Several years ago, we studied the Civil Rights Movement. I made a number of packets for the kids (which are free here on the blog) as we studied this period in US history. Not only did we talk about the historic events — what led to the Civil Rights Movement, what were the key events during the Civil Rights era, Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott… but we also talked about the core issues like rights, privileges and things like that. Below are links to our free packets at the bottom are some wonderful books that we read (one list for elementary and one for middle schoolers).
**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
Civil Rights Movement Books you may want to read with your students:
Elementary (these are affiliate links)
- Ruth and the Green Book
- Freedom Summer
- The Story Of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
- Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges
- Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins
- Freedom School, Yes!
- Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation
- Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down
- Take a Walk in Their Shoes: Biographies of 14 Outstanding African Americans by Glennette Tilley Turner
- Child of the Civil Rights Movement
- A Sweet Smell of Roses
- The Other Side
- White Socks Only
- I’ve Seen the Promised Land: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.If A Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks
Middle School (these are affiliate links)
- The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963 – We are listening to the audiobook version of this. It is not quite what I expected. It’s very good so far, but it is more about the boys relationship with one another the first portion of the book.
- Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
- Devil on My Heels
- Mr. Touchdown
- Freedom Songs
- The $66 Summer: A Novel of the Segregated South
- One Crazy Summer
- My Mother the Cheerleader
Movies (these are affiliate links)
- The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (nominated for 9 Emmy Awards) – weaves the story of a 110 year old woman from the Slavery/Civil War to Civil Rights — A great way to start out this unit (for 10+, a few difficult scenes lynching, etc.)
- The Rosa Parks Story
- The Long Walk Home– About the Montgomery Bus Boycott
- Selma, Lord, Selma
- Ruby Bridges