sea lions

Building Empathy and Critical Thinking: A Lesson About Animals

by Zoe Weil A few years ago at our Summer Residency for educators at the Institute for Humane Education, teacher and IHE grad Betsy Messenger created a lesson on animal issues that was so effective and powerful, I wanted to share it with you. She gathered our group outside and “borrowed” my dogs, whose only…

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newspaper racks

Who’s Missing From Mainstream Media? (lesson plans)

by Marsha Rakestraw A few years ago at our graduate student residency, one of the students led an activity in which small groups looked at the prevalence of men, women, and people of color as authors of articles in different sections of the newspaper, such as Style, Sports, Business, and Arts. They found that men…

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beauty in nature

10 Reasons to Take Your Students Outside (& the Research to Back It Up)

A lot of teachers want to offer their students experiences in the natural world, but because of strictures on curriculum, the prevalence of standardized tests, and other challenges, encounters with nature can fall into the category of “nice but not necessary.” But we know from a plethora of research that we humans desperately need that…

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girl with blocks

12 Children’s Picture Books That Challenge Traditional Gender Roles

by Marsha Rakestraw Each May and June in the U.S. we celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Moms usually receive pretty, smelly, “girly” stuff, and dad’s get yet another manly tie, cologne, or something to BBQ. Just one of the countless ways we perpetuate the stereotypes and biases about what women and men are supposed…

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privilege

13 Resources for Teaching About White Privilege

by Marsha Rakestraw “…the single greatest advantage of white privilege is that a white person may be completely unaware of its existence.” ~ Michael Spangenberger, educator Many of us can go into a store and browse without worry that we’ll be monitored or accosted. We see people who look like us in the media. We…

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children & nature

Why We Need Humane Education: Study Shows Children Don’t Get Outside Playtime

Research has repeatedly shown that we need regular exposure to the natural world. We’re happier and healthier when we’re connected to the natural world. Studies also show improved cognitive function and stress management and lower obesity levels in children who get time outside. But according to a recent study published in the Archives of Pediatrics…

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books

14 Must-Read Books for Activists

by Marsha Rakestraw We become activists when we learn about an issue or challenge and are inspired to take positive action. Teenager Natalie Warne learned about child soldiers when she watched a documentary in class. She was inspired to become an intern for Invisible Children and help get an important law passed. Economist Muhammad Yunus…

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thanksgiving

9 Turkey-Friendly Children’s Books for Thanksgiving

by Marsha Rakestraw Traditionally, stories involving Thanksgiving end up with a turkey on the table, but as more families are celebrating Thanksgiving by seeking more mindful and compassionate choices, they’re also looking for children’s stories where the turkey has a happy ending. Here are 9 turkey-friendly picture books. Over the River: A Turkey’s Tale by…

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ants

Cultivating Compassionate Kids: 10 Children’s Picture Books

by Marsha Rakestraw One of the deepest wishes of many parents is that their children will grow up as thoughtful citizens, showing compassion for people, animals and the earth throughout their lives. Reading and discussing children’s picture books is a great tool for helping children embrace compassion for others. Here are 10 suggested titles: 1….

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La Temida Comparación

La Temida Comparación

Estudiantes exploran las conexiones entre opresión de los humanos y de los animales. También exploran métodos de evitar opresión. Recomendado para grados 7 y mayor Duración: 45-60 minutos

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