Resources on Race and Ethnicity

  • These following lesson plans and resources were compiled by the Office of Equity as a representative sampling of approaches that teachers may utilize to help students talk about topics related to social justice and equity. The below resources are presented as a sampling of approaches to this topic and are not endorsed by the Boston Public Schools or the BPS Office of Equity.

    Prior to utilizing any of these lessons or resources in the classroom, please refer to the Office of Equity's Guidelines for the Use of Offensive Terms in the Classroom document. If you would like assistance with these resources, please contact our office at 617-635-9650 or bpsequity@bostonpublicschools.org.

    Elementary

    Lesson Name Description Suggested Grades
    Teaching Young Children About Race: A Guide for Parents and Teachers

    An excerpt from the book, Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves. Provides some strategies and approaches for students to learn about physical differences and similarities and how to foster critical thinking and respectful relationships.  

     

    K - 5th
    Different Colors of Beauty A series of lessons to help students develop their own racial or ethnic identities in a safe and open classroom environment. These lessons will help teachers build a safe, open, and accepting classroom and school community. (Teaching Tolerance) K - 2nd; 3rd - 5th

    Discovering My Identity

    In this lesson, students will describe aspects of their identities such as race, gender, ability, religion and more. Then after exploring Marley Dias' Black Girls Books campaign, students will analyze book illustrations and write their own book review noting how characters are similar and different from them. (Teaching Tolerance)

    3rd - 5th

    Looking Closely At Ourselves

    In this lesson, students explore race and self-identity by creating self-portraits. The lesson aims to help students develop detailed observational skills and use these skills in relation to themselves and others. It also begins constructing a vocabulary that is crucial in helping build community and discuss some of the more challenging aspects of race and racial identity formation. (Teaching Tolerance)

    3rd - 5th

    Secondary 

    Lesson Name Description Suggested Grades
    Looking Closely At Ourselves In this lesson, students explore race and self-identity by creating self-portraits. The lesson aims to help students develop detailed observational skills and use these skills in relation to themselves and others. It also begins constructing a vocabulary that is crucial in helping build community and discuss some of the more challenging aspects of race and racial identity formation. (Teaching Tolerance) 6th - 8th; 9th - 12th
    Latino Heritage: A Discussion Activity Discussion guides and activities for two essays on Latinx identities to help students gain a deeper understanding of past and present struggles for Latinx civil rights. (Teaching Tolerance) 6th - 8th; 9th - 12th
    The History of Other Hate Symbols A research project for middle and upper grades to teach students how to critically analyze hidden messages about us, about others, and about the world. Students have the opportunity to evaluate symbols and graphics and analyze them. We recommended that before engaging in this with students, teachers review and implement the Office of Equity's Guidelines for the Use of Offensive Terms in the Classroom document. (Teaching Tolerance) 6th - 8th; 9th - 12th
    Teaching 'The New Jim Crow' A teacher's guide on teaching Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow. Includes lessons on talking about race and racism, slavery and Jim Crow as a form of racialized social control, the war on drugs, and the criminal justice system. (Teaching Tolerance) 9th - 12th
    Changing Demographics, Changing Identity, Changing Attitudes A four-lesson series that focuses on how the nation’s identity has and will continue to change as we move toward a plurality nation, how the nation responds to that evolving identity, how changing demographics relate to issues of equality, and what we can do to promote equality for all people who live in the United States. (Teaching Tolerance) 9th - 12th
    Linguistic Tolerance A lesson plan to help students understand and unpack linguistic discrimination through Spanish. (Teaching Tolerance) 9th - 12th