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Teaching 'The New Jim Crow' - Tolerance.org

Grades
9 to 12
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Teach the lessons of race and justice in society using the book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, as a resource. The ten lesson unit ...more
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Teach the lessons of race and justice in society using the book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, as a resource. The ten lesson unit includes a Teacher's Guide that provides chronological lessons, activities, and audiovisual resources appropriate for Social Studies, Language Arts, and American History courses. All materials align with Common Core Standards. Additional information found on this site includes a conversation with the book's author, Michelle Alexander, and two webinars that discuss the book and suggestions to support using the book in high school classrooms.

tag(s): civil rights (142), courts (21), politics (106), racism (40)

In the Classroom

Incorporate this free unit as a guide to teaching the sensitive topics of race and justice with or without using the novel. As you begin your unit, use AnswerGarden, reviewed here, as an anonymous brainstorming and response tool. Use AnswerGarden by forming open-ended questions such as "The hard part of talking about racism is..." or "The beneficial part of talking about racism is..." as a way to elicit student ideas without students being concerned about sharing ideas orally with their peers. Use AnswerGarden in various ways throughout the unit to gauge student ideas and responses to lesson topics. All of the lessons include essential questions and big ideas, use FlipGrid, reviewed here, as a collaborative tool to encourage student conversations through Flipgrid's video response options. Extend learning using podcasts as a format for students to share their learning about race and our justice system. For example, Buzzsprout, reviewed here, is a podcasting tool to create weekly podcasts created by students to discuss different components of race relations and the justice system. Another option to consider using is Synth, reviewed here, to create bite-sized audio podcasts discussing each lesson's issues. Use Synth to record short audio recordings of up to 256 seconds that thread together to form a podcast.

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