Every year since 1976, every U.S. president has designated February as black history month. We have just about finished up our unit on the Civil Rights Movement and I have a couple more posts to share with you.
Last week, we learned about the challenges young blacks faced when they attended all-white schools in the late 1950s and early 1960s. We first learned about the Little Rock Nine. Then, the kids and I read two books about Ruby Bridges, the first black child to attend the all-white elementary school, William Frantz Elementary, in New Orleans. Both books were wonderful: The Story Of Ruby Bridges and Through My Eyes (affiliate links)
We also spent two days watching Disney’s Ruby Bridges (affiliate links). We read a portion of, Through My Eyes, each day before we watched the movie. Since there were sections written by Ruby’s teacher, the psychologist who visited her and others it really added a lot to our studies. All three of my kids (5, 8, 10) loved the movie and learned a lot from it. ED said she loved the movie! We definitely had a lot of great discussions about why people were so cruel, how brave Ruby was and how lonely she must have been being the only child in her classroom throughout her first grade year.
We also read a couple of books about the Greensboro Sit-Ins. After reading these two books, I didn’t feel like we need to go into much more detail about the sit-ins.
We also read the non-fiction book Selma’s Bloody Sunday, The marches and protests in Selma grew out of voting rights movement and the effort to register African-Americans to vote. Some say that these marches and protests were the emotional peak of the Civil Rights Movement. This book tackled some of the violence in a way that the fiction books we have read together did not. My older two were ready for a book with details like this; my younger one did not read this one with us.
We also read Child of the Civil Rights Movement which was written from a little girl’s perspective. Her family traveled down Alabama to participate in the Selma to Montgomery march. It did not touch on the violence that had occurred.
We read the book above just prior to watching the movie, Selma, Lord, Selma. This movie was also based on a true story and it did a great job depicting the march from Selma to Montgomery.
Other posts in our unit on the Civil Rights Movement:
**Civil Rights Movement Lessons (Free Packet) – In some ways this is the core of what I want the kids to learn from this unit… what are rights? What is the difference between someone’s rights and a privilege? What is it like to be a part of a group? When can it be hard/painful to be left out? Judging people by what they look like. The power of speeches. This is a 13 page packet of discussion questions and lesson ideas on all that and terms like prejudice, bias, racism, etc.
**Free Civil Rights Packet: Timeline of Events Leading to the Civil Rights Movement — This packet covers the 350 year history prior to the Civil Rights Era. It also includes several pages of photos so kids can make their own timeline.
**Civil Rights Movement: School Integration, Sit-Ins and Selma — books and movies my kids loved
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.
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