Teaching Global Warming to 3rd Graders
A teacher adapts the “Climate Change Mixer” designed for older students as a springboard for a unit on global warming and climate justice.
Tackling World Crises with Small Children
A teacher wrestles with explaining refugee crises, dictators, and the trauma of war to her 1st- and 2nd- grade classroom.
Teaching Social Issues and Global Conflicts with Young Children
Recently, a Rethinking Schools editor was a chaperone on a field trip when he overheard a 2nd-grade student talking about how he wanted to “nuke the world.” Taken aback, he […]
Poetry, Climate Change, and Sacred Spaces
Using Marshallese poet and climate justice activist Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner’s poem “Dear Matafele Peinam,” a teacher helps 7th graders think about the sacred spaces in their own lives and how they will be affected by climate change.
How Our Stories Build Community
A neighborhood mapping exercise helps students develop their narrative writing and storytelling skills while also building classroom community by connecting home worlds to the curriculum. Adapted from the newly-released second edition of Reading, Writing, and Rising Up.
Teaching the Poetry of the Vietnam War
A teacher uses poetry and the creation of found poems as a way to get her students to think beyond the simple “two sides to every story” narrative of the Vietnam War.
This is the first issue of Rethinking Schools magazine in eight years for which Jody Sokolower was not the managing editor. Jody stepped down in April to focus on local […]
“Ugh, Dress Codes!” The title of one of 15-year-old Izzy Labbe’s SPARK Movement blog posts encapsulates what I’ve heard so many girls say they feel about their middle and high […]
Our picks for books, videos, websites, and other social justice education resources.
Volume 31, No.4
Two powerful stories, “The (Young) People’s Climate Conference” and “Love for Syria,” frame our summer issue that addresses teaching social issues and global conflicts with young children. In the first, Rowan Shafer helps 3rd graders understand the global struggle for climate justice. In the second, Cami Touloukian wrestles with explaining the refugee crisis and trauma of war in Syria to her 1st- and 2nd-grade classroom.
Helping young learners understand such tough issues in the time of Trump, in a time where we are told we should want to build walls and ban immigrants, is more important than ever. In our editorial for the issue we write, “We owe it to our students, perhaps especially the youngest among them, to resurrect the culture of empathy. We do this by listening to their concerns, trying our best to respond to their questions with respect and compassion, and teaching them to push for a world where everyone’s life is valued.”
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