Literature Lesson Plans & Workshops

These lesson plans and workshops, developed for secondary school educators, demonstrate how Mosaic’s content can serve as a connective tool to  empower educators to use books, writing, and reading to further engage students. Each lesson plan includes multiple themes and a reading list.

LFP’s workshops help facilitate a deeper understanding of cultural and social studies that helps educators (and parents) better incorporate learning as it relates to the literary arts, media, and social engagement. For details email

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Our workshops take place on the last Wednesday of the month at the Laundromat Project, 920 Kelly St., Basement, Bronx, NY.  Register on Eventbrite

February 28: James Baldwin/Jesmin Ward/Black History Month
March 28: Audre Lorde/Womens History Month
April 25: Black Poets Speak Out/Poetry Month
May 23: Jamel Shabazz/National Photo Month
June 27: James Baldwin/Gay Pride Month
September 26: Kalief Browder
October 24: Black Lives Matter
November 28: Audre Lorde


Theme: Black Power

• Peniel Joseph’s Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama
• Attica Locke’s Black Water Rising
• Jabari Asim’s A Taste of Honey

Topics for Discussion
Dark Days, Bright Nights is a history book, Attica Locke’s Black Water Rising is a novel, and Jabari Asim’s A Taste of Honey is a collection of short stories.

Did you enjoy the nonfiction book more or less than the two works of fiction?

Do you think you learned more about the Black Power Movement from the nonfiction book or from the two works of fiction?

Which book taught you more about how real people lived during the Black Power Movement?

Essay Idea
Choose a mid-20th century political and social movement for change. Select from: Civil Rights, Black Power, the Second Wave Feminist Movement, the Anti-Vietnam War / Peace Movement, the Gay Rights Movement, the Chicano Movement / El Movimiento, the Asian American Movement, or the work of the American Indian Movement / AIM.

Research the work that was done by activists who organized and agitated for change within the movement you select. Who were the movement’s leaders?
What organizations operated within this movement?
In what regions of the country did the members who identified with this movement live?
How did law-enforcement respond to the movement you select?
What long-lasting impact did this movement have on American life?
What things have been made better today because of the influence of your 20th century political and social movement for change?
What were the movement’s failures?
Bring pictures, music, recorded speeches, and/or any posters, buttons, or other objects you can find from that movement to school. Present your essay and share what you learn with the class.

Additional Activities
Form a group with classmates interested in the same mid-20th century political and social movement that you wrote about. Share the work you’ve done researching the movement with each other. Based on your findings, write a scene about that movement. You might want to write about your movement’s leaders; or, you might want to write about everyday people who were involved in your movement. You might even want to include characters who are opposed to the work your movement does. When you write the scene, make sure you include a part that each person in your group can play. Using the music, pictures, and other items you can find that are related to your movement, set the scene and perform it in your class.

Supplemental Reading
• The N-Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn’t, and Why, Jabari Asim
• Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak, Saleemah Abdul Ghafur (a new civil rights issue)
• Growing Up X, Ilyasah Shabazz (autobiography of the activist’s daughter)
• Assata, Assata Shakur (former Black Panther and political exile’s autobiography)
• A Taste of Power, Elaine Brown (former Black Panther’s autobiography)
• The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Alex Haley
• Black Power, Stokely Carmichael and Charles Hamilton
• Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope, Barack Obama

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