In this unit, students were exposed to some of the major Civil Rights leaders and their impact on rights for all people. Second graders explored the history of the movement through literature, art, writing, and theatrical performance.
In this unit, we focused our study around three major personalities from The Civil Rights Movement: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Ruby Bridges. We began by discussing heros. Who are they and what makes them heroic?
Conversation naturally leads into a focus on real-life heroes as opposed to superheroes, and results in an understanding that real heroes help others in some big and usually brave way.
We introduce the Civil Rights era with photographs from that time, read-alouds and an historical discussion about how slavery and residual unfair treatment came about in the US.
Students discussed a life timeline when learning about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Second graders differentiated between important life events and interesting facts in a group card game and organized and created a large-scale timeline for Dr. King complete with pictures. We learned about Dr. King’s life story through the timeline and in our reading of several biographies. In discussion, students compared themselves to Dr. King in order to better relate to the hero.
Students naturally relate to this child-hero. Students watch a video interview with Ruby as an adult discussing this experience. Discuss her bravery during read alouds of her biography, and write letters to her.
After learning about the story of Rosa Parks though video, reading and discussion, students put on a short skit highlighting her famous moment of refusal to get out of her seat on the bus.
Students culminate this unit by creating a stamp or coin to honor their hero of choice. Stamps and coins are traditionally designated to honor famous and admired individuals. We hang these projects up on display.
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