Many educators are often afraid of discussing “controversial” issues in the classroom. The word “controversial” here puts a shroud on many relevant topics, such as politics, daily events, history, social justice issues, equality, and many others.
What are you so afraid of? Having a healthy debate in the classroom? shouldn’t students be exposed to different perspectives than predominate hegemonic ones? Or are you afraid of “not getting it right”? if that’s the case, then one needs to take themselves out of the picture.
Discussing these issues in the classroom will not only benefit students’ knowledge, learning, and other critical thinking skills, but it’ll also be impacting the future generation. Do we want to raise kids who are complicit, docile, and shy away from having a point of view? Or do we want to raise strong citizens that can speak about their values and beliefs with conviction?
If you’re still worried about discussing the Muslim Ban in your classroom, I would suggest you read through this thread:
I didn’t create a lesson of my own, seeing I am not in the classroom currently, and frankly, this topic is still hard for me to discuss. There are though a few resources that you can use here:
- #EduColor teacher and activist, Valencia Clay, created a #RefgueesWelcome lesson plan. It has great strategies on initiating the discussion with students, as well as several useful links and resources. Here is the lesson plan being use by fellow educator, Stephanie Hardinger’s 4th graders.
- Understanding Trump Syllabus (Thanks to Melinda Anderson for sharing!) was created by a John Hopkins historian, N.D.B. Connolly. The syllabus contains required reading suggestions, books, articles, and journals about the new trump era. This resource might be more beneficial for upper grades and Higher Education.
- Here is an article by the Director of Teaching Tolerance explaining the Executive Orders. This may make it easier to understand and break down the current situation and policies being implemented.
- Another article by Teaching Tolerance: What do I say to students about immigration orders? provides some good tips and strategies to keep in mind in the classroom.
- If we knew our history series from Zinn Ed Project: Lots of articles and resources here on the history of fascism, rejection of refugees and more.
- I am not an immigrant, so why should I care about the Muslim ban? A good article on Muslim Girl.
- Here is a lesson plan from Zinn Ed Project.
- Here is a great piece on Poetry in the time of Protest on the New Yorker, thanks to Chris Rogers for finding it. The piece looks at how language, specifically poetry, is in fact political and used in forms of protests.
- Muslim Kids as Heroes: A great collection of diverse books for children with Muslim protagonist.
- Muslim Ban Resource Guide (Shared by Mel Katz). Really dig deep into this, it’s very meticulous when it comes to information about resources, and how-to’s about the Muslim Ban.
- From ADL Education: Lesson plan: http://www.adl.org/education-outreach/lesson-plans/c/the-muslim-ban-and-the-power-of-protest.html#.WJNFci0rLIW
Parent/Family discussion guide: http://www.adl.org/education-outreach/anti-bias-education/c/what-is-the-muslim-ban.html?referrer=http://www.adl.org/education-outreach/anti-bias-education/c/table-talk-family-conversations.html#.WJNEly0rLIU
Other resources on Refugees, Muslim people and Anti-Muslim Bigotry: http://www.adl.org/education-outreach/curriculum-resources/c/education-resources-on.html#.WJNFyi0rLIU
- Another source of lessons is Morningside Center: http://morningsidecenter.org/teachable-moment Here are a couple of examples: http://morningsidecenter.org/teachable-moment/lessons/helping-students-counter-anti-muslim-bias and http://morningsidecenter.org/teachable-moment/lessons/trump%E2%80%99s-immigration-ban-news-stories
- Another resource recommended by teacher Eric Fieldman is an article titled: How to Fight Trump’s Racist Immigration Policies.
- And a great lesson by the New York Times Learning Network: Analyzing Trump’s Immigration Ban: A Lesson Plan.
The last suggestion I’ll leave you with is, often times, all we need to be moved to create change is to look at images and analyze them: