Grades 6–8 — My Oregon Experience: Race and Our State

In this curriculum, students will analyze the lasting legacy of Oregon legislation in relation to its current racial diversity. Educators can use the curriculum with or without a museum visit.

Enduring Understandings

  1. The racial and ethnic demographics of Oregon have been directly impacted by government policy and legislation.
  2. There are legislative/social/cultural acts that have disenfranchised racial/ethnic groups in Oregon.
  3. There are legislative/social/cultural acts that have empowered racial/ethnic groups to thrive in Oregon.
  4. Individuals have the right and opportunity to stand up to exclusion, prejudice, and injustice.

Menu of Lessons  

Pre-Visit Lessons

Pre-Visit Lesson One: Exploring Racial Demographics in Oregon

Students explore a digital interactive map (or provided copies) that displays the 2010 racial demographics of the United States and particular cities. Students compare and contrast the dot maps to the populations by race/ethnicity tables.

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Pre-Visit Lesson Two: Significant Events Leading to Statehood

Students analyze and identify significant events in Oregon’s early formation as a state that would affect opportunities for racial/ethnic/non-white groups in Oregon.

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Pre-Visit Lesson Three: Examining the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850

Students examine The Donation Land Claim Act of 1850 and excerpts from laws enacted by the 1844 Provisional Oregon Government.

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Pre-Visit Lesson Four: Analyzing the 1857 Oregon Constitution

Students utilize primary and secondary source documents to analyze excerpts from the 1857 Oregon Constitution.

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Museum Visit

Oregon Historical Society Museum Visit, Grades 6–8: 3-2-1 Exit Ticket

With the lens of a specific racial/ethnic group, students fill out a 3-2-1 OHS Experience Oregon Exit Ticket.

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Post-Visit Lessons

Post-Visit Lesson One: Reflections on Crucial Legislation & Events

Students reflect and share what they learned from their visit to Experience Oregon. Utilizing the Timeline of Oregon and U.S. Racial, Immigration, and Education History, students will work in pairs or small groups to jigsaw together the legislative acts/events that would empower racial/ethnic groups and those that demonstrated injustice towards racial/ethnic groups.

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Post-Visit Lesson Two: Introduction to Injustice + Empowerment Exhibit

Students are introduced to their Injustice + Empowerment Exhibit.

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Post-Visit Lesson Three: Presentation of Injustice + Empowerment Exhibit

Students present their Injustice + Empowerment Exhibit and reflect on the learning experience.

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