We live in a world that is becoming increasingly divided, particularly in the United States. In fact, people tend to interact almost exclusively with individuals who hold their shared world views and beliefs. Because of these trends, teaching students from a young age how to engage with others on issues that they may disagree about is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, this type of social studies learning rarely happens in public schools, particularly in lower elementary school classrooms.
To address this challenge, we formed a collaboration to develop a curricular intervention with the goal of preparing young people to interact with one another on public issues in our community about which there is a diversity of opinions. The second grade teachers on the team taught the resulting unit of study at a public elementary school in the Southwest with a large Latinx population.