Racism Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

What is racism and what effect has it had on people throughout history? In this lesson, students will explore the concept of racism, look at examples as they have appeared through our country's history, and complete an activity that reinforces the negativities associated with racism.

Learning Objectives

By the conclusion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define racism
  • understand examples of racism


45-50 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.


Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.


Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.



  • Begin by introducing the lesson.
    • Read the lesson description to the class.
    • Ask students to share what they might already know about racism.
    • Ask what questions students might want to have answered about racism.
  • Read the first section of the lesson, ''What is Racism?'' Discuss:
    • How do we define racism?
  • Read the next section, ''Civil War.'' Discuss:
    • What type of racism was going on before and during the Civil War?
    • Who was Abraham Lincoln?
    • What was the Civil War about?
  • Read the next section, ''Civil Rights Movement.'' Discuss:
    • What is segregation?
    • Who was Rosa Parks?
    • What is a boycott?
  • Next, read about ''Racism Today'' and the ''Lesson Summary.'' Discuss:
    • How does racism still exist today?
    • What are your thoughts about racism?
  • Allow for further discussion and answer any questions students might still have.
  • Administer the quiz to assess and check for understanding.

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