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RACE: The Power of an Illusion is the most widely taught documentary in the United States. The filmmakers and collaborators have created a series of lesson plans and collated other materials to guide discussion and engagement in the classroom.

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Series Discussion Guide
To help people get the most from their viewing experience, we strongly recommend engaging audiences in the "Before Viewing" questions for each episode. Then take a look at the wide range of questions in the remainder of the guide and choose the ones that best meet the needs and interests of your group. For each episode, you’ll find six kinds of discussion starters and resources: > Before Viewing Questions: These prompts are designed to help people become more conscious of the ideas they hold as they enter this discussion. Asking people to reflect upon what they think prior to viewing can sharpen their focus as they consider issues raised in the films. > Comprehension Questions: RACE—The Power of an Illusion presents a lot of complex information that may be new to viewers. These questions can help make sure that everyone understands the core content of the program. > Discussion Questions: These are open-ended questions designed to help participants deepen their understanding. > Activity Suggestion: The ideas in this section can be tried after viewing as a way to delve more deeply into key concepts, or as before & after exercises to help make people aware of their beliefs and how those beliefs are challenged by the film(s). > Web Site Tips: This section highlights activities on the companion Web site (www.pbs.org/race) to help you further explore the themes of each episode. > Key References: For more advanced groups, we include this list of key historical documents, court cases, and laws cited in each episode.
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The Genetics and Evolution of Skin Color: The Case of Desiree's Baby
Episode 1
This lesson plan explores the genetics and evolution of skin color, using a short story by Kate Chopin called "Desiree's Baby" as a starting point.
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Comparing mtDNA Sequences to Learn about Human Variation
Episode 1
This computer-based lesson will enable students to test their notions of "racial" similarity and difference by comparing mtDNA sequences as the students do in the first episode of RACE - The Power of an Illusion.
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Comparing Chimp mtDNA to Learn about Races
Episode 1
In this computer-based lesson, students will measure genetic diversity within and between three subspecies of chimpanzees in order to gain a better understanding of genetic distinctiveness and explore race as a genetic concept.
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The Empirical Challenges of Racial Classification
Episode 1
This lesson will help students discover the fuzzy, inconsistent nature of racial classification - including how and why patterns of human variation defy racial categorization.
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Jamestown: Planting the Seeds of Tobacco and the Ideology of Race
Episode 2
The focus of this lesson is American racial ideology as it began to evolve in late 17th century Jamestown and Virginia. It aims to help students question their own assumptions about what race is and is not.
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The Growth of the Suburbs and the Racial Wealth Gap
Episode 3
This lesson explores structural racism by revealing the important role that family wealth plays in shaping life chances how opportunities to accumulate wealth have been racialized.
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Just an Environment or a Just Environment? Racial Segregation and Its Impacts
Episode 3
This lesson plan explores the multiple causes of racial segregation and environmental racism to help students understand the perpetuation of institutional racism in the post-Civil Rights era
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Films From California Newsreel
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The Downward Spiral
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Race Literacy Quiz
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Facts on Environmental Racism
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Fact Sheet: Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Race
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Sorting People
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Human Diversity