Lesson Plan

Should Washington's NFL Team Change Their Name?

This Should Washington's NFL Team Change Their Name? lesson plan also includes:

New Review

"What's in a name?" Is it irrelevant, as Juliet suggests in Shakespeare's play, or is nomenclature deeply significant? Young scholars weigh in on the debate by examining the controversy over the NFL's Washington, D.C. Redskins. Groups read articles with different perspectives, then engage in a jigsaw activity where they share what they have learned from their readings. Individuals then craft an argumentative essay that presents their stance on the controversy supported by evidence from the readings.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Have groups investigate the controversies over the names of other high schools, colleges, and national  sports teams
  • Set aside extra prep time to prepare the many required materials
Classroom Considerations
  • Since the Washington, D.C. NFL team changed its name to the Commanders in February 2022, consider using the Atlanta Braves for the focus of the lesson instead
  • Requires projection equipment for the video
  • Presumes a protocol is in place to permit a safe, respectful discussion of controversial issues
  • The linked resources present multiple viewpoints on the controversy
  • Includes a graphic organizer that helps writers craft their argumentative essay
  • None