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Social-Emotional Learning: Educator Resources

Explore online activities that feature contemporary Upstanders who made choices to act on behalf of others and not be bystanders. Take a look at our recommended readings from our grades K-2 and grades 3-4 Teaching Trunks that teach acceptance and diversity. Hear from survivors and their message to younger audiences meant inspire students to take action. 

Upstander Videos & Activities

Students will be presented with two Upstanders below, both of whom are featured in the Museum’s Make a Difference! exhibition and were former Student Leadership Day Keynote Speakers. These individuals took a stand for an issue that was important to them and were able to make a positive change in the world through their passion. 

Upstander activity Choices worksheet

Hudson Taylor – Working Against Gay Hate Speech 

Hudson Taylor was a rare breed of division one wrestler and thespian. As a three-time All-American wrestler at the University of Maryland, he was ranked 2nd in the country heading into his senior season. He was, in addition, a theatre major, and the two worlds couldn’t have been more different on the topic of LGBTQ respect and inclusion. In theatre, Hudson had friends and classmates coming out and being accepted and welcomed. But on the wrestling mat, homophobic and sexist rhetoric and actions were rampant.

To stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ community and confront the marginalization of LGBTQ people in sport, he decided to wear an LGBTQ equality sticker on his headgear. Though he encountered criticism from his teammates, he received national media attention and thousands of emails from parents and closeted athletes encouraged by his advocacy. That got Hudson thinking… if he could achieve that impact as a wrestler, in a sport that isn’t the most popular, what if he had been a football player, a team, or an entire league.

This experience inspired Hudson to launch Athlete Ally.

Ryan Hreljac – Providing Communities with Clean Water 

When he was 6 years old, Ryan Hreljac learned that students at Angolo Primary School in Uganda, a country in East Africa, did not have access to clean water. Children his age had to carry heavy water jugs long distances, sometimes in the middle of the night so they could help their families and still go to school.  Ryan thought about the drinking fountain in the hallway outside his classroom and the faucet in his kitchen sink. He knew he was lucky to have been born in a country with lots of access to clean water, other kids deserved access to clean water, too.

Ryan began raising money to dig a well for Angolo School. Sharing his message that everyone deserves clean water, he eventually raised enough money—over $2,000—to dig a well at the school.

Ryan knew that many other kids also didn’t have access to clean water, so he didn’t stop there—he continued raising money for clean water projects and eventually created a foundation called Ryan’s Well. As of 2024, Ryan’s Well has supported water and sanitation projects in 17 countries.

Featured “Make A Difference!” Survivor Videos & Activities

Survivor Activity Survivor Answer key

Holocaust Survivor Cipora Katz

Holocaust Survivor Diet Eman

Recommended Reading & Activities

Hidden Figures

By: Margot Lee Shetterly


Students can hear the story ofHidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly read aloud on YouTube (approximately 14 minutes), and complete the following activities to further investigate the ideas of perseverance and teamwork.


Blending together the Civil Rights Movement and the Space Race, Hidden Figures tells the story of four African American women and their crucial contribution to NASA and the United States. This fascinating story is beautifully illustrated and tells this chapter of American history in an exciting and inspiring way. Shetterly expertly puts these women’s achievements within a historical context of segregation, the women’s rights movement, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Space Race.

Despite the challenges these women faced, they persisted, worked hard, and put a man on the moon. Showing the power of individuals to combat racism and sexism through strength and endurance, Hidden Figures is a reminder to students of the power of perseverance.

view activities online


By: Leo Lionni


Students will listen to the story of Swimmy read aloud on YouTube (approximately 3.5 minutes). After listening to the story, students can complete the following activities below to learn more about teamwork, community, and acceptance of others’ differences.


Swimmy tells a story of a little fish who makes a big difference in helping his fellow fish. Swimmy is a little black fish, living among many red fish in a big school. He can swim faster than the others and is very smart. One day, however, the whole school Swimmy lives with is devoured by a very hungry big black fish, and poor Swimmy is the only one to escape.

At first, he is alone and sad in the deep vast ocean. Then, however, he sees that the ocean holds many beautiful wonders—rainbow-colored jellyfish, lobsters, seaweed from sugar-candy rocks, and so much more. Swimmy is delighted.

One day, Swimmy comes across another school of red fish, just like his own. He wants to share all his discoveries of the ocean with them. But the little fish are terribly afraid of the big black fish that can eat them all, just like what happened to Swimmy’s other friends. Together, Swimmy and the school of red fish come up with a plan to save everyone from the big black fish.

View activities online

The Name Jar

By: Yangsook Choi


Students can hear the story The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi read aloud on YouTube (approximately 16minutes), and complete the following activities to further investigate the ideas of identity, culture, and community.


Having just arrived from Korea with her family, Unhei is anxious about making friends at her new school. She is especially nervous about her name because no one in her class is able to pronounce it. So, she decides to pick a new name. With the help of her classmates, everyone’s name goes into a jar. What will Unhei choose? Joey, one of her classmates, decides to steal the name jar, in hopes of convincing Unhei to keep her real name. Through Unhei’s story, students can learn that it is important to accept everyone and that we should all be proud of our culture and identity as that makes us special.

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