Yesterday I shared the Civil Rights books we’ll be using in our Civil Rights Movement unit. Before we go into a lot of depth about the events of the 1950s and 1960s, I wanted to make sure the kids really understood some of the history leading up to this period.
I created a photo timeline of events to help my kids review (and/or understand) the events leading to the Civil Rights Movement. We spent the week really going over that material. The packet goes over the basic history of slavery and post slavery events. Some of the topics we reviewed included…
- the first slaves (Jamestown) picking tobacco
- Slave Trade
- the Declaration of Independence and Constitution (and the fact that slavery was not addressed)
- Cotton and Plantation Life
- Black Codes
- Civil War
- 13th, 14th, 15th Amendments
- Separate but Equal (Plessy v Ferguson)
- Jim Crow Laws
Not only did we go over the notebook pages (below), but we also pulled out the resources we used last year. We pulled out the notebook pages on the Constitution (which is in our Civics and Government Packet) to make sure they remembered some of the details about that. Last spring, we spent quite a lot of time going over the Transatlantic Slave Trade. (You’ll find a list of books we read and notebook pages the kids added to their history notebooks last semester at that post.) Plus, we read a few chapters from one of our history books.
Here is a collage of the notebook pages I made for their history notebooks. The photo timeline covers the topics I mentioned above. You can download this photo timeline free. It is 13 pages.
The kids spent a couple of days making their own timelines. Several pages in the packet above include just photos of the events. My kids made their own long timeline and used the photos in their project. (They are included in the packet above, but not shown in the photo collage.)
I made a quick timeline to show them how you can block out time periods to show how long something lasts. (For example having a line from 1861 to 1865 to show that the Civil War lasted for 4 years.)
ED did a simplified version of the timeline, just cutting out the pictures and pasting them on to her timeline.
The other two wrote out more dates and added in information. I guess I didn’t take a picture of LD’s timeline, but you can see DD’s timeline in the orange below:
What else did we do to review these 300 years of history?
*During our writing workshop time we had a mini-lesson about historical fiction. I made sure the kids knew the difference between fiction and non-fiction. DD still sometimes gets the two mixed up because “non” makes here thing that its “not” true. Anyway, once I established that they knew what those both meant, we read the book, Now Let Me Fly: The Story of a Slave Family. (affiliate link) We’ve read it before. It covers a slave family from the time a little girls was kidnapped from her African village, chained, brought across to America, sold at market… through to when her children we sold or escaped from bondage. After we finished reading the book, I had the kids pull out elements of the story that really happened in history and what parts were made up by the author. For writing that day, the kids had the option of writing their own historical fiction story. DD chose to write a story about Christopher Columbus. (LD worked on something else.)
*We also watched the The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. (affiliate link) This movie won 9 Emmy Awards. The story is really compelling and covers nearly a hundred years of history… from when Miss Pittman was a young slave girl during the Civil War through to her act of defiance drinking out of a “whites only” drinking fountain at the age of over one hundred! This story was also fiction, but we talked about the elements of the story that really did take place.
For those of you with younger kids, there is a scene of lynching that I would suggest you skip. (I made the girls leave the room. Other than that, it is truly a wonderful movie that really helps bring that 100-year period alive.
*The last activity we did was that I had the kids give a “presentation” about all the events they covered in their timeline. We talked about some of the elements of giving speeches…
- Greet the audience -
- Engage the audience – look people in the eye, smile
- Give a brief overview of your topic before launching into your topic
- Know your material
- Thank the audience for coming
Other posts in this series:
- Emmett Till
- Rosa Parks
- Montgomery Bus Boycott
- Little Rock 9: Little Rock Central High School
- Greensboro Sit-Ins
- Ruby Bridges attends a new elementary school
- Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Freedom Rides
- The Children’s Crusade
- March on Washington
- Selma and more
**Civil Rights Movement: School Integration, Sit-Ins and Selma – books and movies my kids loved
You might be interested in these related posts:
- U.S. Constitution Worksheets (We reviewed the three branches of government again and explained how all three branches had important roles to play throughout the history of slavery, the abolition of slavery, protecting black citizen’s rights (14th/15th Amendments)… through to the Civil Rights Era)
- West African History — Free Notebook Pages, African Picture Books (and transatlantic slave trade pages)
- Geography of Africa — The Countries and Physical Features
- West African Art Projects: Morrocan Tiles, African Masks, African Music
- Learning about West Africa: Children’s Games and more
- Cooking with Kids: A Taste of Africa and the Middle East
- Learning about Islam — Free Worksheets and Resources for Kids (We learned the religion of Islam and then learned about the spread of Islam across North Africa and down into West Africa.)
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.