I learned during my first year that classroom culture is REALLY important. My class would often have discussions about NPR stories I heard, articles I had read, spoken word and Slam poetry, and current events.

Trigger Warning: I used these in classrooms full of 10th-12th graders (ages 15-19). Use your best judgement to decide whether each is appropriate for your students in your community.

Spoken Word & Slam Poetry

Monster – Brave New Voices Finals – misogyny on Halloween (contains profanity)

Black Bruins – racism in college admissions & athletics at UCLA

I Will Not Let an Exam Result Decide My Fate – by Suli Breaks

Why I Hate School but Love Education – by Suli Breaks

Social Justice & Equity

Driving While Black – Statistical Analysis of Racial Profiling. This article is great because you can discuss math topics like disproportionality in a context the students will recognize!

HSBC Settlement and the Drug War – Teenagers LOVE this comparison of drug sentencing for HSBC and normal people. Matt Taibbi for Rolling Stone.

Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail – A similar article on banking settlements & social justice, also by Matt Taibbi.

Songs & World Cultures

“Stop” by Apache y Canserbero – Venezuelan Hip-Hop duo combats police corruption. Also just a really fun song. Article from NPR

“3al Jamal bi Wasat Beirut (Riding a Camel in Downtown Beirut)” by Michelle & Noel Keserwany – Lebanese sisters ride a camel in urban downtown Beirut. Shows that the Middle East isn’t full of camels & deserts; there are huge cities there too where you wouldn’t normally ride a camel. Also class consciousness & inequality. English lyrics are in the video description.

More coming soon!


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"God made the integers; all else is the work of man." – Leopold Kronecker

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