Sample Curricula

Lesson Plans

In addition to our network of affiliated Bay Area schools, Voice of Witness books are taught in schools across the country, including CUNY, Loyola University, Francis W. Parker School, Brown University, Haverford College and Arizona State University. Voice of Witness has also provided oral history training for nonprofits such as Greenhouse Scholars, the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Aim High and the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education.

Below are some of the curricula developed by our education program. For more oral history resources, lesson plans and activities please refer to The Power of the Story: The Voice of Witness Teacher’s Guide to Oral History. Click here to order a copy.


High Rise Stories

Introduction to High Rise Stories Curriculum
Lesson Plan 1: Home and Community
(Download our Chicago Public Housing Fact Sheet to accompany this lesson plan)
Lesson Plan 2: Rights and Obligations
(Download the Rights and Obligations handout to accompany this lesson plan)
Lesson Plan 3: Policing and the Criminal Justice System
(Download the Police Presence handout to accompany this lesson plan)
Lesson Plan 4: Creating a Housing Bill of Rights
Lesson Plan 5: Mural/Collaborative Painting Project


Refugee Hotel

Lesson Plan 1: Assigning Labels
Lesson Plan 2: Images and Examinations of Home
Lesson Plan 3: Exploring the Refugee Convention
Lesson Plan 4: Creating a Heart Journey Map

Ways to Explore Refugee Hotel


Throwing Stones at the Moon: Narratives from Colombians Displaced by Violence

Lesson Plan 1: Exploring Text through the Five Senses

(Download our Imagery Handout to accompany this lesson plan)

Lesson Plan 2: Displacement Monologues
(Download our Military Recruitment Handout to accompany this lesson plan)

Lesson Plan 3: The Cost of Living in Fear


Inside this Place, Not Of It: Narratives from Women’s Prisons

Click here for a PDF of this lesson

A Two-Day Lesson Plan: Body Stories


Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post 9/11 Injustice

Voice of Witness is proud to present a teaching resource for Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post-9/11 Injustice, created in collaboration with the Korematsu Institute. Click here to download a copy of this resource.


Voices from the Storm

Lesson Plan 1: Hurricane Katrina: Perceptions and Realities of Race, Class, and Democracy
Download the following handouts to accompany this lesson:
Warm Up Activity KWL Chart
Voices from the Storm Handout
Expert Group Worksheet
Model Presentation Chart Handout
Note Taker Worksheet


Surviving Justice

Lesson Plan 1: Surviving Justice lesson plan
(Download the Surviving Justice Handout and the Surviving Justice Exoneree Handout to accompany this lesson plan)

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