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Building Community and Combating Hate: Lessons for the Middle School Classroom

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2004
65 pages

This publication contains a set of 10 lessons for middle-school educators or youth service professionals to use in their existing curriculum.


The lessons reinforce concepts discussed throughout the "Partners Against Hate" publication entitled, "Program Activity Guide: Helping Youth Resist Bias and Hate," second edition. The lessons explore themes that encourage individual and collective reflection, research, and action. The first theme, interpersonal communication/conflict resolution, assists students in recognizing how diverse perspectives influence the ways in which people view and respond to conflict. The second theme, the escalation of hate and violence, helps build an understanding of the continuum of hate and violence, with an emphasis on the ways that individual and collective choices counter or interrupt this escalation. The third theme, the consequences of "scapegoating" and bias in history, examines events in history as a means of exploring the dangers of "scapegoating" in times of crisis. The fourth theme considers the rights, challenges, and responsibilities of living in a democracy. These lessons are intended for teachers and youth service professionals to use in assisting middle-school youth to recognize the similarities and differences among people; to acknowledge the uniqueness of each individual; to understand and appreciate diversity; to consider the harmful effects of prejudice, stereotyping, name-calling, misinformation, and rumors; and to understand each person's role in creating fair and respectful communities. This publication also shows the connection of the proposed lessons to national standards for the content of language arts, history, life skills, behavioral sciences, and civics. Each lesson design contains the goal, materials, key words and phrases, process, and connection to national curriculum standards. Additional resources are listed.

Date Published: March 1, 2004