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In this section, we present some tools to help educators explore the significance of race through multiple disciplines. Lesson plans draw from the television series, the Web site and carefully selected resources.

Be sure to check out the Teaching Tips included in the Go Deeper sections of each featured interactivity. Click on a lesson title to view the full document.

NOTE: We are continuing to develop new lesson plans and will add them as they are ready. Check back regularly for new additions.

Title: Jamestown:Planting the Seeds of Tobacco and the Ideology of Race
Grade levels: 10th grade through sophomore year of college
Subjects: U.S. History, American Studies
Description: The focus of this detailed lesson is American racial ideology as it began to evolve in late 17th century Jamestown and Virginia. It aims to help students question their own assumptions about what race is and is not. Using segments of Episode 2 - The Story We Tell, the RACE companion Web site, and primary documents from online resources, students will examine the unique conditions and events that led to the world's first system of slavery based on race.
Time Allotment: 8 class sessions + extensions


Title: Just an Environment or a Just Environment? Racial Segregation and Its Impacts
Grade levels: 10th grade through sophomore year of college
Subjects: Civics, Government, Sociology, Institutional Racism, Environmental Racism, White Advantage
Description: This lesson explores the multiple causes of racial segregation and environmental racism, and helps students understand how institutional racism is perpetuated in the post-Civil Rights era. Students will perform a mock tribunal in which they will research, interpret, analyze and apply historical evidence of factors that contribute to continuing racial segregation and disparity in the United States.
Time Allotment: 5-6 class sessions + extensions


Title: The Empirical Challenges of Racial Classification
Grade levels: 9-14
Subjects: Biology, Anthropology, Genetics, Geography
Description: This lesson will help students examine their preconceptions and assumptions about racial categories and understand the impossibility of constructing a consistent biological system of human racial classification.
Time Allotment: 2-3 class sessions + extensions


Title: Comparing mtDNA Sequences to Learn about Human Variation
Grade levels: 9-14
Subjects: Biology, Physical Anthropology, Genetics
Description: This computer-based lesson will enable students to test their notions of "racial" similarity and difference by comparing mtDNA sequences as the students do in the Episode 1 of RACE - The Power of an Illusion. Students can either sequence and compare their own mtDNA (with each other as well as with individuals from around the world) or compare public sequence files from different world populations to gain an understanding of human genetic variation.
Time Allotment: 2-3 class sessions + extensions


Title: Comparing Chimpanzee mtDNA Sequences to Learn about Races
Grade levels: 9-14
Subjects: Biology, Physical Anthropology, Genetics
Description: In this computer-based lesson, students will measure genetic diversity within and between three subspecies of chimpanzees in order to gain a better understanding of genetic distinctiveness and explore race as a genetic concept.
Time Allotment: 1 class session + extension


Title: The Genetics and Evolution of Skin Color: The Case of Desiree's Baby
Grade levels: 9-14
Subjects: Biology, Physical Anthropology, Genetics
Description: This lesson explores the diversity and origin of human skin colors, using a short story by Kate Chopin as a starting point..
Time Allotment: 1-2 class sessions


Title: The Growth of the Suburbs - and the Wealth Gap
Grade Levels:
11th & 12th grades
Subject Matter: Economics, Social Studies, American History
Description: This lesson demonstrates the important role that family wealth plays in shaping life chances and creating opportunity and it explores the roots and consequences of the current race-based wealth gap.
Time Allotment: up to 4 class sessions

 


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