Five for Friday: Our Study of the Civil Rights Movement

Boy was I counting down to 3pm this afternoon!
Today was zany, plain and simple.

Dress-down-day + bomb evacuation drill + May birthday celebrations+Spring concert rehearsal = CHAOS
This week was a good one - only 13 days to go!
Yesterday's Tricks of the Trade topic was
poster storage/organization:

Got a great trick for storing/organizing posters?
It's not too late to link up!

Our Social Studies curriculum goes chronologically from 1900 to the present. We spend a lot of time on World War 1, the Great Depression, and World War 2 and then zoom forward.
This week our theme was the
Civil Rights Movement
We had done a huge Martin Luther King Jr. Unit in January:

So this week we focused on other champions for Civil Rights:
1. Ruby Bridges
Ruby Bridges was a 6-year-old African American girl who was sent to a white school in 1960. She faced incredible prejudice and hatred, yet held her head up high and stayed true to her faith.
You can read the entire story here: Ruby Bridges Biography
To start our unit, we read this great book:

And by "we," I mean my bud, Becky, from Compassionate Teacher, had the day off of school and came to meet the students I talk about constantly. As soon as she walked in, I put her to work :)

We discussed the story and the character traits that Ruby exhibited. Then we wrote letters to Ruby, applauding her for her bravery, maturity, and faith:
You can download the entire mini-unit for FREE:

2. Rosa Parks
Our next civil rights hero we studied was Rosa Parks
I read my kiddos the book Rosa by Nikki Giovanni
It's definitely a winner - if you don't have it in your
classroom library, it's a must-buy!
3. Back of the Bus
Journal Entries
Then we put ourselves in Rosa's shoes and wrote journal entries from her perspective
One of my boys writes, "When the bus driver told me to move, I stood up and punched him in the nose. Then I said "No!" and sat back down." When I asked him about that fictionalization, he said that's what he would have done. I guess I need to re-emphasize the nonviolent action approach

4. Montgomery Bus Boycott Play
Then, to make the Rosa Parks story come alive,
we acted out a play of the Montgomery Bus Boycott:
This book of short plays was the first thing I purchased from a teacher store after I was hired to teach fifth grade. It is AWESOME! I have used more than half of them - the skits are full of good information, but are written in such a way that the characters come to life and the students enjoy them.
They supplement any study splendidly.
 5. Civil Rights Booklet
I found a couple of awesome civil rights resources on TpT
I combined two separate packets into one activity
We read short biographies from the Freedom Fighters packet 
and then filled in...
The Civil Rights Leader Book template from 
And voila...
a Class Book was made

Aren't they cute? My kids love pouring over their classmates' work in the classroom library. I have a special section for all of our whole class books.

Well I'm off. Time for a quiet evening in my pajamas-
just what the doctor ordered! :)
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