Black Lives Matter Curriculum

*Click on the title to access a PDF of each curriculum

Black Butterfly and White L

Grade Level: High School

Author: Jesse Schneiderman, Frederick Douglass High School #450

Jesse grew up in the suburbs of NYC and moved to Baltimore in 2014.  He has taught for 7 years and in his time in Baltimore has developed a deep love for the city. Jesse spends his non-teaching time advocating for educational equity.  Hopefully this curriculum will allow teachers across the district to teach their students to advocate and to love themselves.

Overview: This unit focuses on learning about what Baltimore was like historically and how segregation and disinvestment has disproportionately negatively affected Black communities. Students will analyze a societal issue and determine the basis of that issue today through maps and explore solutions to it.

Assessment: A map drawing activity and written explanation will be graded with a rubric (attached). Students will also do some peer grading.

Good in the ‘Hood

Grade Level: Middle School

Author: Diamonté Brown, Booker T. Washington Middle School #130

Diamonté was born and raised in Baltimore and currently teaches 8th grade ELA at Booker T. Washington Middle School.  She uses her own experience as a former Baltimore City student to guide her teaching. Diamonté attended City College High School (where all the brightest Baltimoreans graduate from!) and she hopes that her direct experience as a Baltimorean will be an asset to creating a relevant, fun, and engaging curriculum.

Overview: The Good in the Hood curriculum is based on the understanding that there is value in every community. This series of lessons helps students in Baltimore City identify undervalued resources in Baltimore's most disinvested communities. The BLM principle that steers this curriculum is “Unapologetically Black”. It is important that our students that live and attend school in disinvested communities are not disconnected from and shameful about their environment. Instead this curriculum assists in building pride in our communities by highlighting resources like the corner store, the rec center, the church, etc. In the Good in the Hood curriculum, students not only explore undervalued resources but are challenged to advertise the resources to bring more attention to the “good in the hood”.

Assessment: Students will work in marketing teams to create an advertisement (commercial, brochure, etc.) to highlight an undervalued resource in a disinvested Baltimore community/neighborhood (25th and Harford Rd., McCulloh Homes, etc).

Methods of Civic Engagement

Grade Level: High School

Author: Tenaka Ryals, Green Street Academy #377

Tenaka is an inspiring teacher of social justice from Salisbury, MD. She's taught elementary and secondary, as a Baltimore City Public Schools teacher for the past seven years.  Tenaka believes that education is a social process. She recognizes the need to implement an educative process that is more compatible with the culturally influenced behavioral styles Black students bring to school. She hopes this curriculum produces a high quality of academic achievement and a positive self-image for all students without regard for ethnicity or socioeconomic status.

Overview: This unit introduces scholars to key concepts of community organizing. Scholars also gain an understanding of how community organizing works using real examples from Baltimore, and explore how it is an effective tool for making real improvements in their communities.

Assessment: Students will demonstrate their learning and practice skills by selecting one of the project based choice board options as a summative assessment. Choice board selections include creating a PSA, drawing, rap, song, poem, or writing a survey, personal reflection, or video response to a specific social justice issue from the unit.

Students as Leaders: Community Activism

Grade Level: Lower Elementary

Author: Nisa Little, Edgewood Elementary School #67

Nisa is a third year teacher that is passionate about advocacy and student voice. She is a second generation educator and attended Western High School. She hopes this curriculum will make students aware of how much impact they truly have to better their community.

Overview: This unit focuses on characteristics and qualities of an effective leaders. Students look at broader issues and connect how they are applicable to their communities. This unit is to empower and spark curiosity in our future world cultivators.

Assessment: The assessment will be a community plan and responses to different reflection questions throughout the week.

Uniquely Me

Grade Level: Lower and Upper Elementary

Author: Courtney Burrell, Dr. Nathan A. Pitts-Ashburton Elementary/Middle School #58

Courtney is a 3rd generation educator in Baltimore City.  Her mother and aunt are currently principals and her grandmother was a principal in the city.  By growing up with educators who taught in the segregation era in Baltimore City, she is passionate about implementing a curriculum that is culturally sensitive to the students of Baltimore.  Courtney attended Western School of Technology and Environmental Science in Baltimore County. She plans to use her educational experience to guide teachers and students toward empowerment.

Overview: This unit focuses on promoting positive aspects of Baltimore and self-affirmation within students. Students will explore things about them that make them special in order to gain an understanding of their uniqueness and where they stand globally.

Assessment: The assessment will be a presentation of a self-created museum that is all about things that are unique to them. Students will also complete a reflection journal entry.

Africa to Baltimore

Grade Level: Upper Elementary

Author: Javan Carter, North Bend Elementary/Middle School #81

Javan was born and raised in Baltimore and Randallstown, MD. He is a third year teacher that draws his passion as a former public and private school student in Baltimore. He wants to not only provide an enriching, cultivating experience for students, but create solutions to the injustices that exist in Baltimore that he has personally experienced as well.

Overview: This unit focuses on figures of African descent from Baltimore and ancient Africa.  Students will learn about one important individual as a class. Students will also choose and research their own important individual to write a 3 paragraph essay about their life.  

Assessment: The assessment will be a 3 paragraph essay. The project will be scored using a rubric.

Black Women: Baltimore and Beyond

Grade Level: Middle School

Author: Chris Patterson, Fort Worthington Elementary/Middle School #85

Chris was born and raised in Baltimore and graduated from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute High School.  After obtaining her MA in higher education, she began to pursue her passion in educating the future so we can grow from our past.  Her passion for Baltimore is rooted deeply in her community and her children’s education. She hopes the curriculum will bring students to a level of awareness that will inspire change.

Overview: This unit focuses on learning about African American woman both locally (Baltimore born/established) and nationally who have used their talent to re-invest in their community. Students will be introduced to several African American women that have contributed to the growth of our communities on both a local and national level. Students will analyze articles and construct narratives that will reflect their understanding of the lesson’s topic. Students will present a portfolio at the conclusion of the course to display their takeaways and to summarize how the week’s lessons have affected their perspective on how to become a change maker in their community.

Assessment: The assessment will be a portfolio that contains the students 5 products from the lesson from each day, and a summary narrative that conveys the students’ perspective of how they can become a changemaker in their community.  

A History of Public Education in Black Baltimore (no link at this time)

Grade Level: Adults

Author: sharlimar douglass, Uplift

sharlimar is an educator, lay African American feministorian and highly skilled facilitator.  Her years as an educator primed her to be an adept facilitator attentive to social justice, facilitator of difficult yet courageous conversations and skilled at supporting individuals and groups to do their work. she has more than ten years of  experience in advancing initiatives focused on race, equity, diversity and inclusion. She has a respectable reputation for agitating change. Her positive nurturing experiences in elementary school at Walter P. Carter had a lasting impact on her as a student, learner and teacher. The Walter P. Carter school community instilled in her a greater love for Black American cultures, histories, perspectives and voices.

Overview: Participants will gain a broad understanding of public education in general in Baltimore City and move to specifically understand the plight of Black citizens in Baltimore City to receive a “free” public education. Since the first public school was established for Black citizens in 1867, Black citizens/residents of Baltimore have sought equity in funding, curriculum, resources, facilities, and to have Black teachers teaching Black children. Participants will gain historical knowledge about the rich and powerful legacy of Black Baltimoreans and allies who fought and advocated for Black excellence.

Session 1 - “ We Who Believe in Freedom Cannot Rest Until It Comes”

Black education developed within the context of political and economic oppression

Session 2 - “African American Philosophy of Education”

Freedom for literacy and literacy for freedom, racial uplift, citizenship, and leadership is the distinctive work of African American people.

Session 3 -  “Trail Blazers to Black Excellence”

Legacy of HBCUs Bowie and Coppin led the way (followed by Morgan)  in Maryland and were the first teacher’s colleges. Legacy schools in Baltimore City led by talented, educated and qualified educators with the best teachers.

Session 4 - The Black Butterfly & the White L

Making the connection between school policies and housing policies.

Session 5 - Voices from the Margin and Center

Panel discussion


What are the implications of having this knowledge

  • For me personally?

  • For me professionally/my role/the hat i wear?

  • For our district?