Studying the Civil Rights Movement

by Jimmie Lanley on July 19, 2010

civil rights books

Normally I think it’s best to study something and then take the field trip. But when a chance to tour a museum presents itself, I certainly wouldn’t turn it down because we hadn’t reached that part in our curriculum. Actually, for the Civil Rights topic, I think that having our visit to the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN was better before our book study.

Books We Used (mainly the first three)

Sprite remembered the main gist of many of the exhibits. So as we read our living books, she already had some understanding of the events. Then she used the postcards I bought at the museum as the meat of her notebooking pages.

civil rights notebooking1

civil rights notebooking2

civil rights notebooking3

civil rights notebooking4

kindle watsons birminghamOf course, we had to watch the inspiring “I Have a Dream” speech by MLK, Jr. during the 1964 March on Washington. Then I gave her both the printed text and this notetaking guide to analyze the speech a bit.

For more language arts tie ins, I assigned Sprite The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963 (downloaded to her new Kindle 2, but my DX is pictured here) and this proofreading page with a MKL, Jr. theme.

Other notable links:

You might not suspect it, but Sprite was able to relate in some ways to the prejudice described during the times of segregation. Living as minorities in a racially homogeneous nation does present some unique challenges.  We can never blend in no matter how fluent we are in language or culture. We are forever the “foreigners.” But she was quick to point out that we rarely face overtly negative treatment. Our worst treatment is merely unfair prices or rude gawking and name calling. But the whole concept of being treated differently because of your race is something she really understands (and dislikes intensely).

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