Category Archives: Social Justice

New Kid Graphic Novel Read Through (MS/HS) (elizabeth ortega)

We will read the book together and engage in rich discussion about how to envision and build the world you want to see. The premise of the book is VERY RELATED to our PSCS world. It highlights and centers the experience of BIPOC students attending a private school and the complexities and specific challenges that that experience can be.

“Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?”

Jerry Craft, the author is a New York Times bestselling author-illustrator who has worked on numerous picture books, graphic novels, and middle grade novels, including the Newbery award-winning graphic novel.

It covers identity, privilege, power dynamics, overt and covert racism and the inner turmoil of being a student of color in a mostly white space.

I can’t wait to teach this class and SPECIAL THANK YOU to MAKO for recommending this graphic novel series to me which inspired this class.

Sex Ed and Health (Year long) (MS) (elizabeth ortega)

Note: This class is open to middle school students only.

We will work to create a space where you can learn relevant information about sexual and relational health. Talking about sex and our bodies openly and honestly can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be. It can also be enlightening, informative, and exciting!

This class will be a place to build confidence and friendly curiosity, rather than shame and judgment. Cultivating a relationship with one’s sexuality and body is a journey – and it’s better if you feel informed and aware along the way.

We will utilize the book: You Know, Sex: Bodies, Gender, Puberty, and Other Things by Cory Silverberg

“Racially and ethnically diverse, inclusive of cross-disability experience, this is a book for every kind of young person and every kind of family…You Know, Sex is the first thoroughly modern sex ed book for every body navigating puberty and adolescence, essential for kids, everyone who knows a kid, and anyone who has ever been a kid.”

Please reach out if you have any questions about the content of this class!

Diverse Voices & Yummy Things (MS/HS) (elizabeth ortega)

Each class one of you will provide either a yummy treat or a yummy beverage for everyone to share and we will create a sign up!

We listen/watch and discuss.

Whiteness/straightness/cis-ness/patriarchal-ness etc. in media is the norm; this is an opportunity to approach important topics from different viewpoints and perspectives. 

No homework, just come ready to contribute to discussions each day or write a small reflection on the content and eat yummy things and THINK and PONDER and FEEL and PROCESS.