Preparing Students for Difficult Converstaitons

This Preparing Students for Difficult Converstaitons lesson plan also includes:

Many of the issues facing 21st Century learners are challenging and even discussing these issues can be a challenge. So how do teachers prepare learners for these difficult conversations? How do instructors create a safe classroom where sensitive topics can be discussed respectfully? The first activity in a unit that examines the reporting of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri provides a model for how to establish such a safe classroom.

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Instructional Ideas
  • After developing the class contract, have individuals sign the document, enlarge and post a copy, and print individual copies for class members to keep in their binders
  • The procedure may be copied in any classroom to create a safe learning environment
Classroom Considerations
  • Provides an overview and establishes the protocols to be used in the remaining 11 lessons in the unit
  • The unit uses a news literacy case study of the reporting, both by established news organizations and on social media, of the events in the August 9, 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, as core text
  • Provides a link to a model classroom contract
  • The included video and articles model how to discuss controversial issues in a safe and respectful manner
  • None