IWitness Stories for American Black History Month

Tuesday February 06, 2018
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Editor's Note:
February is Black History Month, a time to acknowledge and celebrate the central role African Americans have made in the United States. In honor of this special time, we invite educators and students to remember history in their classrooms, utilizing this year's thematic lens, "African Americans in Times of War."

This series will highlight one teaching activity per day for 10 days, pairing eyewitness testimony with standards-aligned lessons that transform learning.

Day 1
What is "The Danger of a Single Story"?
Author: Christa Calkins
Grade Level: 9-10

In this activity, students will examine hatred in its many forms by listening to testimony from multiple perspectives and by reflecting on their experiences with this difficult topic.

After viewing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's TED Talk, "The Danger of a Single Story," students will be asked to discuss the video and apply it to their own experiences.

Finally, they will select and interact with a clip of testimony that provides another perspective on biased behavior and its consequences to further their understanding, awareness and self-awareness about the many forms of hate.

MSM Activity Day 2

Day 2

My Story Matters - Call to Action

Author: USC Shoah Foundation

Grade Level: 5-6

In this activity, students will examine the impact that personal stories can have in inspiring others to action. They will listen and reflect on genocide survivor testimonies, discuss the concept of leadership and form belief statements about how they can become leaders in their communities.

Day 3

Faces of Intolerance

Author: USC Shoah Foundation

Grade Level: 8-9

During this activity, students will explore the concept of intolerance by looking at definitions, examples and clips of testimony from survivors and witnesses to genocide. They will consider the ways in which intolerance is perpetuated and determine its impact. They will have the opportunity to construct a word cloud detailing their understanding of how prejudice is occasionally justified by those who are intolerant of difference.

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