SARA MINGIONE


INTERVIEW


How has race and intersectionality impacted your life?


Growing up, I was always a reader and even if I was not being taught about race and intersectionality in schools, I could learn about it through the different perspectives in the books that I was reading.


One of the reasons why I wanted to become a teacher was because I knew that if my students were taught about race and intersectionality, they could make the necessary changes toward racial justice in society.


Why is talking about race in the subject(s) you teach necessary?

"I can teach them to be the authors of their own stories, without someone else telling them who they are. "

Talking about race in history is crucial because of the one-sided narratives that have been taught in schools, that many people don’t realize. There are students who are not learning about their own histories; they are only learning about the “winners” of history. I want my students to become critical thinkers when learning history.


In Language Arts, students need to find connections with what they read, in order to inspire telling their own stories. I can teach them to be the authors of their own stories, without someone else telling them who they are. They can also learn about stories that might be different than their own.


What was it like teaching this lesson or unit plan?

Young students were already having experiences around race and intersectionality, and they needed to know how to name it.

When teaching this lesson/unit plan, it was amazing not only watching students learn more about themselves, but also learning about each other. Students were celebrating and understanding what makes each person unique. The goal was to teach students that everyone has their own story.


An important takeaway from teaching these lessons is that young students were already having experiences around race and intersectionality, and they needed to know how to name it. They were already searching for the vocabulary, and the terms, so it was important to me that they found the racial literacy they needed here, in the classroom, and not from an unreliable source.


What would you like to tell any educator looking at your work right now?


My colleagues and administrators were very supportive of my work.


What would you like to tell any educator looking at your work right now?


My hope for my work is to show teachers, parents, and community members that kids are not too young to learn something, especially if it is about who they are. If we start at a young age, we can develop the concepts as they get older. I truly believe and hope that if students learn about race and intersectionality in the safe space of their classrooms, that when they enter the world and their community, they will embrace similarities and differences that they have with the people around them, in history, and in what they read.


Sara Mingione's Lesson plans:

TYPE: Unit (series of lessons) TITLE: Black History Does not Start with Slavery

CONTENT AREA: Social Studies

GRADE LEVEL(S): 6th to 8th Grade

DESCRIPTION: This unit will be used with the two units of study of ancient civilizations in Egypt & Kush. Students will look at the history of Africa and the beginnings of African Civilizations. We will compare the history and stories from TMWYA to common myths and misunderstandings that Black history started with slavery, and define race and ethnicity.

Click below to download a PDF of Sara Mingione's full lesson plan.

Black History Does Not Start With Slaver
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Download • 77KB





TYPE: Unit (series of lessons) TITLE: Black Lives Matter: Communicating Through Stories

CONTENT AREA: Language Arts

GRADE LEVEL(S): 6th to 8th Grade

DESCRIPTION: This is a cross-curricular unit that continues from a study of African Civilizations in Social Studies, to argument and action in Language Arts. This lesson can build off of what students learn about Black History in Social Studies with Ancient Egypt and Kush and connect to current events in their Language Arts class. In this lesson, students will learn about different ways that someone can stand for what they believe in. The skills that we learn in our argumentation unit can be used in different parts of our lives, especially in the larger community. This lesson will focus on teaching students about the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States and how important individual stories are to become racially literate.

Click below to download a PDF of Sara Mingione's full lesson plan.

Black Lives Matter_ Communicating Throug
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Download • 166KB





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CHOOSE is a student-led organization working to equip every American with the tools to talk about race and act on racism. An intersectional and intergenerational movement.

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Last Updated: October 2020

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