I am so happy that the BRONCOS won that I have decided to share my favorite Civil Rights Movement literature with you today! Besides reading, history is my other favorite subject. This weekend, I drove up to Barnes and Noble and spent about 2 hours in the children's section. For most of the time, I was browsing the history section. I love how many books there are for kids about history. I get this warm and fuzzy feeling when I read books about history because I love to show how our society has progressed and how making changes can spread wealth to the world. Look how far we have come since MLK's I have a Dream Speech. I love how history teaches our children that one person can make a difference. When I was teaching in Tucson, our Gate (called SUN) coordinator created a powerful project where students had to research someone who had made a change. She opened her lesson with one of my favorite songs, "Power of One". Bombshel's lyrics lyrically remind us of all the people who performed an act of love or stood up for human rights.
Today, I am going to focus on upper elementary. Non-fiction text is sometimes foreign to our students. These 5 books will make your teaching about Martin Luther King Jr., the Civil Rights Movement, and Black History Month a hit. I have chosen to highlight these, but I do have a nice little video I made on instagram that features my favorite Civil Rights Movement picture books and more.
Claudette Colvin-Twice Towards Justice
Are you looking for a book for your classroom that teaches the power of one? This book is what I call, a "Girls Kicking Butt" book. Claudette was a teenager who would not give up her seat to a white women and received nothing but disrespected from her classmates. She had to rise above it and help teach the importance of standing up for yourself. Words that come to mind when thinking of this book are, bravery, justice, peace, pioneer, model, and hero.
Who was Martin Luther King, Jr?
This book is a quick read with a lot of factual information about MLK. It is broken into chapters and inside there are black and white drawings to interest the children. I am all about read alouds, I would read this book aloud to my class and we would have discussions about each chapter. I love doing read alouds because it allows all of the students to hear rich vocabulary, teacher thinking, and learning from their peers. While you are teaching about MLK, teach about TEXT FEATURES. This book comes with plenty examples. With that said it is lacking captions. Since there are many pictures, I would have my students create their own captions for the picture. Sometimes I would read the section, show the picture, and then ask for a caption. I used it as a comprehension check. I have also used my packet Hello, My name is Martin to supplement as I read this book. One activity I use is, HOT SEAT. Before or after students have learned about Martin Luther King Jr., they write 4 critical thinking questions they want to learn about Martin. After students write the questions, I double check them for quality work. I have the students take turns being MLK asking their questions and students have to answer in a detailed response. If their answer answers the question correctly, their table receives a point.
What was The Underground Railroad?
This book makes me so happy. A few months ago, the publisher of Who was/is, started a new series about events in history. This particular book talks about what is the underground railroad, who contributed to it, the time period of the railroad, famous people of the underground railroad, and how it helped the country. I love how this whole series breaks down historical events into understandable language for kids. While reading this book, I would work on understanding timelines and importance of timing. Ahead of time, I would go through the book, and find 2-4 vocabulary words from each chapter and create a mini- lesson as I read this book aloud. As I am typing this, I am flipping through the book to make sure I didn't forget anything I wanted to say. I did not realize Harriet Ross Tubman's birthday is unknown because her parents could not read or write. Historians predict she was born in Maryland around 1820. Right here is an excellent time for a "Why learning to read is important!" speech. I am sure your students would love to hear it again.:)
How A Photograph Change the Fight For Integration/Freedom Walkers
Pictures speak a 1000 words, right? Both of these books share the story of the Little Rock Girl and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, two huge participants of the Civil Rights Movement through pictures. I love showing my students photographs from history so they can get a glimpse of what really happened. The Little Rock Girl book discusses the long battle of school integration. I am sure most students do not know what integration means as most schools today are huge melting pots. The Freedom Walkers discussions the effects of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Ask your students do you think Claudette and Rosa had anything to do with this event? Oh the joys of questioning!
Thanks for reading! What is your favorite Civil Rights Movement book to share with your class?
All Clip Art from Melonheadz Illustrations