How to Use Social Justice Resources to Create an Inclusive Classroom Environment
The importance of social justice education in K- curricula continues to be a major topic of discussion across the nation. Despite beliefs that making social justice in the classroom optional is beneficial, we acknowledge that such an approach would adversely affect students marginalized in society, who already experience marginalization in schools. For this reason, we have compiled a list of free social justice lesson plans and classroom resources as a gateway to support those working towards addressing these issues. It should be noted that this list serves as merely a starting point; significant additional resources are available for individuals looking to begin or progress their journey of inclusion.
Educators and administrators are encouraged to explore GLSEN Educator Resources and the Zinn Education Project as valuable resources regarding social justice in the classroom and beyond. The Zinn Education Project provides a range of teaching materials, workshops, and curricula related to “people’s history” topics, such as climate change, Islamophobia, the labor movement, the New Deal, and antiwar movements, among others. Over , teachers have participated in the project’s training programs since its inception and are equipped with the tools to write their own curriculum and articles for publication. Classroom resources include various teaching materials available through the project.
Are you aware that body image is a serious social justice issue? Explore Body Happy Org’s website to gain a greater insight into how our attitude towards our bodies can influence mental health. As it states on their website, “Body image issues don’t just influence how kids participate in class—they may determine if they will even attend class at all.” To view some lesson plans that could be implemented in your classroom, simply click the link. Additionally, obtain further information regarding ‘ Acres and a Mule: What Reconstruction Could Have Been (multimedia role-play)’ and other videos and songs by visiting the respective websites.
Kindergarten is an international platform that serves to benefit children, their families, and early childhood educators and institutions. Dedicated to pioneering early education and promoting pro-black, queer, and trans liberation, one can visit Kindergarten’s website linked above to access read-alouds, poems, workshops, a mutual aid shop, and a daily word especially for the youngest of learners. Additionally, they provide resources such as Woke Read-Alouds (via videoand Gender Inclusive Classrooms, both essential topics in education during recent times regarding rights for LGBTQ+ students in schools.
The Rainbow Club at your school is a great resource for finding definitions, inclusive school checklists, and additional websites to further promote LGBTQ+ inclusion and equity. Additionally, you may be interested in the Queer Kid Stuff YouTube channel. To gain insight on how to begin such a club, you may refer to the Teaching Guide created by Teaching for Change, which provides teachers and parents with useful tools to create an educational environment that encourages students to read, write, and make changes to the world while forming meaningful connections to real-world issues.
As global citizens, we have the opportunity to promote an atmosphere of inclusivity in our classrooms. To that end, Anti-Bias Education provides a wide range of resources for educators, including articles and book recommendations. Additionally, Facing History & Ourselves offers school-wide trainings, a partner school network, and professional development for teachers and administrators. These programs are tailored to meet the specific needs of the school community, from pedagogical theory to subject-specific content. For more information on how to bring Facing History & Ourselves to your school, please visit their website.
In conclusion, the Rainbow Club at your school can be a great resource for promoting LGBTQ+ inclusion and equity in the school system. The Queer Kid Stuff YouTube channel is a great supplementary source of valuable information and education, while the Teaching Guide created by Teaching for Change offers teachers and parents useful tools to create an enriching educational environment, which will help students become more informed and connected to real-world issues. With the right guidance, students can become empowered agents of change, building an inclusive learning culture within the school system.