Register to be an
Education Amplifier!

Join the inaugural cohort of Education Amplifiers for the 2017-2018 school year to bring art, dialogue, and cross-cultural understanding into your classroom. Registration has been extended to October 4th.

  • Free education art pack to help decorate your classroom, with art by Shepard Fairey, Lexx Valdez, Ernesto Yerena, Jessica Sabogal, and more!
  • Monthly webinar with issue area experts, curriculum developers, and a moderated discussion with other teachers in your cohort.
  • Access to the online educator resource bank, with lesson plans, curriculum, common-core guidance, tools and templates to use in your classroom.
  • Opportunity for your students to participate in the We The Future student essay contest, exclusive to Education Amplifier cohort classrooms.
  • Cohort advisor to provide coaching, insight, and support as you implement curriculum.
  • Monthly Education Amplifier newsletter, highlighting tools and lesson plans, as well as stories from cohort classrooms.
  • Connect to a national network of educators working to empower and develop the next generation of American leaders.
  • Program runs from October 2, 2017 – June 29, 2018.

Q&A

Why is it important to bring dialogue regarding American identity into K-12 classrooms?

The most crucial conversations that will shape the future of America aren’t happening in the Capitol, but rather in our classrooms. Educators are informing, developing, and empowering the leaders of tomorrow.

The images represented in Amplifier campaigns serve as a reminder of how our unique individual backgrounds help to create our collective identity. Appreciation and understanding of uncommon ground can be even more important than the finding of common ground. These conversations in the classroom can help to promote an inclusive classroom and school culture, challenge the rising levels of intolerance and bigotry being perpetuated in the media and on school campuses, and empower the leaders of tomorrow to build an equitable society.

What is the We The People initiative?

We the People is a nonpartisan initiative dedicated to igniting a national dialogue about American identity and values through public art and story sharing. On Inauguration Day, and since, these images have flooded America and the globe with new symbols of hope to reshape the American narrative to defend dignity, protect each other, and become greater than fear. Now in its second phase — We The Future — Amplifier is teaming up with educators to bring art, dialogue, and cross-cultural understanding into classrooms across the country.

How do I talk about this program with parents/guardians, colleagues, and administrators?

The Education Amplifier program, and Amplifier itself, are nonpartisan. None of the art or initiatives promote a specific ideological or political belief system to students. These critical conversations have been taught and promoted by both conservatives and liberals, and engage students not in a debate over politics, but instead in dialogue around human rights, respect, dignity, and resiliency.  

How can I have this conversation with my students and maintain a space of respect in the classroom?

To keep a safe space for all students, you can create a “brave space” list of norms that will help students respect and hold each other accountable. A “brave space” is an environment that helps everyone feel comfortable sharing and learning from one another. You can use our “Creating a Brave Space” guide to help establish respectful norms in your classroom.

How can I frame this conversation for my students without making it political?

As the facilitator of this conversation, it is important to allow students the opportunity to come up with their own conclusions about what our individual identities look like and how it could create a collective American identity. One of the cornerstones of American democracy is our freedom to question, criticize, and form our own opinions. Modeling this in a classroom means asking open-ended questions that pertain to the subject matter without interjecting your own opinions.

It is important to create a brave space for students to feel comfortable to take the conversation in a direction that is relevant to their experiences. This will allow the student to take ownership of their own learning, since they will feel that sharing their life experiences are contributing in a meaningful way. Ensuring that the classroom is a brave space for all students to share and listen to one another is a great way to have conversations that may be controversial in nature.

How can I make the resources provided to me relevant to the content area I teach?

Amplifier has teamed up with educators to build or spotlight resources, lesson plans, and curriculum to help you bring art and dialogue into your classroom. These lesson plans are accompanied with the Common Core State Standards and TEKs for various content areas. If you teach a content area not featured among these resources, and would like to help Amplifier develop one for that content area, please email Maribel Gonzalez at [email protected].

I have a lesson plan or curriculum that I would like to share with other teachers in the cohort. How can I share that with them?

We would love to include your curriculum on our educator resource page, and help you share it with the rest of the cohort. Email Maribel Gonzalez at [email protected] to discuss adding your tool to the educator resource page. You can also directly share any tools, ideas, news, or questions through the Educator Amplifier Portal.

Will I receive continued support from Amplifier Foundation throughout the school year and what will that look like?

The 2017-2018 school year is the pilot for the Education Amplifier program. The program includes:

  • Free education art pack to help decorate your classroom, with art by Shepard Fairey, Lexx Valdez, Ernesto Yerena, Jessica Sabogal, and more!
  • Monthly webinar with issue area experts, curriculum developers, and a moderated discussion with other teachers in your cohort.
  • Access to the online educator resource bank, with lesson plans, curriculum, common-core guidance, tools and templates to use in your classroom.
  • The opportunity for your students to participate in the We The Future student essay contest, exclusive to Education Amplifier cohort classrooms.
  • A cohort advisor to provide coaching, insight, and support as you implement curriculum.
  • Monthly Education Amplifier newsletter, highlighting tools and lesson plans, as well as stories from cohort classrooms.
  • Connect to a national network of educators working to empower and develop the next generation of American leaders.

Featured Resource

Tools & Resources

The following lesson plans and resources have been recommended by Education Amplifiers as tools to help teachers bring dialogue around identity, rights, and civics into their classrooms. If you would like to recommend a tool for Amplifier to spotlight, please email our Cohort Advisor Maribel Gonzalez at [email protected].

Democracy Class

CREATED BY: Rock the Vote

DESCRIPTION: Lesson plan that uses video, group discussion, and a mock election activity to teach students the skills and information they need to navigate the elections process and participate as citizens. The lesson plan includes registering students to vote.

GRADE LEVEL(S): Grades 9-12

COMMON CORE STANDARDS:

  • Grades 9-10:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.A
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.B
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.C
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.6
  • Grades 11-12:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.A
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.B
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.C
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.6

KEYWORDS: democracy, multi-media, elections, voting, civics, rights, citizenship

It’s Not So Black and White: Discussing Race and Racism in the Classroom

CREATED BY: Scholastic & Dr. Beverly Tatum

DESCRIPTION: Dr. Beverly Tatum shares advice on how to effectively facilitate conversations about race relations in the United States in the classroom.

GRADE LEVEL(S): Grades K-8

COMMON CORE STANDARDS: *Not a lesson plan

KEYWORDS: race, racism, facilitation, advice, conversation, race relations, equality, independence, slavery

Beyond Pink and Blue: The Impact of Gender Stereotypes

CREATED BY: The Advocates for Human Rights

DESCRIPTION: Students will explore gender, gender norms, and the impact of stereotypes in this lesson plan.  Students will think critically about how gender norms influence fiction, and research gender stereotypes in the media.

GRADE LEVEL(S): Grades 3-7

COMMON CORE STANDARDS:

  • Grade 3:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.4
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.7
  • Grade 4:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.7
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.4
  • Grade 5:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.7
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.4
  • Grade 6:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.6
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.9
  • Grade 7:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.7.6
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.7
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.9

KEYWORDS: gender, gender norms, stereotypes, media, fairy tales, film, television, women, men, women’s rights

Free to Believe

CREATED BY: Teaching Tolerance  

DESCRIPTION: This lesson plan explores different religions in the United States, and promotes an understanding of religious tolerance and diversity.  Students will understand freedom of religion and examine their own actions when someone believes differently than they do. Students will identify ways that they can be more accepting of different belief systems.

 

GRADE LEVEL(S): Grades 3-5

COMMON CORE STANDARDS:

  • Grade 3:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.1
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.1
  • Grade 4:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.1
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1
  • Grade 5:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.1
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.1

KEYWORDS: religion, understanding, tolerance, diversity, freedom, freedom of religion, actions, beliefs, acceptance

Your Rights as a CitizenCREATED BY: Brain Pop

DESCRIPTION: In this lesson plan, students use BrainPOP resources to explore their rights as citizens. Students will explain what a democracy is by examining its advantages and disadvantages. Students will make inferences about what America would be like without democracy.

GRADE LEVEL(S): Grades 3-5

COMMON CORE STANDARDS:

  • Grade: 03
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.7
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.8
  • Grade: 04
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.7
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.8
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.9
  • Grade: 05
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.7
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.8
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.9

KEYWORDS: democracy, civics, history, problem-solving, rights, citizenship

City of Immigrants

CREATED BY: Brain Pop

DESCRIPTION: In this lesson plan, students will explore documented experiences of immigrants in early 20th Century America. Students will use critical thinking skills to understand the choices immigrants have had to make by understanding assimilation and survival in regards to American equality and liberty.

GRADE LEVEL(S): Grades 6-8, 9-12

COMMON CORE STANDARDS:

  • Grade: 05
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.10
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.6
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.2
  • Grade: 06
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.3
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.2
  • Grade: 07
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.3
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.7
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.2
  • Grade: 08
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.3
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.7
  • Grade: 09, 10
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.4
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.7
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.3
  • Grade: 11-12
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.4
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.7
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.4

Real-World DemocracyCREATED BY: Study.com

DESCRIPTION: Introductory lesson for middle school students to learn about democracy. Students will compare how democracy is implemented in Greece, United Kingdom, and the United States.

GRADE LEVEL(S): Grades 6-8

COMMON CORE STANDARDS:  

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.  
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.

KEYWORDS: democracy, civics, Greece, United Kingdom

Basic Concepts of DemocracyCREATED BY: Youth Leadership

DESCRIPTION: This lesson plan teaches core concepts of American democracy such as majority rule, the equality of all persons, and the art of compromise. In addition, the lesson plan includes activity that encourages student discussion on responsibility in a democracy.

GRADE LEVEL(S): Grades 9-12

COMMON CORE STANDARDS:

  • Grades 9-10:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.C
  • Grades 11-12:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.C

Fundamentals of Representative Democracy

CREATED BY: National Conference of State Legislatures

DESCRIPTION: These lessons are designed to encourage an appreciation of representative democracy by students. Elements stressed are: disagreement among people, and among members of Congress and state legislators, and deliberation, negotiation, compromise and decision by those elected to represent their constituents.

GRADE LEVEL(S): Grades 9-12

COMMON CORE STANDARDS:

  • Grades 9-10:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.A
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.B
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.D
  • Grades 11-12:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.A
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.B
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1.D

KEYWORDS: democracy, representative, representation, congress, legislation, compromise, constituents, decision making, negotiation

Create a Candidate

CREATED BY:

DESCRIPTION: Democracy and Me has put together lessons that help teach students about the fundamentals of democracy and the electoral process in the United States. In this lesson plan, students will learn about how democracy works by researching the stances on major policy issues held by political parties, debate the issues with classmates, and then, create a political candidate and campaign strategy.

GRADE LEVEL(S): Grades 6-8

COMMON CORE STANDARDS:

  • Grades 6:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.1
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.3
  • Grades 7:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.7.1
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.3
  • Grade 8:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.3

You’ve Got Issues

CREATED BY: Democracy and Me

DESCRIPTION: Teach students about the fundamentals of democracy and the electoral process in the United States. In this lesson plan, students will form teams to research an issue and argue the issue from either the Liberal/Democratic point of view or the conservative/Republican point of view. Students will apply the information in a debate in front of the class.

GRADE LEVEL(S): Grades 8, 9-12

COMMON CORE STANDARDS:

  • Grade 8:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1.A
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.7
  • Grade 9-10:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.7
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1
  • Grade 11-12:
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.7
    CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1