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Activity April 14, 2022

1619 Foundational Inquiry


Lesson Summary: An extended engagement activity to guide students through close reading and analysis of select essays from The 1619 Project. Downloads: Full extended engagement activity

This activity was created by ELA Educators in Kansas City Public Schools, part of the 2021 cohort of The 1619 Project Education Network. It is designed for facilitation across approximately 1-2 weeks, or 10 class periods.


Students will be able to...

  • Accurately re-frame specific events in U.S. history from the lens of public education in order to access a learning experience that is culturally relative and inclusive.
  • Trace the foundational principles of the current economic system to historical origins in order to support their understanding of the economic and social landscapes they are apart of.
  • Critique the idea of linear American progress and the equality therein in order to increase understanding of judicial, sociological, and economic trends in their communities and the communities around them.


Students will engage with The 1619 Project goal of reframing America’s history and consider their own place within that history as a way to support and inform their futures. Students will be able to deconstruct and analyze major sectors in America, like the economic and justice systems, via various forms of literature. Students will be expected to think critically about the framing of historical  perspectives and as a result, become empowered to deepen their own experience and perspectives.


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