Sample AMAZEworks Middle School Curriculum Lessons
The AMAZEworks Middle School Curriculum engages students to consider:
Who do I want to be in this world?
What are my beliefs, values, habits of mind, SEL skills, etc.?
How do I want to be in this world?
What are my actions, behaviors, how I treat others, how I treat myself, etc.?
Are they congruent with WHO I want to be?
How do I want others to see me?
Do others see me in the same way that I see myself in terms of WHO and HOW I want to be in this world?
How can my beliefs, values, attitudes, actions, and behaviors more consistently represent WHO and HOW I want to be in this world as well as how I want OTHERS to see me?
These lessons are a sample from our upcoming AMAZEworks Middle School Curriculum. Each lesson in the full curriculum is video-based with journal and discussion questions. Lessons also connect to the AMAZEworks Conditions for Belonging framework, Anti-Bias Education model, and Social-Emotional Learning competencies for adult and student learners.
Lean Into You Podcast Part 1 & 2
with Rebecca Slaby, AMAZEworks Executive Director
with Alex Farrell and Wesley Mayes
In Part 1 of this Lean Into You podcast, we talk about how directors can create a culture of belonging through anti-bias training. In part one, we cover:
1) What biases are and some of the misconceptions surrounding having a bias
2) The difference between creating a safe space and creating a brave space
3) What it means to call someone in versus calling someone out
4) How the core of this conversation stems from understanding intent versus impact
In Part 2 of this Lean Into You podcast, we cover:
1) Some practical strategies for creating an anti-bias culture in your center
2) How leading this work can operate as a self-care method
3) How the desire to preserve relationships doesn’t excuse accountability
4) The consequences of leading this work and how they balance with the benefits
Resources to Support Children During the Derek Chauvin Trial
Navigating conversations about race and racism:
- AMAZEworks Book Lessons for Caregivers and Educators: Navigating Difficult Conversations With Children And Youth On Race, Racism, And Discrimination, Ages 3-12
- AMAZEworks Video Lessons for Caregivers and Educators: Navigating Difficult Conversations With Children And Youth On Race, Racism, And Discrimination, Ages 11 and up
- AMAZEworks Black Lives Matter Lesson
- Let’s Talk – Learning for Justice
Understanding Racial Trauma, George Floyd’s Death, and the Derek Chauvin Trial
- Reflecting On George Floyd’s Death And Police Violence Towards Black Americans Guide – Facing History and Ourselves
- George Floyd, Racism and Law Enforcement (in English and en Español) – Anti-Defamation League Table Talk Guide
- MN Daily “In the Know” podcast Episode 21: Explaining the Derek Chauvin Trial
- Teaching for Black Lives – Rethinking Schools
- A great resource for middle/high school educators (or caregivers) to use to inspire youth activism, create a windows/mirrors experience and be able to connect history and current events in context.
- Healing the Hidden Wounds of Racial Trauma – Kenneth V. Hardy
- Resources For Talking About Race, Racism And Racialized Violence With Kids – Center for Racial Justice Education
- University of Minnesota Community Resource: Recommendations and Resources for Supporting Students Before, During, and After the Chauvin Trial
- How to Talk About Traumatic Events and Tragedies (MDE)
- Helping Youth after Community Trauma: Tips for Educators (NCTSN)
- Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Disasters and Other Traumatic Events (NIMH)
- What To Say To Kids When The News Is Scary (NPR)
- Resources to Help Educators, Adults Respond to Racism, Violence and Trauma webpage
Books for Young People:
- This Book is Anti-Racist – By Tiffany Jewell, illustrated by Aurélia Durand ; Written for teens and a helpful companion to having discussions around racism. It includes sections on identity, how to make sense of history, taking action, and working in solidarity.
- Stamped From the Beginning – By Ibram X. Kendi (for older teens and adults) and Stamped (For Kids) by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds (for elementary/ealy middle school but not being released until May); A book to help in the relearning/learning of the history of racism in order to make the connection to present-day.
- We Rise, We Resist, We Raise our Voices by Wade Hudson (Editor) and Cheryl Willis Hudson (Editor); “Fifty of the foremost diverse children’s authors and illustrators–including Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, and Kwame Alexander–share answers to the question, ‘In this divisive world, what shall we tell our children?’ in this beautiful, full-color keepsake collection, published in partnership with Just Us Books.”
- Things That Make White People Uncomfortable by Dave Zirin; “Written with award-winning sportswriter and author Dave Zirin, Things That Make White People Uncomfortable is a sports book for young people who want to make a difference, a memoir, and a book as hilarious and engaging as it is illuminating.”
- We Are the Change; “Sixteen award-winning children’s book artists illustrate the civil rights quotations that inspire them in this stirring and beautiful book.”
- Children in our World Racism and Intolerance by Louise A. Spilsbury (Author), Hanane Kai (Illustrator); “In Racism and Intolerance, children can get answers to questions like: “What does it mean to be a racist–or intolerant?” and “How can I help?” Children will begin to understand the way others struggle with these issues and become empowered to make a difference.”
- Story Time w/Kayla; This is a read aloud of Ibram X. Kendi’s Antiracist Baby that can be a resource for elementary-aged children.
Resources for social-emotional/self-care support:
- The Calm Room – Ramsey County Children’s Mental Health Collaborative
PRIDE Resources - Book lessons for Ages 3 and Up
(You can purchase a book set that corresponds to these lessons on our website store or individual books from other booksellers. There are also many free online videos of people reading the books out loud.)
Navigating Difficult Conversations with Children and Youth on Race, Racism, and Discrimination
Creating a Circle of Care and support for ourselves and our children - webinar Series #1
Additional AMAZEworks Resources
Resources on Race and Racism
- Talking Race With Young Children, 20-minute Podcast Episode from NPR and Sesame Street
- “Talking With Children About Racism, Police Brutality and Protests“, by Laura Markham
- “6 Things White Parents Can Do to Raise Racially Conscious Children” by Bree Ervin
- “How to talk to kids about racism: An age-by-age guide”, Today’s Parent
- “Don’t Say Nothing: Silence speaks volumes. Our students are listening“, Teaching Tolerance
- An Educator’s Guide to This Moment: Resources for Educators, Parents, and Students, Equity Initiatives Unit, Montgomery County Public Schools
- Anti-racism Resources