https://pulitzercenter.org/lesson-plan-grouping/1619-project-curriculumThis semester we will be reviewing the 1619 Project and also creating some units of study that revolve around culture, and ethnicity. Each semester (or every few semesters) I will rotate to a different curriculum, so it won’t always be 1619. The 1619 Project curriculum is in the “Resources” section, in the link on the left side of the screen.
Okay, so let’s be honest. This curriculum has gotten a lot of people upset because of how it reinterprets American history. Some call it revision, some call it history. To be clear, history is ALWAYS being reinterpreted. Always. For example, I am writing articles now that will re-shape the way readers will understand what they have known. I am writing about the first Seventh-day Adventist missionary to China. Adventists have always understood this person to be J.N. Anderson. But actually, I am writing an article that shows that it was a woman who beat him to it by about a month. Why do we not know this before? Because it has been a man’s world for much of the world’s existence. Same with cultural and racial history. Often all we need to do is look into unexplored corners to find something that changes our understanding of events. The 1619 Project claims to do that. But does it? Some say yes. Others call it “revisionist” history, which is not a nice thing to be called if you are a historian.
So, for this assignment you will do a couple of things.
First, you will review the 1619 Project. Read articles on it, explore the elementary part of the curriculum, and find things that you like and dislike about it. Respond to some of the critics and to those who love it. You’ll do this in a two page, double-spaced response, sort of like your book review. Think of this as the same sort of thing, just a curriculum review instead of a book review. Unlike the book review though, you do need to use other sources. That part is simple enough.
Second, on the same document (but on a new page), create at least three units (meaning, multiple days material) that weave in the history of race, culture, and ethnic issues. The 1619 Project is about American history, but this can also easily be World History. It can be immigration and human geography (migration of Europeans followed by the movement and death of millions of Native Americans, forced migration of Africans to the Americas, etc.), physical geography, economics, and so much more. And this can be from early history to today. So pick a couple of subjects that you’d like to combine, throw in some technology, worksheets, some projects, etc., and come up with THREE units. With these three units you must consult with the Alabama state curriculum guides (look on the Resources page) and state specifically which curriculum standards you are meeting. It could be the same standards for all three units, or maybe they’ll be different.
These units can be broad outlines with ideas for activities, ideas for projects, ideas for working multiple subjects in together. You can even have more than one theme in the units, but one of them must revolve around race, culture, and ethnicity, particularly focusing on or celebrating minorities or underrepresented cultures. And that’s really the goal here, to raise the awareness of cultures that have usually just been underrepresented in American history since British colonization.
Remember, as a teacher, your job is to present lessons in the most apolitical way possible. Even in lower elementary, students may feel they don’t want to express their own opinions if they feel your opinions are different. Your goal is to get them to engage with the material. You do that be ensuring it is a safe, welcoming, and engaging environment for all students.
When you are all done, copy and paste the entire document into the discussion board. This means that you’ll get to share your thoughts with your classmates, but you’ll also get to share ideas on how to teach culture and race in the classroom.