New Teaching Activities on Race, Housing, and Displacement

The Zinn Education Project is pleased to announce the posting of three new articles and activities on race, housing, and displacement. Originally published in Rethinking Schools magazine, these articles offer compelling examples of how teachers engage their students in exploring the roots of today’s economic inequality.

Two of these articles are by Linda Christensen, who describes a unit she created about ways the homes of people of color have been stolen through “race riots” and “urban renewal” in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Los Angeles’ Chávez Ravine; and Portland, Oregon’s Albina neighborhood. These feature role play, poetry, historical fiction, personal narrative, imaginative writing, and persuasive essay. Both articles include student handouts.

In “‘Why Is This the Only Place in Portland I See Black People?’: Teaching Young Children About Redlining,” elementary teacher Katharine Johnson shows how she works with young children in age-appropriate ways to explore the origins of racial segregation in her school’s city.

These articles show powerfully that in every corner of the curriculum we need to ask, “Whose lives matter?”—and show that nothing is natural or inevitable about racial inequality.

Please download these, use them, and share with colleagues.

By Linda Christensen
Teaching about patterns of displacement and wealth inequality through the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot.
By Linda Christensen
Teaching about patterns of displacement and wealth inequality through the history of Chávez Ravine and the building of Dodger Stadium.
By Katharine Johnson
An elementary school teacher introduces the history of redlining through a role play designed for 1st and 2nd graders.

rs_subscribetodayThese lessons originally appeared in Rethinking Schools magazine. To get the latest articles and teaching activities, subscribe today!


Related Materials

Burning Tulsa: The Legacy of Black Dispossession

Article. By Linda Christensen. 2013. If We Knew Our History Series.
Students need to learn the hidden history of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot (massacre) and how this links to racial wealth inequality today.

Rhythm and Resistance: Teaching Poetry for Social Justice

Teaching Guide. Edited by Linda Christensen and Dyan Watson. 2015. 272 pages.
Lessons and poetry to help students develop writing skills, build community, and create a vision of a future with justice.

Teaching for Joy and Justice: Re-imagining the Language Arts Classroom

Teaching Guide. By Linda Christensen. 2009. 300 pages.
Through stories, Christensen demonstrates how to draw on students’ lives and the world to teach poetry, essay, narrative, and critical literacy skills. Published by Rethinking Schools.

Reading, Writing, and Rising Up: Teaching About Social Justice and the Power of the Written Word

Teaching Guide. By Linda Christensen. 2003. 196 pages.
Lessons for teaching a range of writing genres while addressing social justice themes. Published by Rethinking Schools.


1 comments on “New Teaching Activities on Race, Housing, and Displacement

  1. Randy Fricke on

    I love what Rethinking Schools and the other educator groups are doing here. You are to be commended for your efforts. Perhaps, we need to re-think education.

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