Evelyn Stevenson's 6th grade classroom during an AmazeWorks lesson, Why Colorblindness Will NOT End Racism." Students wearing red sweatshirts are seated at their desks listening to Evelyn, who stands at the front of the room.

Inside an AmazeWorks Classroom: Observing an Anti-Bias Middle School Lesson


Have you ever wondered what an AmazeWorks middle school lesson looks like in action? We took a peek inside Evelyn Stevenson’s 6th grade classrooms to find out.

Evelyn Stevenson teaches at Sojourner Truth Academy in north Minneapolis and shares her classroom with a teaching assistant, Mr. R. We observed two lessons from the Ability & Neurodiversity module of our Middle School curriculum: “Five Questions about Autism” and “Explaining ADHD.”

Evelyn Stevenson's middle school classroom during an AmazeWorks lesson, Why Colorblindness Will NOT End Racism." Students wearing red sweatshirts are seated at their desks listening to Evelyn, who stands at the front of the room.
Evelyn Stevenson’s class during an AmazeWorks lesson titled, Why Colorblindness Will NOT End Racism.

Here’s what we discovered:

Lesson Introduction

Evelyn began by asking her students about their understanding of the topics. Questions like, “What do you think ADHD is?” and “What questions would you ask someone with autism?” sparked engaging discussions and helped her gauge the class’s baseline knowledge.

Vocabulary and Things to Know

Next, the class reviewed important vocabulary terms provided by AmazeWorks. Evelyn expanded on specific definitions to deepen students’ understanding and address any questions or observations they had.

Video-Based Curriculum

A Google slide from AmazeWorks middle school lesson, "Five Questions About Autism." A screenshot from a YouTube video of the same title pictures a child wearing a colorfully striped shirt. Text reads, "In this video, autistic children, teens, and young adults answer questions about autism. They share their unique experiences with being autistic along with what makes them special."

The AmazeWorks Middle School Curriculum differs from our other programs because it uses videos to engage students in the lesson topics. The class watched the videos together, listening to people’s insights and experiences living with the neurological autism and ADHD. Evelyn played the videos with Spanish subtitles to support her English language learners.

Journal Prompts

Students were given time to reflect on the video in their journals. Evelyn collects the journals weekly, checking for completion rather than evaluating the content. Students can indicate if they would prefer her not to read specific entries, allowing for the privacy to express their thoughts.

Discussion Questions

AmazeWorks provided discussion questions for the lessons, but Evelyn also asked her own, inspired by the students’ reflections. The classroom was fully engaged, leading to meaningful and brave conversations.

Key Student Takeaways:
  • Bias impacts people with neurodivergence and disabilities. Students discussed how biases and mistreatment create barriers for those with autism and ADHD.
  • People with developmental disabilities want to be included. Students empathized with the social challenges neurodiverse individuals face and realized the importance of inclusion.
  • Neurodivergence isn’t something to “cure”. They concluded that neurodiversity makes communities stronger.

Evelyn wrapped up the class by discussing how everyone has biases, but these shouldn’t influence how we treat others. These regular, intentional conversations about identity, difference, and bias are essential for creating cultures of belonging.

We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Evelyn Stevenson, Mo Kroening, and everyone at Sojourner Truth Academy for welcoming us into your school and showcasing how you bring belonging to life. Stay tuned for more insights into anti-bias education from AmazeWorks! ⭐

Want to bring the AmazeWorks Middle School Curriculum into your school or classroom? Click here to contact AmazeWorks. We can’t wait to work with you!

Get our monthly

You’ll receive important anti-bias education information and resources.