Schools for NWOC:
Have a conversation with other students across the country, at your school or in your classroom.
Why? With the advent of social media algorithms and increasingly biased news pushing us into our own individualized filter bubbles, the country is reaching levels of division that in some ways is the worst we’ve seen since the 1850s. This is why it’s more important than ever to teach the next generation how to reach beyond their own bubbles and have civil conversations with people who disagree with them or have different backgrounds and perspectives.
Are you an educator interested in NWOC but can’t participate this year? Please still sign up your school to receive resources and updates about the next National Week of Conversation.
Here are some free
services and resources that can help:
AllSides for Schools provides tools, lesson plans and resources from across the web for teachers and students to understand and discuss news and issues from different perspectives and across differences with civility and respect. Programs available for middle school, high school and college.
Bill of Rights Institute provides Bridge the Divide, a program that allows students to weigh in on hot-button political questions in a moderated online forum. Students can add their own opinions as well as up-vote the opinions of other students and see how peers view the important issues. Ideal for high school students.
Empatico is a tool for teachers to connect their lower-school students to classrooms around the world using seamless video conferencing technology. Activities are standards-based and designed to promote meaningful interactions and positive perceptions. Students are able to explore their similarities and differences with curiosity and kindness and develop practical communication and leadership skills. Designed for 7-11 year old students.
Mismatch connects teachers across the country so they can introduce their students to other students from different regions of the country with contrasting socioeconomic backgrounds and political perspectives. Students then engage in structured, respectful video conversations across differences, gaining mutual understanding and appreciation for one another. Ideal for high schools and colleges. Sign up your class for Mismatch now!
Find conversation guides
and lesson plans for schools by topic:
United or Divided? Addressing the partisan political divide and tone
Set the Tone – Getting your classroom started:
- Relationships First is the foundation for discourse and understanding across divides: AllSides for Schools
- Setting Classroom Expectations for Trust, Tolerance and Civil Discourse: Bill of Rights Institute
Media Bias, Polarization, and Fake News:
Guns and Responsibility
- Gun Control and Gun Rights resources, lesson plans, discussion guides: AllSides for Schools
- “Should semi-automatic rifles be banned?”: Bill of Rights Institute
Race & Equity
- Race resources, lesson plans, discussion guides: AllSides for Schools
- “Have race relations deteriorated in the United States since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?”: Bill of Rights Institute
Sexual Assault & Power Relationships
Use these tools and resources to build your own conversation on whatever topic you choose:
Background and Latest News on any topic or issue:
- More topics and issues covered by AllSides
- AllSides Balanced Dictionary reveals the different perceptions and definitions of controversial topics and phrases as understood across the spectrum.
- AllSides Balanced Search for news and background on any topic
Lesson Plans and Resources
- Teaching with Current Events: Bill of Rights Institute
- Lesson plans on more topics and issues, or create your own: AllSides for Schools
- List of conversation guides that you can use to build your own class discussion: Living Room Conversations