Honors College Theses

Publication Date



Elementary Education (B.S.Ed.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Faculty Mentor

Robert Lake


The purpose of this paper is to examine the existing research on anti-racist education and synthesize that information to develop lesson plans that teachers can use to promote tolerance in their classrooms. Review of the literature in this area reveals gaps in current curriculum and teaching practices. The literature on teaching tough topics concludes that difficult subjects should be used as a guide for discussion within the low stakes environment of a classroom. Three tolerance-centered lesson plans were developed using the Inquiry Design Model (Grant, 2017). This model highlights key ideas of a topic, presents three supporting questions related to the topic, and concludes with steps to take informed real-life action based on the content. Each lesson plan centered around one or more of Teaching Tolerance’s four domains of social justice education: identity, diversity, justice, and action (Southern Poverty Law Center, 2016). These lesson plans are designed to be used in elementary classrooms, particularly grades three through five. However, they could be adapted to fit the needs of any grade level. The goal of the research is to provide comprehensive tolerance focused lesson plans to promote anti-racism and critical thinking.