Lesson Plan

Responding to Violence and Hate

September 11 Memorial Kids' Drawings

David Iliff | CC BY-SA 3.0

Drawings by kids as a small monument to the victims of the September 11th attacks.

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GRADE LEVEL: Preschool, Elementary School, Middle School, High School

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

Incidents of violence, such as school shootings or terrorist attacks, raise many issues for parents and educators. How can we assure our children that they are safe in the world? How do we prevent the hatred that leads to violence and terrorism?

About this Curriculum Unit

This curriculum unit for grades PreK–12 provides grade-specific lessons and resources that assist in addressing these difficult issues with children at home and in the classroom.

About the Lesson Plans

All Kinds of Feelings

(Grades PreK-2)

How can educators and care providers help young children learn to identify their own and others’ feelings and emotions? This activity provides an opportunity to assist children to creatively explore feelings through reflection, discussion, art and dance. The activities help children to understand how they can promote positive feelings in one another by practicing kindness in their daily lives. Children work together to create visual representations of feelings to use as catalysts for discussions throughout the year.

Stitching Together a Community

(Grades 3-5)

This lesson encourages students, through a variety of reflective and interactive processes, to think about community on both a local and national level. The lesson helps children consider the many communities of which they are members and the ways in which their diverse communities provide support, strength and pride to them in different and similar ways.

Examining and Interrupting Hate

(Grades 6-8)

This lesson provides an opportunity for students to develop a vocabulary and understanding of potentially unfair and hateful attitudes and behaviors in general, and to consider how events of the past have led to unfair stereotyping, prejudice, discrimination and scapegoating of, among others, Muslim and Arab Americans. Students are also asked to consider ways that they can interrupt the escalation of hateful attitudes and behaviors.

Diversity: Our Strength, Our Challenge

(Grades 9-12)

This highly interactive three-part lesson creates a supportive forum for students to explore both the dynamics of hateful behavior and the strength of unified action to counter it. Sharing personal backgrounds and experiences with name-calling and prejudice, students will develop an appreciation of their similarities and differences and build a sense of group unity. Through examining the roles that they each play in either interrupting or perpetuating bias in their schools and communities, students will develop a sense of personal responsibility for combating prejudice and will learn ways to create inclusive and respectful campus environments.