Sunday, February 22, 2015

How Did You Teach......Civil Rights

Civil rights is such a powerful topic to talk about with students.  However it can be abstract for them to understand how the world once functioned and even that there is not 100% equality today.   Since I teach elementary kids I focus on getting the kids to understand the WHAT piece of the movement so they can better understand the heroes and how they were key in forcing the world to change how it treat minorities.
One way that I create a visual image of the time is through BOOKS.  The teachers at my new school introduced me to the book ROSA by Nikki Giovanni which is a beautifully illustrated book that tells the tale of Rosa Parks and the bus boycott.  It has great vocabulary as well.  After reading and discussing the theme of the book, my students then did a written response in their writing journals about the topic.

Click the picture below if you are interested in getting your own copy.
Another useful tool I use to get the kids to see what the time period we are discussing was like is by using video clips.  I use videos from YouTube, the Biography Channel, the history channel, etc.  I also use Brain Pop and Brain Pop Jr.  Here is a peek at what a Brain Pop Jr. video.  Click the link to see the video in action.

I like to show my students clips of Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech as well.  It is a great way to show how many people were involved in the movement and that it was people of all races supporting the end of segregation.  Besides the fact that it is just downright powerful and gives me goosebumps every time I watch it.

In my new position, I am not solely working with primary kiddos like K, 1, 2 like I have in the past.  This year I am working with a group of 5th graders which allows me to get a little more indepth than I would normally be able to.  I have found some great history close reading passages created by the Sweetest Thing.  The thing I love is not only are they covering core standard but they are also leveled as well so I can use the easiest version with my kiddos in the resource room.  This allows us to dig a little deeper into the topic while working on comprehension skills.  Let me tell you.  A highlighter is my students best friend.  

Click on the picture to check out this Black History Bundle.

To wrap up our study of civil rights I had the students reflect on quotes from major civil rights activists.  I wanted to see if they could put the meaning of the quote in their own words and also illustrate its meaning.

Overall, my kiddos did great understanding the importance of civil rights and the role that key activist such as Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. played in the movement.

If you are interested in completing this activity with your kiddos 
click on the picture below to snag it!

Enjoy!  I would love to hear how you teach and assess student understanding of civil rights.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Inferences

So it appears that the only blog posts that I can finish are the Wordless Wednesday ones:)  I do have my civil rights post in the works.  I am just polishing up my freebie.  Now on to the important stuff.  

I like to teach my kids to infer using pictures.  I have them make observations and then use the observations to create inferences.

How do you teach your students to look beyond what is stated in the text or picture and infer what is happening or going to happen?