barriers such as racial bias in pain assessment and treatment.

About the Lesson Plan

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to understand how and why COVID-19 disproportionately affects African American people and reflect on what can be done about it.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will understand how coronavirus impacts the African American community in certain cities and states.
  • Students will use narrative and facts to analyze why there are racial disparities in coronavirus contraction and fatality rates for African American people.
  • Students will reflect on and write about possible actions to address the disparities.

Virtual Classroom Option

Click here for the student-facing version of this activity using the Sutori platform, a collaborative instruction and presentation tool for the classroom. Use the "share" feature for each activity to easily add to your Google classroom or other online platform.