Teaching The Levees Curriculum Project
In this curriculum project, educators from Teachers College, Columbia University, hope to encourage democratic dialogues and civic engagement about the issues raised by the events associated with Hurricane Katrina, as so artfully illuminated by Spike Lee’s film, When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts. In February 2007, When the Levees Broke won the George Polk Award for television documentary, one of the most prestigious
awards given in journalism. We are honored to be associated with this magnificent film and its courageous effort to write the history of this tragic event.

In the spirit of the film, the authors of this curriculum are animated by a collective conviction that, as Americans and human beings, we must address the issues of race and class unveiled in the aftermath of this storm. We must consider more effective ways to make our poor, aged, and disenfranchised citizens less vulnerable to calamity while recognizing that we are all vulnerable. First and foremost, “we the people” must understand better what we can and should expect—or not—from our government, our neighbors, and ourselves in dealing with the countless modern threats to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The historical essay and curriculum units that comprise this book are designed to stimulate serious deliberation about the meaning of Hurricane Katrina and the breach of the levees. Discussions of race and class are often avoided in American schools, colleges, and communities. With this curriculum, we hope to stimulate dialogue about these tough issues by posing the questions: Who are we as a country? What kind of country do we want to be?
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[thumbnail] Small Town, Big Issues: What the Jena Six Case Says about the American Racial Divide
by P. Masters (2007)
uploaded by: Pocket Masters

[thumbnail] A Family Preparedness Plan
by Teachers College (2007)
uploaded by: Pocket Masters

[thumbnail] The New Orleans Hurricane Protection System: What Went Wrong and Why
by Teachers College (2007)
uploaded by: Pocket Masters

[thumbnail] “New Orleans in Peril”: Citizen Media
by Teachers College (2007)
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[thumbnail] Katrina’s Commentaries
by Teachers College (2007)
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[thumbnail] The Mardi Gras Indians
by Teachers College (2007)
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[thumbnail] Where is My Government?
by Teachers College (2007)
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[thumbnail] Katrina and Environmental Justice
by Teachers College (2007)
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[thumbnail] Talking About Race and Racism in the Classroom
by Teachers College (2007)
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[thumbnail] Fostering Effective Discussions with the Teaching The Levees Curriculum
by Teachers College (2007)
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[thumbnail] About the Film
by Teachers College (2007)
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[thumbnail] Additional Media Literacy Resources
by Teachers College (2007)
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[thumbnail] Key People and Organization
by Teachers College (2008)
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[thumbnail] Teaching the Levees: Timeline
by Teachers College (2008)
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[thumbnail] Fundamental facts
by Teachers College (2008)
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