My kids and I were glued to the TV last Wednesday, watching history take place on Inauguration Day. We were sobered by the national guard presence, excited about the achievements of our new VP Kamala Harris, and just so totally and completely relieved to see President Biden take the oath of office in a peaceful transition of power.
But the thing we’ve talked about most since that day — other than Bernie and his mittens — is the exquisite words of America’s first Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman, the message of her original poem, “The Hill We Climb.”
So when I saw that PBS Newshour has created a free lesson plan about Amanda Gorman’s poem, this homeschool mom’s ears perked up.
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I am smitten by this Amanda Gorman inauguration illustration by Jennifer Vallez of @sophieandlili, which you can find in her shop.
The Amanda Gorman lesson plan covers one 55-60 minute class period, and I’ve already started thinking about how we’ll implement it in our school work later in the week. I can’t wait to see their faces when I tell them we’re going to pause their normal schoolwork to talk about something they’re already excited about.
But the lesson plan is not just for homeschool parents or teachers; complete with an interview with Gorman and lots of opportunities for analysis and observation about her process, I think PBS has given any parent or caregiver some wonderful discussion points to have thoughtful conversations with our kids.
Say, tonight? Dinner time perhaps?
Related: If you’ve ever said “this is not America” in response to racism, you need to read Caste.
We’ve been talking about resources to help us encourage our activist kids for a while here, and we truly believe the next generation is going to make this world a better place. Like Gorman said, “With every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.”
Teachers, you can find the free lesson plan on Amanda Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb” at PBS News Hour. By the way, this site is a treasure trove of free lesson plans, including one on the history of presidential inaugurations, one on MLK’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and the Capitol Hill Riot, one on writing your own inauguration speech, and so many more. Definitely one to bookmark.