In the wake of Donald Trump’s election, the students of my 4th grade classroom in a public school in East Harlem had lots of questions about our country. Over and over they wondered: What is a right? How can we protect ourselves when we disagree with the government? This paper stories the year-long study of rights in the United States that grew out of these questions and the learning that came out of this curriculum, as well as works to define what patriotism means to me as an educator and a citizen.

Author Biography

Margaret N. Becker

Margaret Nell Becker has spent the past seven years teaching inquiry-based learning in public elementary classrooms across New York City. A graduate of Teachers College and a lifelong New Yorker, Nell is dedicated to and inspired by the diverse population of learners she is privileged to work with daily. She has presented at the Museum of the City of New York’s Intersectionality Conference and is a recipient of the Yoga Foster grant to bring accessible yoga and mindfulness into the classroom. Currently, Nell teaches the 4th and 5th grade at Central Park East 2, a progressive school in East Harlem.



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