Teaching about Black Lives Matter

Following up on the previous post about The Hate U Give and text complexity, I wanted to share a few resources I recently came across thanks to Teaching Tolerance. The first gives a history of the beginning, information on the hashtag, myths, criticisms, and a perspective on “All Lives Matter.” The second article gives elementary applications, middle school approaches, and teaching about Black Lives Matter in a High School. But enough of me telling you…read them for yourselves and share with anyone and everyone who may benefit from them:

Why Teaching Black Lives Matter Matters: Part 1 (Issue 56, Summer 2017, by Jamilah Pitts)

An excerpt from Why Teaching Black Lives Matter Matters: “Not all of us are like Thompson; the students who sit in front of us daily are not always directly affected by the killing of unarmed black people or any of the other injustices that plague our nation. But as teachers who function as caretakers, truth-seekers and advocates of justice, we can acknowledge how the threat of justice in one community is, to borrow from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a threat to justice in every community. We have a civic responsibility to be educated about Black Lives Matter and, as we learn, we must teach.”

Bringing Black Lives Matter Into the Classroom: Part 2 (Issue 56, Summer 2017, by Jamilah Pitts)

An excerpt from Bringing Black Lives Matter Into the Classroom: “Teaching about the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement allows each of us to chew on multiple injustices simultaneously. We are able to teach not only about racism, its history and its present manifestations, but we also are able to point to solutions and methods of action so our students don’t become disillusioned. When students are overcome with doubt, we can draw parallels to Standing Rock and say to them, “This is how people are fighting for change in spite of the obstacles they are experiencing.” We can talk about sexism and patriarchy, but we can also leverage conversations about sexuality using gender-neutral and affirming language.”

A note on Teaching Tolerance…

Teaching Tolerance is one of the best resources if you’re in the worlds of education and/or libraries. If you’re not already on their list or are unfamiliar with their work, just check them out at:


You can sign up for their newsletter by scrolling to the bottom of the home page. You can sign up for their magazine by visiting:


And when you read the magazines, make sure to keep an eye on their “what we’re reading” section that is a part of each issue. I’ve found some awesome books both for use with students and for professional development by reading through the latest staff picks. Black Lives Matter.

Your Librarian,

Katelyn Martens-Rodriguez