Race and Culture for GR 4-7

New from Here

Author: Kelly Yang

When the coronavirus hits Hong Kong, ten-year-old Knox Wei-Evans’s mom makes the last-minute decision to move him and his siblings back to California, where they think they will be safe. Suddenly, Knox has two days to prepare for an international move—and for leaving his dad, who has to stay for work.

At his new school in California, Knox struggles with being the new kid. His classmates think that because he’s from Asia, he must have brought over the virus. At home, Mom just got fired and is panicking over the loss of health insurance, and Dad doesn’t even know when he’ll see them again, since the flights have been cancelled. And everyone struggles with Knox’s blurting-things-out problem.

As racism skyrockets during COVID-19, Knox tries to stand up to hate, while finding his place in his new country. Can you belong if you’re feared; can you protect if you’re new? And how do you keep a family together when you’re oceans apart? Sometimes when the world is spinning out of control, the best way to get through it is to embrace our own lovable uniqueness.

Lesson Plan

Activity Booklet

The Unlovable Alina Butt

Author: Ambreen Butt-Hussain

Fitting in at a new school is hard enough, but when you’re an awkward, big-nosed, nerdy Pakistani girl with a funny last name, it can seem impossible.

Eleven-year-old Alina Butt has changed schools four times already since her family moved to England from Pakistan. Even after all that practice, she doesn’t seem to be getting any better at being the new kid. Mocked for her last name and her “weird” lunches, Alina has had enough! Taking a leap of faith to try and stand out for the “right” reasons, Alina auditions for the school play. Her hopes of landing the lead role in Cinderella are dashed when her new friend gets the part of Cinderella instead…and her bully is cast as Prince Charming!

Alina must rely on her stubborn will and wacky sense of humor to survive the endlessly embarrassing and ridiculous situations she finds herself in and discover her own unique way to shine!

Lesson Plan

Activity Booklet

What Does Hate Look Like?

Authors: Sameea Jimenez, Corinne Promislow, Larry Swartz

We use the word hate all the time—“I hate vegetables” or “I hated that movie!”—but what about the hate that actually hurts someone? There are words, symbols, ideas, beliefs, and actions that cause pain—to us, our friends, family, neighbours, and school mates.

What if you’ve caused that kind of pain yourself? Or what if you, or someone you know, has been the victim of hate so scary it made you want to cry?

Real kids from real classrooms share their stories here to help us to see the bias, prejudice, violence, discrimination, and exclusion around us—what hate looks like to them. Why? So we can stand against hate and never be the cause of it. And to show us how to cope and get support if we have been hurt.

By sharing our stories, we all become stronger. Our schools, neighbourhoods, and communities become safer and more kind, and hate doesn’t win.

Lesson Plan

Activity Booklet

Race and Culture Activity

Mirror Activity

Race and Culture Resources

Character Role Playing Cards
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Anti Bullying Activities
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Teaching about acceptance (replace acceptance for tolerance)
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Mental Health/Belonging/”You are not alone”
A variation of this activity would be for students to anonymously write down the sentence, “if you really knew me…” and then finished it with something they are struggling with. Teacher collects all slips and reads aloud to debrief responses. Students are able to learn about and/or relate to some of the things other students are going through creating a sense of community within the classroom.
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