The District

New: Anti-bias, anti-racism lessons in The Newsela SEL Collection

The Newsela Team
Jan 22, 2021

Over the last year, we’ve seen a reaffirmation from the education community when it comes to acknowledging systemic racism, and a commitment to bringing anti-bias anti-racism approaches to K-12 instruction. At the same time, instances of racism and bias are happening every day – and when teachers seek to address these instances, they need the right content and resources to help students process in the moment. 

To address this two-fold need, we’ve added anti-bias, anti-racism resources and lessons to The Newsela SEL Collection. These standalone units include bite-sized lessons that provide students of all grade bands with the background knowledge and vocabulary they need to navigate conversations about racism and bias – ultimately fostering more inclusive, identity-affirming classrooms.

Approach anti-bias, anti-racism with SEL in mind

Conversations about bias and racism can evoke strong emotions, and students need the right social-emotional skills in order to manage these emotions. That’s why every lesson – on topics ranging from colorism to community action – is aligned to the Social, Emotional, and Ethical (SEE) Learning and the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) frameworks. Corresponding activities are designed to help students engage with one another in a safe, productive way. 

Turn to best-in-class resources

Many lessons are grounded in the work of our partner Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center whose mission is to help teachers and schools educate children and youth to be active participants in a diverse democracy. We’ve paired their lessons with authentic, engaging content from real-world sources that bring concepts of anti-bias and social justice to life. Additionally, our team of curriculum developers and content producers author and review all content against the Teaching Tolerance's Anti-bias framework which include four domains: Identity, Diversity, Justice and and Action. 

Give teachers the tools they need to feel prepared

In surveying educators throughout the country, we learned that 78% of teachers felt unprepared to facilitate conversations about racism and bias in classrooms. That’s why every lesson contains a Teacher’s Note with tips on how teachers can be mindful of their students’ personal experiences and feelings of discomfort that certain topics might elicit, as well as links to Teaching Tolerance guides. For additional support, we also offer teachers a free identity development course as well as general resources for anti-racist teaching and instruction.

Anti-bias, anti-racism resources and lessons are now available as part of The Newsela Social-Emotional Learning Collection. Learn more about bringing this collection to your school or district.

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