Today I wanted to share some of the books, movies, and worksheets we used when we studied the Civil Rights Movement.
Exactly sixty years ago, Dec. 1st, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. This led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and other efforts to end segregation in the South. These are some of the resources we used when learning about Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott:
BOOKS: There are lots of books about Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Here are some of the books we really enjoyed:
I liked A Picture Book of Rosa Parks (affiliate link) by Robert Casilla — This one gave some good background (and pictures) of the Jim Crow Laws, KKK — and went on to explain her work with the NAACP, her arrest, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s role in the bus boycott.
I also really liked Rosa (affiliate link) by Nikki Giovanni because it explained the risk Jo Ann Robinson took printing out the flyers and explained how Martin Luther King, Jr. was chosen to speak for them. It included information that isn’t as commonly known.
I Am Rosa Parks (affiliate link)— This is a really good book for young readers to read to themselves.
If A Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks (affiliate link)— This is definitely aimed at a younger elementary audience. ED liked this book a lot. My older two were neutral.
Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation (affiliate link)– A blues inspired tribute about the boycott.
We watched a number of movies about this period that really helped bring this period alive for the kids:
The Rosa Parks Story (affiliate link) – We watched this story after reading the books above. It does a good job sharing her life story and really adding details that the children’s books didn’t include. It shows her background and helped the kids understand how her opinions (and willingness to take a stand) were influenced by incidents and experiences in her life.
The Long Walk Home (affiliate link)- The movie about Rosa Parks did a great job sharing the story and courage of Rosa Parks, but I think the kids were more moved by the Long Walk Home which really showed them what it was like to be a part of the Montgomery Bus Boycotts.
Before I go, I have a couple more movies I just have to mention!! We absolutely loved these movies: We watched the The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (affiliate link) at the beginning of our Civil Rights unit, which was shared the story of a woman whose life spanned from the Civil War period through the Civil Rights Movement. And I also have to rave about the movie Ruby Bridges (affiliate link) which the kids really loved. (We read the two books — The Story Of Ruby Bridges and Through My Eyes (affiliate links) before that so the movie was even more meaningful.)
Here are the notebook pages I made for the kids for this part of our Civil Rights Unit. They are free to download! Hope you find them useful! ~Liesl
**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
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