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Children Making a Difference

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1 Children Making a Difference
Kit McCormick & Judy Sutherland Washoe County School District Reno, Nevada Children Making a Difference

2 Thank You! Sue Davis, Director Teaching American History Project
For providing, free of charge, an outstanding DVD documentary and corresponding lessons on the Birmingham Children’s March. Sue Davis, Director Teaching American History Project Washoe County School District, Reno, Nevada For providing workshops that inspire lessons like these, and for sponsoring our trip to Atlanta.

3 Why are we here? To provide a series of lessons to support the student understanding of the Children’s March Acquire strategies for using primary sources Incorporate music to enhance students’ understanding of the times Integrate children’s literature into the study of the Civil Rights movement Use an Oscar winning documentary to support the curriculum. Who knows anything about the Children’s March?

4 Setting the stage: Why would children want to protest?
Civil Rights movements is taught within larger unit of study on the Constitution: “We the People.” Before viewing and discussing the video, students need to develop and understanding of segregation in the United States. Our students are privileged few if any have had any experience with prejudice or discrimination. So as teachers how do we develop empathy in them for those who have in order to understand the importance of the Civil Rights Movement.

5 From slavery to Jim Crow
Segregation Being short on time to teach social studies, I upload the following PowerPoint to the school’s server and students view it during their computer time. My students have learned about slavery and are aware of the Civil War. This PowerPoint lesson focuses on Jim Crow laws. If you would like a copy of this PowerPoint simply me. From slavery to Jim Crow

6 What will you learn? What are Jim Crow laws?
When you finish this PowerPoint you will be able to answer the following questions What are Jim Crow laws? Why were Jim Crow laws created? This is what my students view. It is designed to focus their thinking as this is an independent activity.

7 Slavery Africans were enslaved by early colonists
Slavery was concentrated in the Southern part of the U.S. Slaves worked on plantations. Slavery was always a source of conflict in the United States Use primary sources

8 Civil War By 1860, the United States fought a war with itself—Southern States against Northern States A major cause of the war was slavery. Southern States wanted to keep slavery; Northern States wanted to get rid of slavery.

9 The North Wins the War! In 1865 the North won the war!
The slaves were free! The people in the South were upset and angry about losing the war and their slaves. General Grant accepts the surrender of the South from General Lee at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, 1865.

10 What about the slaves? How can one group of people keep another group of people beneath them in society? Many former slaves continued to live in the South. Most Southerners still believed these former slaves, people of color, were beneath them. White people wanted to keep people of color beneath them.

11 Laws Education The schools for white children and the schools for negro children shall be conducted separately. Florida Parks It shall be unlawful for colored people to frequent any park owned or maintained by the city for the benefit, use and enjoyment of white persons...and unlawful for any white person to frequent any park owned or maintained by the city for the use and benefit of colored persons. Georgia Make Laws!! Southern states created laws to keep African-Americans beneath Euro-Americans These laws separated or segregated blacks from whites. Primary Source: Laws

12 Plessy V. Ferguson In 1892 the Supreme Court of the United States declared that separating blacks from whites was Constitutional as long as the facilities were equal—this gave rise to the phrase separate but equal Do you think separating people is fair?

13 Jim Crow Laws Segregation laws were called Jim Crow laws
Visit this website to learn more about Jim Crow laws u/aarmstr2/ Website is located at Southern Polytechnic University

14 Focus on educational segregation
Photograph of White School Prince Edward County, Virginia Photograph of Black School Prince Edward County, Virginia Following the introduction to Jim Crow laws, lessons focus on segregation in schools leading to Brown v. Board of Ed. In this lesson, students are given copies of the above photographs and the photos on the next slide and asked to compare and contrast Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) James Branch Cabell Library Online Exhibit Separate But Not Equal: Race, Education, and Prince Edward County, Virginia Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)

15 Another depiction of “separate, but equal.”
Farmville Auditorium, Prince Edward County, Virginia, 1951 Moton Auditorium, Prince Edward County, Virginia, 1951

16 Double-Bubble for Comparing & Contrasting
Farmville Auditorium Moton Auditorium Differences Similarities Differences Similar to a Venn (handout?) The graphic organizer is in Inspiration

17 Brown vs. Board of Education
Follow-Up Students write letters to Thurgood Marshall , attorney who argued the case before the Supreme Court. Students are instructed to take the perspective of an African-American child attending a segregated school in the 50s. They are asked to describe their school and their feelings about this school. They close by asking him for help in correcting the unfairness of their situation.

18 Ruby Bridges Before viewing:
Who would volunteer to be one of the first to go to an integrated school? After viewing: Would you still volunteer? In 1954 a law is passed that declares separate but equal schools are unconstitutional. However, students need to know that just because a law is passed people do not change their opinions or feelings. This leads to a lesson on Ruby Bridges. I simply show the Disney video to my class and they understand how difficult it must have been to be one of the first children to integrate. The story of Ruby Bridges is a more age appropriate for elementary school than the Little Rock 9.

19 Integrating children’s literature
A Newbury Honor Book A Coretta Scott King Honor Book An ALA Best Book for Young Adults At this point in the unit, The Watson’s Go to Birmingham is introduced. Mama thinks going to Birmingham is going to be a better environment for her “juvenile delinquent” son, Byron. Yes, the main characters are black.

20 Preview the Book Before reading students are asked to read the dedication and the In Memory. This page is discussed. We do not explain it to them. It is used to pique their interest. We will go back to it later.

21 Music Music is important to the Watson family and is an integral part of the story. When the family decides to head down south, Dad buys a record player for the car so the family can still listen to their music and not that “hillbilly” stuff the radio stations play in the south.

22 Kenny’s Favorite Song Kenny’s favorite song. It lists chores and consequences. Why do you think Kenny likes this song? Have students write a reflection after hearing this song and viewing the words. Mood, message, Upbeat, fast paced, fun—directed towards kids.

23 Mama and Dad’s Favorite Song
Does this bring back memories. The kids giggle. We explain that these guys were very cool and cutting edge in the early 60s. These songs and video bring the book to life. They help to connect students with the past.

24 Teaching Tolerance
At the point in the book when the Watsons reach Birmingham. This video is introduced. Mama thinks Birmingham is an ideal place to educate Bryon. This show the students what was really happening in Birmingham in May of ’63 This video is available free of charge from the Teaching Teaching tolerance is supported by the Southern Poverty Law Center. We have a form to order this teaching kit that includes several lesson plans. This video won several awards, including the 2005 Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subjects. Adults in Birmingham were reluctant to protest because of fear of losing their jobs. The idea of encouraging children to protest was introduced and the children’s march was born. Music plays an important role in the Children’s March. The local DJ, Shelley “the Playboy” Stewart used music and his DJ status to send coded messages to the kids of Birmingham. So let’s just take a look at a clip from the video.





29 September 15, 1963 The video includes the retaliatory bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, which is a key event toward the end of the Watson book. At this point students often get out their book and reread the “In Memory.” Many are fearful that Joella Watson was one of the victims.




33 Protest Music: songs associated with a movement for social change
Spirituals became protest music Pete Seeger—”I Ain’t A-Scared of Your Jail” Joan Baez—”We Shall Overcome” Sam Cooke—”A Change is Gonna Come” James Brown—”Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud”

34 Follow-up Lesson from Teaching Tolerance

35 Children Making a Difference
Another lesson from teaching tolerance is “Refuse to Stand Silently By” which asks students to think of global issues and realize even in an information-rich society many people are slow to act for social justice. This makes them aware that social injustice still exists and that children can make a difference

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