Social Justice- Through your eyes

Social Justice – in the Classroom and Beyond
“Through Your Eyes” 
A Scenario between Two Towns with Opposing Views
 “Don’t stop, keep going!” says a teacher in the hall during a fire drill.  Students and teachers are filing down the stairs and out of the doors.  But a few students stop to put on their running shoes.  “What is the purpose of the fire drill?”  asks the teacher later.  Inquiry Question:  How can people of differing opinions and points of view work together to accomplish something outside of themselves that serves a greater need or purpose?  The inquiry question is central to this social justice unit based on two picture books, “The Marshmellow Incident” by Judi Barrett and “The Enemy; a book about Peace” by  David Cali, .  Games, activities and fictitious scenarios support students to reflect and focus on real life situations.  Experiential learning allows students to live life from a different point of view.  The conversations out of role are compelling as students relate their learning to their own experience, other texts and the world.  Connections with other curriculum areas are authentic and powerful, i.e. when students write letters advocating on behalf of minority groups.
Key Messages:
1.    The bigger purpose trumps individualism at times
2.    Collaboration is powerful
3.    Everyone has much to contribute
4.    Working with different people brings unique and rich perspectives
Major Benefits:
·      The class experiences a larger working relationship
·      This experience brings the class together as a cohesive whole
·      All students realize their contribution is valuable
·      Individuals discover the thrill of collaborative work