Daily Video

May 26, 2021

Daily News Lesson: What’s changed since George Floyd’s death one year ago


Directions: Read the summary, watch the video and answer the discussion questions. Note: Teachers may want to refer to this resource by Colorín Colorado about discussing community violence with your students. A transcript of the video is available here.

Summary: This week marks one year since George Floyd, an unarmed Black man was killed by then police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. His death, recorded on video by 17-year-old bystander Darnella Frazier, sparked widespread protests globally, and reignited the Black Lives Matter movement and conversations around race.

  • Last month, Chauvin was found guilty of three counts of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. His sentencing will be in June and the trials of the other officers in Floyd’s death will soon follow.
  • Floyd’s death marked the beginning of a year of reckoning over minorities targeted by police, as seen through the public’s enduring outrage over the killing of Breonna Taylor, Daunte Wright, Ma’Khia Bryant and others. 

Key terms:

systemic change: change which affects how major institutions such as government, education, police and the church operate

Discussion questions: 

Warm up questions: Have your students identify the 5Ws and an H:

  • Who is making efforts to keep George Floyd’s memory alive?
  • Why is the police reform process such a difficult process in Minneapolis?
  • What are people doing to commemorate Floyd’s anniversary?
  • How have Minneapolis residents been feeling since witnessing Floyd’s death?
  • When was Floyd killed, and when was Derek Chauvin found guilty of his murder?

Focus questions:

  • Do you think lawmakers are doing enough to make systemic changes in the policing system after Floyd’s death? Why or why not?
  • Can you think of an example of systemic change that will address the problem of racism in the U.S.?

Media literacy: How do you think social media affected the ways people came to know of Floyd’s death and how it was covered in the news? How has social media influenced the ways Floyd is remembered today?

Additional resources: You can watch a longer segment of PBS NewsHour’s anniversary special on George Floyd below. For the full 50-minute program, watch this video

People are remembering Floyd’s death all over the country, not just in Minneapolis. Here’s further reading on how Americans are grappling with racial bias and police reform.

This lesson was written by EXTRA’s intern Bridgette Adu-Wadier, a senior at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, VA. Bridgette will be attending Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism this fall.

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