"Students Teach the Civil Rights Movement"
Use this lesson along with our video about the Civil Rights Movement to deepen students’ understanding of Black History Month while building their skills in interpreting and explaining events in a style appropriate to a certain audience.
-Research key events and players from the Civil Rights Movement;
-Brainstorm and prepare an explanation of the event that’s geared towards an audience of 6-8-year-olds;
-Present their explanation of the event to their target audience, in the form of a picture book, song, skit or other acceptable format.
Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
-A teaching tool for explaining an event from the Civil Rights Movement to an early elementary school-aged student, like a picture book, song, story or skit
-A presentation of the teaching tool
3 to 4 class periods
1. Watch the Flocabulary Civil Rights video.
2. Watch it again, and this time, tell students to be on the lookout for an event that they’d like to explore in more detail. Upon second viewing, read through the interactive lyrics as a class to learn more about some of the events and to find ideas for additional events, like Brown v. Board of Education and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Students can take notes on events from the song using the note-taking chart. If students need a refresher on note-taking, the Flocabulary note-taking video is a helpful resource to use.
3. Break students into small groups. As a group, they will decide which event from the song they’d like to focus on. Some ideas include: Rosa Parks refusing to move her seat on the bus, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and the Voting Rights Act. Students will then do further research on the details of the event and why it was important and compare their notes as a group. For more information on the research process, screen the Flocabulary research process video.
4. Explain to students that now that they have a better understanding of their given event, they are going to teach 6-8-year-olds about it using their choice of creative project. This could be a picture book, a song, a story, a skit or anything else they think would be a good way to explain the event to young children. If students decide to write a song, Flocabulary’s Writing Academic Rhymes lesson sequence can be a useful resource. In their groups, students will brainstorm a way to teach their event. Encourage them to consider questions like:
- What are the most important points we need to get across about the event? What is the best way to do this?
- What happened at the beginning, middle, and end of the event?
- Why was the event important? Both back then and now?
- What kinds of words and style should we choose so that kids this age will understand the material? To get an idea of first and second graders’ vocabulary, students can review the Flocabulary Word-Up videos for grade 1 and grade 2.
- What can we do to make our presentation interesting to kids this age?
5. In groups, students will create their projects and rehearse presenting them to the class. Optionally, their peers can evaluate their presentations using a rubric, including an evaluation of its age-appropriateness. If possible, coordinate with an elementary school teacher in your district to let your students share their projects with the target age group. If time permits, each group can hold a five-minute question-and-answer session after their presentation so their audience can ask them any remaining questions.
Have students write a reflection on the process of teaching an event to 6-8-year-olds. What was easy about it, and what was challenging? If they could do it again, what would they do differently? What did they like most about teaching something to younger kids?
-"I used to think ______, and now I think ______."
-"One thing I learned is ________________, and one question I still have is _________."