OurStory Guidelines

Not sure where to get started? Not a worry! Our goal is to make as easy as possible for you so that you can focus on teaching. These guidelines will help you structure the poster and its content into your classroom while allowing flexibility for your class to shine.

Learning Objectives

Lesson guides and activities are written for K-12, but can be modified for various ages and subject. They are made to be standalone lessons, but can be extended into multiple classes or units.

Practice making inferences based on observations and discussion
Develop persuasive arguments about works of art based on historical and formal evidence
Compare and contrast the many ways people express their culture within their own community

How to use REALSOUL Lesson Guides

Start with Poster Observations

Begin your lesson with our posters. Have students make observations about the poster as a whole and use open-ended questions to begin a discussion. What do your students see? How do they get to these conclusions? If needed, our lesson guides provide teachers with where to begin first, which visuals to focus on, and additional questions that can be asked.

Break the Poster into Sections

Break up the visuals on the posters and begin asking more specific questions that align with the themes of the poster. We have broken down these questions into two categories: personal and discussion. Personal questions can be used for students of all ages, encouraging them to think about how the topic affects them and their daily lives while the discussion questions are for older students who can further critique the historical significance of these topics. Through these discussions, students will share what they know and what they’d like to know about the topic at hand.

Bring it back home

Can this topic or image relate back to the student? If the topic is on food, questions like “How do you get your food?”, “Who taught you how to make your favorite dish?” assist students in making connections between them and these historical moments.

Get searchin’!

For older students, encourage them do additional research on the different moments presented in the poster. Each of our lesson guides include an additional research activity that allows students to use their observations from the poster and find their way online to the answer.

Relating the Past to the Present

Come back together as a group and share what students learned. How do these historical moments connect to what’s happening today? What more needs to be explored? As youth, what can be further done to help the cause?

For longer term projects, students can further explore and discuss ideas on how to bring more awareness to the topic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all the posters connect to each other?

That depends! Some posters may connect and others may feel more standalone. Our current selection of posters connect because they take place in the 1960s-1980s and surround similar historical events. However, getting students to make the connection between the material you have previously learned in class and what you are learning now allows them to see how the past constantly affects the present and future. We recommend having these discussions with the students and encouraging them to make those connections by common themes, time periods, subject, etc.

Does this satisfy state standards?

State standards for each subject vary, depending on your location. For younger students, we recommend focusing on comparing and contrasting the stories presented and their own communities. How are they alike? How do they differ? For older students, teachers can begin to get more into detail about the backgrounds of the presented communities and what they did for American history. More complicated issues of inequality and discrimination can be inserted into curriculum. In addition, they can begin to analyze the art style while exercising their own creative abilities. We used social science and art to guide our OurStory series, but based on the themes, they can easily be applied to various subjects.

If I don’t know Asian American history, how can I teach these posters?

We offer a summary of the topic as well as a list of resources, key terms, vocabulary, and learning objectives. We strongly believe anyone can participate in these posters as long as they ask questions and challenge themselves (and others) to think beyond the information presented. The more questions you have, the more your studuents can realize that these issues are multi-dimensional and these discussions should be shared outside of the classroom too.

What if these topics are too complicated for my kids?

The topics are certainly big and often, deserve numerous articles and college courses dedicated to the subject. However, they are relevant to people of all ages and levels and we encourage you to begin these discussions from day one. As a teacher, parent, or supervisor, you can use these posters and stories to break down topics like human rights with questions as simple as “How do you want to be treated?” and “How does this connect to my work?” can begin this discussion about how we, as people, can begin to build a better world for everyone.

Is REALSOUL curriculum political?

Personal is political. There is no part of Asian American and BIPOC history in the United States that has not been touched by prejudice and discrimination. In contrast, to teach any part of American history with no mention of marginalized communities and their contributions is a political act within itself – whether it be intentional or unintentional. Our goal is to create a safe space where students can learn about themselves and about each other. With encouragement from their community and educators, our hope is that they, too, will want to challenge outdated and discriminative policies through the work they do. So yes, this curriculum is political.