Teaching; “How Black Lives Matter Reached Every Corner of America”


A lesson plan from The New York Times.

Source: Lesson of the Day. Read this article:

On any given day, they spill out onto the streets, driven by fury.

They march. They kneel. They sing.

They cry. They pray. They light candles.

They chant and shout, urgent voices, muffled behind masks.

Look at just the top of the featured article, without scrolling down. In looking at only the headline, the map, and the shifting photographs, respond to these questions:

What do you notice about the images, text, and map?
What emotions do you feel as you look at the top of the article?
What story do you think will be told in the article?

1. Analyze Text: Read the opening lines of the article, written by Audra D.S. Burch:

On any given day, they spill out onto the streets, driven by fury.
They march. They kneel. They sing.
They cry. They pray. They light candles.
They chant and shout, urgent voices, muffled behind masks.
They block freeways and bridges and fill public squares. They press their bodies into hot asphalt, silently breathing for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
They do all this beneath the watchful gaze of uniformed police officers standing sentry.

What is your reaction to this introduction? What do you think or feel? Does a memory or an image come to mind as you read?

What do you notice about the style and voice of the article so far? How is it similar or different from other newspaper articles you’ve read?

2. Analyze a Photo: Look below the introduction to the first photograph from May 26 in Minneapolis. Answer these three questions, as you look closely. If you’re doing this as a class, then share your observations with others.

What is going on in this picture?
What do you see that makes you say that?
What more can you find?

Kerren Yucel/Agencty Frence Presse Getty images
Kerren Yucel/Agency France Presse Getty Images

Look closely at this image, stripped of its caption, and join the moderated conversation about what you and other students see.

3. Analyze Graphs: Continue scrolling through the article until you get to the map at the end of the May 29 photographs. If you scroll slowly, you’ll see three maps: “Protests as of May 26,” “Protests as of May 31” and “Protests as of June 9.

What do you notice?
What do you wonder?
What’s going on in this graph? Write a headline that captures the graph’s main idea.

5. Bring it All Together: After finishing the article, think about how the Times journalists decided to tell the story of these protests. What is your reaction? Are there images or perspectives that you think are missing — and if so, what and why? Do you think the piece is effective? Why or why not?

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