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Being the Change

Mary Elmore

Contents of Curriculum Unit 13.01.03:

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As many teachers do, after a restful summer break, I entered this 2012-2013 school year with a sense of renewal and excitement at the mere thought of new beginnings. However, I could not have predicted the extent to which my pedagogy, most notably in the area of literacy, would evolve and improve. My sense of rejuvenation and hope for an even more productive year continued to blossom as I familiarized myself with the new literacy curriculum. What made this new curriculum so appealing was that it had been crafted by actual teachers who understood the realities of my classroom setting and population coupled with knowledge of the new Common Core Standards. In addition to this curriculum, I received a rich collection of materials, including a wide variety of high-interest texts in both the fiction and non-fiction genre which came with audio support, so as to be made available to every reader in my classroom.

I am now "in the thick of it" mid-year, and am happy to say that I continue to smile in genuine delight because I have seen the possibilities which are so readily at our fingertips as teachers to inspire our children to enjoy, relate to and learn from both literature and informational texts alike. So too have I seen how high-interest texts of any genre can so naturally guide children through their own process of learning to love reading and writing. In fact, I have found that it is nurturing this strong connection between reading exemplary texts and exploring one's own creativity in writing which can bind the Reading and Writing Workshops together so cohesively. The secret ingredient: choice!

Today, in my third grade classroom at Davis Street Arts & Academics Interdistrict Magnet School, the heterogeneous group of children ranging in age from 8-10 is developing their active reading strategies through sustained readings of high-interest texts they have hand picked themselves. For example, the process of previewing a text in order to find one's 'just right' choice, has been one of our main focuses as each of the texts within the 'Plugged Into Reading' program, not only has an audio component but also has a 'book-talk' card. This 'book-talk' card not only gives an alluring blub of the text, but also provides other related titles and pertinent information, which might appeal to and inform the reader when making his or her choice. Once the children have carefully chosen their preferred text, the program has determined which reading strategies can be targeted and practiced through their book of choice by way of well-crafted graphic organizers, personalized to each individual book. These activities engage the children in various reading strategies before, during and after their reading, thereby requiring them to be more active in their comprehension. I have witnessed children of varying reading levels and abilities enjoy their written response to text through authentic assessments created specifically for each of the literary or informational texts they have read, be it writing a rap using new words they have learned, a persuasive essay influenced by the information they have gleaned through their non-fiction text, or an advertisement they design for a character within their novel or picture book.

In conjunction with this 'Plugged Into Reading' program, I have designed writing mini-lessons, which target each genre of writing, be it narrative, expository, persuasive or poetry. I have sequenced these lessons in direct connection to the particular genre of reading we are focused on during our Reading Workshop time since I find it so necessary to utilize the exemplary texts as a means to inspire and instruct my children in their own writing. Although I have designed this unit with my third-graders in mind, I am confident that it could easily be adapted for use by teachers in other primary and intermediate grades as well, especially those classrooms which actively utilize the 'Plugged Into Reading' program.

In addition to and, possibly, more importantly than the academic objectives of my unit, my goal is to improve the climate of our learning environment by way of raising an awareness to one's own responsibility to bring about necessary change in the world, whether it be in the classroom, at home or in the world at large. It will be my personal goal to demonstrate how reading and writing are the vehicles through which such change has and can continue to come about. Through the use of both fiction and non-fiction, I will expose my students to a wide variety of text structures and introduce them to the different purposes for reading and writing. Eventually they will be able to choose for themselves which type of author's craft they prefer or feel more compelled to read and be inspired to write from. In this way, I will lead my students through a journey for which they take on increasingly more responsibility for their learning and thereby feel empowered to explore my essential question: How can I be the change that I would like to see in my present environment? So often, whether it is within the classroom setting, in the hallway on the way to an enrichment activity or in the cafeteria, the tendency is to blame others for what is wrong, rather than reflect inwardly and look for a solution within oneself. Now this may seem a bit lofty of a task for third graders, but I assure you that, given the proper guidance and modeling (in person and through text), children of any age can begin to assess a critical situation differently as a result of this self-awareness.

My goal is to utilize two peaceful heroes, Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., (as their lives, work and messages of peace have been themes authors of all genres have widely written about), to nurture self-reflection in my third graders by way of active reading and creative writing activities. I will utilize the inspirational qualities of literature coupled with the informative and instructive qualities of non-fiction to facilitate active reading as well as an in-depth understanding of both Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi. My curriculum unit will be interdisciplinary in scope, incorporating reading, history, geography, writing, and oral language. My students will work in both small- and large-group settings on the activities included in this unit. The unit lessons will be implemented 4 -5 times a week, for 2-3 periods of 40-60 minutes over a 4-month period beginning in February and ending in May. In so doing, I will be able to incorporate two important events which take place at Davis Street School: Black History Month, wherein we commemorate the many heroes of the Civil Rights movement, most notably MLK, and International Day, wherein we teach our students about a foreign country, thus exposing them to a different culture and its many intricacies. I plan to divide my curriculum-unit into five sections, in each of which I will employ the use of fiction and non-fiction texts in an effort to engage them in active reading and enhance their writing abilities. The sections are:

Section 1: Learning about the Civil Rights Movement through the Life of MLK

Section 2: Understanding King's Message of Peaceful Protest

Section 3: Seeing King's Reflection in the Mirror of Gandhi's Life

Section 4: Understanding Gandhi's Message of Non-Violence

Section 5: How can I BE the change that I want to see in the world?

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Content Objectives

To enhance reading comprehension and stamina of various genres of text through active reading strategies.

To create excitement and enthusiasm for reading all genres of text through the vehicle of choice

To foster self-reflection through the active reading of exemplary texts, hand-picked by the students themselves.

To make meaningful pedagogical connections between reading and writing.

To strengthen writing fluency, elaboration and organization by way of reading exemplary texts.

To develop historical thinking skills, including chronological thinking and recognizing change over time.

To view the past as real rather than as some vague meaningless abstraction by using fiction as a foreground and non-fiction as a background.

To extend the meaning and apply the lessons expressed in text to one's own life through a mixing of devices given in both fiction and non-fiction .

To facilitate creativity.

To authentically assess each student's progress in reading and writing by way of project-based activities.

To strengthen social interactions and communication skills among students in a variety of settings.

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Teaching Strategies

To learn about the Civil Rights Movement through the life of Martin Luther King Jr., utilizing primary sources (authentic documents, photographs, speeches, etc.), video and audio support, biographical texts and fictional texts.

To learn about India's Independence from British rule through the life of Mohandas Gandhi, utilizing primary sources, video, biographical texts and fictional texts.

To differentiate between these two peaceful leaders by way of comparing and contrasting their life circumstances, experiences and impact on the world.

To understand how history connects the present to the past through timelines, maps, photographs and graphic organizers.

To analyze the message of non-violence exemplified by Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi and to relate it to one's own life in present day society.

To learn to become more fluent, elaborate and well organized in one's own writing through the literary devices exemplified in model texts.

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Section 1: Learning about the Civil Rights Movement through the Life of MLK

The first phase of my curriculum unit is designed to enhance students' understanding of what took place in our history during the time of the Civil Rights movement. In order for the following lessons to make the most sense, practically speaking, I think it is necessary to mention that they will take place during our Reading Workshop (1 hr), Writing Workshop (45mins – 1 hr), and/or 'Plugged Into Reading' (45 mins.) time. The 'Plugged Into Reading' time can consist of a whole class reading of a core novel or informational text and transition into small group readings of different texts. When our central study is fictional text, these small groups are referred to as Literature Circles and when our focus is on non-fiction text, they are referred to as Power Strategy Groups. It is also important to note that by now in the school year, the children have studied the elements of fictional text, been instructed on and utilized fictional reading strategies like predicting, inferring, summarizing and characterization. Similarly, in writing, the children have engaged in the narrative writing process from the pre-writing stage through to the publication of their own narratives, complete with an entertaining beginning, elaborate middle and extended ending.

At this point in the year, the reading of non-fiction text is being highlighted in the curriculum during Reading Workshop and 'Plugged Into Reading' time through the instruction and practice of the eight power strategies of reading and written response to informational text: Monitoring Understanding, Identifying Text Structures, Identifying Text Features, Previewing Text, Asking Questions, Note taking and Specialized Vocabulary. The children are practicing these power strategies within whole-class lessons, small-group readings and exercises as well as during independent reading time. Through this structure, I will incorporate some of the biographical texts surrounding Martine Luther King's life as mini-lesson material for whole class lessons during Reading Workshop. Some of the historical fiction and non-fictional texts, which take place during the Civil Rights movement, will be used during our 'Power Strategy Group' time wherein small group readings and activities are completed. The remaining texts of either genre will be offered to the children as independent reading during Reading Workshop. In an effort to make the lesson material come alive further, I will use multi media. The lesson sequence will be as follows:

Day 1: Activating Prior Knowledge and Asking Questions

Reading Workshop:

Through the use of a KWL graphic organizer, I will elicit the children's background knowledge about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. I will then read aloud Doreen Rappaport's illustrative short biographical account, Martin's Big Words, The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As the story is being read we will refer back to the K portion of the KWL chart to confirm correct statements and modify misconceptions. Once the story is read, we will jot down questions we still have and areas we want to learn more about under the W section of the chart.

Writing Workshop:

The children will select 3-5 questions from the KWL chart, which they personally are interested in knowing more about. The children will write down as much information under each question as they are able as a form of prediction and activating prior-knowledge. As their research develops they will be able to either confirm or modify their understanding of this historical time period as they go along.

Plugged Into Reading:

Begin reading chapters 1-2 of the biography Dare to Dream, Coretta Scott King and the Civil Right's Movement as a whole class read and practice activating prior knowledge and asking questions as a follow up to the reading workshop lesson.

Day 2: Point of View

Reading Workshop:

The class will watch March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World, a read-along DVD of a story written by MLK's sister, Christine King Farris, which recounts the day when he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. They will then view an actual interview with her wherein she speaks to these events. The children will continue to confirm or modify their understanding by way of a lesson on point of view. We will look at what it means to hold a certain point of view or perspective as a result of our circumstances, experiences and opinions.

Writing Workshop:

The children will write a letter to Christine King Farris and in it include their opinions, thoughts and questions surrounding her relationship to MLK and his life.

Plugged Into Reading:

We will continue reading chapters 3-4 of Dare to Dream and take note of the author's perspective, comparing it to that of Christine King Farris.

Day 3: Previewing the Text and Text Features

Reading Workshop:

I will model how to preview a non-fiction text such that all of the text-features are utilized using Leslie J, Holland's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech in Translation, What It Really Means. The table of contents, bold-faced words, diagrams, photographs and captions, headings and subheadings, the glossary and index will all be identified and their purposes reviewed.

Writing Workshop:

The children will revise and edit their letters to Christine King Farris and share them aloud to a classmate.

Plugged Into Reading:

We will continue reading chapters 5-6 of Dare to Dream to determine which text features assist us in understanding the book.

Day 4: Monitoring Understanding

Reading Workshop:

The children will be instructed on the importance of monitoring one's understanding while reading in order to both learn from and enjoy the reading. Steps for checking for understanding will be given. I will then model a close read of chapter one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech in Translation, What It Really Means, utilizing the text features to assist us in monitoring our understanding of MLK's famous speech. The children will then read chapter two independently, making sure to use the text-features to assist them in their understanding. As an exit slip, they will jot down one of the text features they used and how it helped them to understand what they were reading. (See Lesson Plan 1)

Writing Workshop:

The children will begin to write their own 'I Have a Dream Speeches' in which they state and explain in detail what their dream is and why it is so important to them. They will begin this activity by first brainstorming what their various dreams are and then narrowing it down to the most important one. Once they have chosen which dream they will use, they can begin to write their speech to the class.

Plugged Into Reading:

We will continue reading chapter 7-8 of Dare to Dream, practicing the power strategy of monitoring our comprehension.

Day 5: Monitoring Understanding and Specialized Vocabulary

Reading Workshop:

We will begin by discussing what specialized vocabulary's function is within non-fiction text and then begin to identify specialized vocabulary within Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech in Translation, What It Really Means as a way to bolster robust vocabulary use and increase their children's understanding of the text. We will begin to create a word wall for all specialized vocabulary words which refer to our topic of study. As an exit slip, each child will then work with a partner to draw a picture or symbol, which represents the specialized vocabulary word visually and allows visual learners to grasp its usage much more readily.

Writing Workshop:

The students will continue working on their own 'I Have a Dream' speeches by way of editing and revising, conferring with the teacher or typing them out for publication.

Plugged Into Reading: Having completed the biography, Dare to Dream, the children will be authentically assessed through the choice of creating a time-line of Coretta Scott King's life, a biographical mobile whereon certain articles from her life would hang to represent their significance to MLK and the Civil Rights Movement or biographical poster which highlighted the important events in her life. The completion of these projects can extend to homework as a way to bridge the lesson material from school to home. The children will present their reports as a way to strengthen their oral language and share their learning with each other.

For three to four more weeks, during the reading workshop time, a gradual release of responsibility and choice will be given to the children during their 45 minute sustained independent reading time, wherein their study of this time period will include a variety of fictional and non-fiction texts like Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington by Frances Ruffin, Martin Luther King: The Life of a Civil Rights Leader by Gary Jeffrey, Child of the Civil Rights Movement by Paula Shelton, The Civil Rights Movement for Kids by Mary Turck, If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King by Ellen Levine, 10 Days Martin Luther King Jr. by David Colbert, The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles, The Day Martin Luther King Died by Veronica Enix, White Water by Michael Brandy and Eric Stein, Rosa by Nikki Giovanni, and many more books which will require them to use these active reading strategies discussed above as a means to build their understanding of this time period. As an exit slip, the children will be expected to choose one of their favorite selections and write a book talk card about it , which can become a tool in our library for future readers of these texts. The Plugged Into Reading time will shift from the whole class reading of a non-fiction text to a small group reading of a novel so as to re-introduce fictional approaches to instruction. Students will be grouped heterogeneously into Literature Circles of 4-5 children to do a close reading of either One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia or The Watsons Go To Birmingham— 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. However, before said readings, I will present my students with Dudley Randall's poem, Ballad of Birmingham coupled with Joan Baez's song, Birmingham Sunday as a way to give artful multi-media context on the tragedy of 1963 in Birmingham. The Children will then choose between each book based on interest. They will engage in activities, which tap into fictional responses to literary text. The writing mini-lessons will begin to utilize Primary Sources from Karen Baiker's Primary Sources Teaching Kit, Civil Rights and I will make use of authentic documents, posters, speeches, photographs, Legal Papers and Political Cartoons to make the history come to life. The Plugged-Into Reading Literature Circles and writing mini-lesson sequence of these primary sources will be as follows:

Day 1: Civil Rights Timeline

We will discuss the relevance and importance of using primary sources and then look over the Civil Rights Time Line together. We will use our existing KWL chart to jot down new prior-knowledge we have acquired as well as new questions we have surrounding this topic. (Baiker, page 6)

Plugged Into Reading:

Begin reading the novels, The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, chap. 1-5 or One Crazy Summer, chap. 1-10, to determine how historical fiction can be an effective way to learn about this poignant time period. (See Annotated Bibliography)

Day 2: The 15t h Amendment Document—1870

We will discuss the background information behind this document and then I will read aloud the document (Baiker, page 20) to the students. We will discuss what the document means in our own words and then I will distribute copies of 'Evaluate That Document' graphic organizer (Baiker, page 19). The students will answer questions about the document as well as pose questions they are wondering about it.

Plugged Into Reading:

We will continue reading The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, chaps. 6-10 or One Crazy Summer, chap. 11-21 with a focus on the historical setting and the author's use of characterization.

Day 3: The Ku Klux Klan

I will give the children background information regarding the Ku Klux Klan and we will then analyze Thomas Nast's political cartoon in Harper's Weekly, the Ku Klux Klan and the White League join forces to oppress freed slaves. The children will again use 'Evaluate That Document' to orally discuss its purpose and point of view. The children will then be asked to use a Venn Diagram to compare this act of terrorism to contemporary forms of terrorism. We will then attempt to define terrorism.

Plugged Into Reading:

We will continue reading The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, chaps 10 -15 or One Crazy Summer, chap 22 – 33 to focus on elements of plot within each novel (conflict, rising action, climax and resolution).

Day 4: Jim Crow Laws

We will discuss the background information regarding the Jim Crow Laws and I have the children read the majority opinion upholding Jim Crow Laws in Plessy vs. Ferguson (Baiker, page 21). The students will then view photographs, which depict signs segregating African Americans and White Americans within public places (page 22). The students will view photographs of two different schools (page 23) and compare and contrast what a school for white children looked like outwardly as compared to the school for African American children. The students will then write a short commentary of how they feel the educational experience would have been different. For a fictional approach, I will ask the children to write a diary entry from the point of view of either a white or black student attending one of the schools depicted.

Plugged Into Reading:

Upon finishing The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 and One Crazy Summer, the children will be authentically assessed on the stories by creating a story quilt. Pairs of students will be assigned a chapter to illustrate a quilt square for, which depicts the most important event or main idea of that section of text. Children will first engage in rereading their assigned chapter and then drafting the main idea with a quick sketch on a graphic organizer. Children will be paired heterogeneously so that those who are stronger readers can read aloud the chapter to their partners.

Day 5: Jackie Robinson

We will discuss how, during the time of Jackie Robinson, the Civil Rights Movement began to take off and yet a great deal of racism still existed. We will discuss lynching and then analyze a threatening letter sent to Jackie Robinson after he was accepted into Major League Baseball. The students will write a short essay on how far they feel they would go for the dream they discussed in their 'I Have a Dream' speech.

Plugged Into Reading:

The children will continue working on their story quilt of The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 and One Crazy Summer, once they have conferred with the teacher, they will begin to draw the actual picture and caption onto a piece of fabric using fabric markers. (For the remaining 1-2 weeks of section one of this unit, these small groups will switch novels such that the end will represent all chapters represented from each novel. It may require certain groups to create story quilt squares for more than one chapter.)

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Section 2: Understanding King's Message of Peaceful Protest

The second phase of my curriculum unit will be greatly inspired by the first phase as it will challenge my students to take what they have learned about the Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King's life a step further, into a deeper, more personal realm of thinking. This section will focus primarily of King's message of peaceful protest as a way to address the challenges of this time in history. The lesson sequence will be as follows:

Day 1: Activating Background Knowledge and Previewing Text

Reading Workshop:

Create a new KWL chart wherein the topic is Peaceful Protest and discuss what the phrase could mean based on what we have learned so far about MLK's life and work. Preview the text, Peaceful Heroes by Jonah Winter by way of noticing which famous people are highlighted throughout history.

Writing Workshop:

Students will reflect on the difference between a hero and a peaceful hero using a Venn diagram to compare the similarities and differences of each distinction.

Plugged Into Reading:

Begin previewing Sit-In, How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down. Utilize the graphic organizers created by Janet Allen's Plugged Into Nonfiction pages 3-4 wherein students will be given a word bank to write sentences predicting what they expect to read in Sit In.

Day 2: Specialized Vocabulary

Reading Workshop:

Read aloud the short excerpt about Martin Luther King from Peaceful Heroes on pgs 12-15 and discuss the meanings of specialized vocabulary words like: Integrated, bias, peaceful demonstration, racism, bigotry by way of using context clues, prior knowledge and a dictionary or glossary. As the students read their own independent reading texts, which should include The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles and White Water by Michael S. Brandy and Eric Stein, they will focus on detecting and defining specialized vocabulary in the same manner.

Writing Workshop:

Students will reflect on how MLK was inspired by the role-models mentioned in the chapter from Peaceful Heroes: Jesus and Gandhi, and will do a quick write about a role-model they look up to in their own life. They will reflect on the power of example. (This will be a meaningful precursor to the study of Gandhi in sections 3-4)

Plugged Into Reading:

Read Sit-In aloud or listen to the audio recording, for the purposes of focusing on the specialized vocabulary of Segregation vs. Integration. Students will utilize the graphic organizer page 5 from the Plugged-Into Reading materials afore mentioned.

Day 3: Reading for Information

Reading Workshop:

Read aloud Rosa by Nikki Giovanni either in person or watch the same DVD mentioned in section one, March On! as it includes this story as well. Instruct the children to follow along with the purpose of determining how Rosa Parks made her own peaceful protest against segregation.

Writing Workshop:

Students will go back into the text and track what happened to Rosa Parks, list the effects of the protest, along with the outcomes of the protest. The students will then write down how the protest stayed peaceful.

Plugged Into Reading:

The students will do their own reading of Sit-In (by way of audio-support if necessary), and will complete a graphic organizer which asks them to track the events of the four students, David, Joseph, Franklin, and Ezell as they peacefully protested for their right to eat at the Woolworth's lunch counter (page 6 of the Plugged Into Reading materials).

Day 4: Text Features

Reading Workshop:

Read aloud chapter one of Little Rock Girl 1957, How a Photograph Changed the Fight for Integration. Students will note how the text-feature of the photograph can be such a powerful tool to get a message across. Play the NPR audio recording from http://www.npr.org/2011/10/02/140953088/elizabeth-and-hazel-the-legacy-of-little-rock and have a whole class discussion about what they heard regarding, not only Elizabeth but also Hazel's experience of this event and its effect on the rest of their lives.

Writing Workshop:

Students will go to the computer lab and use the website http://pbskids.org/wayback/civilrights/features_school.html. To read and respond to 'On the Front Lines with the Little Rock 9" to see how other students changed segregation laws. They will use the graphic organizer on page 9 of the Plugged Into Reading material afore mentioned.

Plugged Into Reading:

Students will read the time-line in Sit-In on pages 35-36 and complete the graphic organizer on page 10 of the Plugged Into Reading materials to list new facts they learned from reading the text. They will then list 5 poignant facts about their own life in current day society and then list 5 ways they feel their school and community could be improved.

Day 5: Questioning

Reading Workshop:

Read aloud Freedom On the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins by Carole Weatherford and have children jot down questions they have for the main character who involved herself in the Sit In movement by making protest posters so that one day she would be able to sit a the Woolworth counter and order a banana split sundae.

Writing Workshop:

Play an audio recording of MLK giving his I Have a Dream Speech. The students will then write a persuasive essay explaining the need for equality during this time in history. They will also address the effectiveness of peacefully protesting as a means toward this end. Along with this essay, students will design a Peaceful Protest Poster in which they must include the time period of the Civil Right Movement, peaceful and inspirational words, a message to the world at large and a symbol to illustrate their message. For the next few weeks, the students will take these pieces through the writing process to publication and select ones will be performed during the Brotherhood Assembly in March as a way to highlight their efforts and spread their message of peace (See Lesson Plan 2).

Plugged Into Reading:

The students will take the multiple choice and open-ended assessments created by the Plugged Into Reading program which address the key ideas, text features and reading strategies of Sit-In (pages 12- 15).

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Section 3: Section 3: Seeing King's Reflection in the Mirror of Gandhi's Life

The third phase will establish an understanding of a culture less familiar to my students and of a man less mentioned in our society by bringing to light similarities to the well established figure of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Right Movement. In other words, I will teach my children about the exotic country of India, as I do each year for International Day, by way of bringing in a variety of informational texts which depict the many colorful facets of India: the clothing, food, religion, art, music, etc. However, the key to making this country even more meaningful to my students will be in teaching them about Mohandas Gandhi, an equally prominent figure whose living example taught the world about non-violence and in fact inspired MLK himself. For the purposes of this unit as a means to bolster and make more meaningful my current instruction on the country of India, I will not include the daily lessons, which take place during much of Reading and Writing Workshop, as they will be more research based in nature for the purposes of International Day. It is also important to note that most of the texts, which I gather from the public library for our study of India, include sections or chapter about Mohandas Gandhi. However, the lessons which specifically draw together the lives of Gandhi and MLK will take place 1-2 times a week throughout the months of April and May as a way to utilize the foundations built in sections one and two to make the study of India more rich and meaningful. For logistical reasons, the lessons of sections 3-5 of my unit will no longer take place during Plugged Into Reading time, as there are required novels, which need to be covered at this point in the school year. The lesson sequence will be as follows:

Lesson 1: Activating Prior Knowledge

Reading Workshop:

Read aloud the Mahatma Gandhi chapter in Peaceful Heroes as a way to introduce this historical figure in light of his influence on MLK. Begin a whole class KWL chart on the topic of Gandhi.

Writing Workshop:

The children will begin to create a Venn Diagram which compares and contrasts the two peaceful figures. The children will also record questions they have about this man to use for purposeful reading in their research about India.

Lesson 2: Monitoring Understanding and Specialized Vocabulary

Reading Workshop:

Read aloud Gandhi by Demi and model how to monitor comprehension of informational text by way of specialized vocabulary acquisition. For this lesson it would be best to have at least enough copies of this beautiful text for pairs of students to share.

Writing Workshop:

Each child or pairs of children will be assigned one specialized vocabulary word in which they will indicate: The sentence they see the word, what they think the word means based on context clues, the dictionary definition, an image to visually remember what the word means, a sentence of their own using the word and then they will rate the word as to their degree of understanding. These graphic organizers will eventually turn into small posters which depict and briefly explain the vocabulary word and will then be shared whole class and displayed on a word wall dedicated to the study of India and Gandhi. The specialized vocabulary words will include: Karma, Hinduism, Muslim, vegetarian, foreigner, humiliation, determination, prejudice, satyagraha, resistance, hierarchical caste, untouchables, khadi, massacre, British imperialism, nonviolence, Mahatma, imprisonment, protest, fasting, unification, brotherhood, forgiveness and cremation.

Lesson 3: Text Features

Reading Workshop:

The students will explore the text features of Mohandas Gandhi by John Barraclough through a whole-class read and discussion of how they assist us in our understanding. A comparison between Gandhi by Demi and John Barraclough version can be discussed as a means to determine how effective visuals can be in illustrative or photographic form.

Writing Workshop:

The students will work on fact boxes surrounding Gandhi's life and Satyagraha movement, which can either include photographs acquired online or illustrations.

Lesson 4: Text Structure: Comparing and Contrasting

Reading Workshop:

Attention will be drawn to excepts in Tales of Famous Heroes (page 37), Peaceful Heroes (page12), and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech in Translation, What it Really Means by Leslie Holland, where Gandhi's influence on MLK is highlighted. The children will return to their Venn Diagram from lesson 1 and add new information, inferences and connections they have distinguished between the two.

Writing Workshop:

As an exit slip, my students will utilize their notes and prior-knowledge to write an expository essay wherein they look at each man's historical influences, accomplishments, characteristics, dreams and message of peace to the world.

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Section 4: Understanding Gandhi's Message of Non-Violence

The fourth phase of my unit will once again utilize the information gathered from the previous phase to delve deeper into Gandhi's message of non-violence which was so powerful that it aided not only an entire country in their struggle for independence but also several inspired future leaders like Martin Luther King.

Lesson 1: Interpreting Direct Quotations

Reading Workshop:

The children will choose one of the following texts to detect direct quotes given by Gandhi as a way to reflect deeply on their meaning and relevance to the idea of non-violent protest:

Tales of Famous Heroes by Peter and Connie Roop

" I want world sympathy in this battle of Right against Might." (page 33).

Gandhi by Demi

"The true practice of law is to find the better side of human nature and enter men's hearts" (page 10)

"The force of love by peace always wins over violence." (page 12)

"These people (the sick people abandoned during plague) are my brothers and sisters. Their suffering is my suffering. The whole world is my family." (page 14)

"Nonviolence acts continuously, silently and ceaselessly till it has transformed the diseased mass into a healthy one." (page 20)

Gandhi's dying words: " Rama, Rama, Rama," (I forgive you, I love you, I bless you)."

Writing Workshop:

The students will pick one quote, which spoke to them and explain its meaning and significance through a short informative paragraph and illustration.

Lesson 2: Point of View

Reading Workshop:

Watch the movie Gandhi, directed by Richard Attenborough, starring Ben Kingsley and have students reflect on the effectiveness of Gandhi's message of non-violence, bringing to light his and MLK's assassination which may seem contradictory to their message of non-violence.

Writing Workshop:

The students will be divided up into two groups. One group will have to come up with arguments for the effectiveness of Gandhi's non-violent movement during the time of India's Independence from Britain. The other group will have to come up with arguments for why the Satyagraha movement was not as effective as a more aggressive, violent protest may have been. The students from each side will engage in a small group debate with two students from each side in each group and share their arguments as articulately and persuasively as possible. Students can be graded on their preparedness, demeanor and ability to listen to each other intently. The group that has the most success can perform for the class as a whole.

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Section 5: How can I BE the change that I want to see in the world?

The fifth and final phase of my unit will require my students to think about my essential question: How can I be the change that I want to see in the world? The students will be asked to use any and all of the written pieces they have created thus far and come up with one project, which will inform the class of how they intend to be the change. They will of course be asked to identify one change they want to see in the world around them, how they intend to work toward that change and how it made them feel once they followed through with this goal. This project may end up being in the form of a poster o billboard, a persuasive letter or speech, a song or poem, or a skit, which enacts various scenarios and their consequences, etc. as long as it expresses their message of change in an authentic way and demonstrates their genuine feelings on the matter. (See Lesson Plan 3)

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Lesson Plan 1

Rationale: Many students struggle to understand information in their non-fiction texts. Students need to pay attention to text features as a way to monitor their understanding as they read and determine important information.

Learning Goal: Today we are learning how to identify text features in order to help us navigate through nonfiction texts by using an informational text.

Materials: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech in Translation, What It Really Means by Leslie Holland (a class set is optimal), sticky notes, reading journal, anchor chart paper, marker.


1) Begin by brainstorming with the students, which text-features they already know and use.

2) Display an anchor chart, which clearly defines the purpose of each of the non-fiction text features: table of contents, headings, sub-headings, captions, photographs, time-lines, index, glossary, bold-faced words, etc.

3) Pass out the copies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech in Translation, What It Really Means and preview the text with the class, asking individual students to share which text features they notice.

4) Model a think-aloud through a close study of the title page and table of contents making sure to highlight the skill of asking one-self questions about the text as you read. For example, "I am wondering what this speech will mean to me?" or "How did this speech come to be written?" or, when looking at the photograph on the first page of chapter one, "I am wondering what all of these people are thinking or feeling when they hear King's voice?" etc.

5) Read aloud chapter one, pausing to take note of the photographs, bold-faced words (civil rights and riot), the glossary and captions. Ask the students to turn and talk to discuss how one or more of the text-features help them understand and appreciate the information.

6) Pair students up and have them read chapter two aloud so that they can hear how the speech sounds coming out of their mouths. Instruct the children to pause after each page to reflect on how the text-features direct their attention, organize the ideas within the speech and cause them to reflect on what the speech means to them today.

7) As an exit slip, have children use a sticky note to write down one text-feature that helped them the most in understanding the text today.

8) Have children share out their sticky notes.

9) Send the book home to read chapter 3 independently and continue their reflection on how the text-features assisted them using a graphic organizer like this:

10) Correct and write meaningful feedback on the student work and display those examples which might prove instructive to others.

Evaluation/Assessment: We will know we've got it when we can identify text-features in our independent reading books and articulate how those text features help us comprehend what we are reading.

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Lesson Plan 2

Rationale: Students need to learn the effective ways in which to write persuasively in order to highlight the strong points of their argument and avoid repetition or irrelevant details.

Learning Goal: Today we are learning how to write a persuasive essay in order to help us recognize our audience, present strong arguments and support our beliefs with sufficient detail.

Materials: An H-Chart graphic organizers, access to books on the Civil Rights Movement and Martin Luther King Jr.


1) Present the H-Chart graphic organizer to the class with the central question in the middle:

2) Explain the importance of exploring both sides of the argument in order to address the differing opinions of those who might disagree.

3) Have the children fill out the graphic organizer with three arguments in favor of equality for all and three arguments against equality. Remind students that they must include information about peaceful protest as a part of their argument.

4) Have students use the following graphic organizer, which will require them to think more deeply and research examples for each of their reasons.

Reasons For Equality Examples from the Civil Right Movement

5) Once students have given sufficient examples for each of their reasons discuss how they will put their information together cohesively and skillfully.

a) Model how a 'hook' draws the reader in to the essay and the topic sentence states the opinion clearly.

b) Review how each of the three body paragraphs should have 3-5 sentences with transition words and specific examples to support each argument.

c) Discuss the conclusion paragraph and its function in reiterating the opinion without sounding repetitious.

6) As students finish their rough draft, pair them up to read their essays to each other and provide feedback to one another.

7) Confer with each child and assist them in revising and editing their work. Those who are waiting to confer can begin their peaceful protest poster, which must include a symbol of the time it comes from, a message of peace and illustration of what equality might look like.

8) Allow the students to type out their final drafts and present them to the class.

9) A chosen few, whose arguments are the most persuasive, will be chosen to present at the Brotherhood Assembly in front of the whole school along with any peaceful protest posters.

Evaluation/Assessment: We will know we got it when we have brought our persuasive essays through the writing process from pre-writing, to drafting to revising and editing to publication and presentation.

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Lesson Plan 3

Rationale: Students must be able to take what they have learned, both informational and intrinsic in nature, and create something original as a means to make what they have learned more personal and meaningful. Students must use choice in determining which performance task they will use to express what they have learned throughout this interdisciplinary unit.

Learning Goal: Today we are choosing from a variety of performance tasks in order to find the most effective way to express how we can be the change that we want to see in the world.


1) Provide students with the essential question: How can I be the change that I want to see in the world?

2) Assist students in exploring this deep question by way of other questions like: What changes do you want to see in the world? What changes can you make a difference in right now? What changes would you like to be a part of for the future? Why does this need to change?

3) After brainstorming, require the students to choose the one change they will focus their project on.

4) Provide the students with some options for how they might present their 'Being the Change" to an audience:

a) Create a billboard which heralds your message of change and demonstrates how you personally can be that change.

b) Write a song or poem, which expresses your message of change using figurative language, metaphor, visualization, or narrative language.

c) Write a skit wherein you enact how you can be the change in a situation or variety of situations.

d) Write a persuasive speech, which hooks the audience and keeps them engaged in your message of change wherein you explain how you intend to be the change that you want to see in the world.

e) Write and illustrate a short narrative, fictional or non-fictional, which teaches the reader about your message of being the change.

f) Come up with your own performance task and run it by the teacher.

5) Once students have chosen their performance task, encourage them to use any and all of their accumulated work they have created throughout the unit as resource material for their final project.

6) After conferring with each student, hold a publishing party in which family members and other members of the school community are invited to join in the celebration of "Being the Change that YOU Want to See in the World", wherein all students present their message of change.

Evaluation/ Assessment: We will know we got it when we have used our portfolio of work throughout this unit to create and present a performance task, which spreads our individual messages of change.

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Appendix: Implementing District Standards

Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts

CCR Anchor Standards for Reading Literature:

Key Ideas and Details: 1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

Craft and Structure: 4. Determine meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from non-literal language.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: 7. Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contributes to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g. create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting.)

CCRR Anchor Standards for Reading Informational Text:

Key Ideas and Details: 1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

2. Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.

3. Describe the relationship between a series of historical events {…} using language that pertains to time, sequence and cause/effect.

Craft and Structure: 4. Determine meaning of general academic and domain specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.

5. Use text features and search tools to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.

6. Determine their own point of view from that of the author of a text.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas: 7. Use information gained from illustrations (e.g. maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text.

9. Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.

CCR Anchor Standards for Writing:

Text Types and Purposes: 1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.

2. Write informative/ explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

Production and Distribution of Writing: 4. With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to the task and purpose.

5. With guidance and support from peers and adults to develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.

Research to Build and Present Knowledge: 7. Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

8. Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.

CCR Standards for Speaking and Listening:

Comprehension and Collaboration: 1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

2. Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

3. Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas: 4. Report on a topic or text with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable rate.

CCR Standards for Language:

Conventions of Standard English: 1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing and speaking.

2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

3. Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate academic words.

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Teacher Resources

Baicker, Karen. Civil Rights. New York: Scholastic Professional Books, 2003. Print. This Primary Sources teaching kit provides images of authentic documents, which highlight the critical people and significant events of the civil rights movement in such a way that children can analyze and make meaningful conclusions about this historical time period.

Turck, Mary. The Civil Rights Movement for Kids: A History with 21 Activities. Chicago, Ill.: Chicago Review Press, 2000. Print. Through Turck's non-fiction series, young readers realize how kids were an integral part in the success of the civil rights movement. In addition, Turck provides teachers with authentic activities to do in the classroom, which include reenacting a lunch counter sit-in, organizing a workshop on nonviolence and organizing a choral group to sing the songs that motivated the foot soldiers in this war for rights.

Student Resources

Bandy, Michael S., and Eric Stein. White Water: Inspired by a True Story. Somerville, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2011. Print. Based on his own experiences as a child, Bandy relays a story about segregation, told through the experiences of a young boy who dares to question the way things were during this tumultuous period in history.

Barraclough, John. Mohandas Gandhi. Des Plaines, Ill.: Heinemann Interactive Library, 1998. Print. This non-fiction text tells the story of one of history's most influential men and encourages children to think about the historical time period, the country he lived in and his achievements. The text features within this book provide children with a great many ways to understand and relate to new vocabulary and information.

Colbert, David. Martin Luther King Jr. New York: Aladdin Paperbacks, 2008. Print. The text features within this non-fiction book allow readers to feel as an eyewitness to ten critical days in the life of Martin Luther King including the events, which led up to his peaceful protests as well as the monumental moments, which define his character to this day as a peaceful hero.

Coles, Robert, and George Ford. The Story of Ruby Bridges. New York: Scholastic, 1995. Print. This moving story tells a true account of how a six-year-old girl demonstrated courage and honor as the first African American sent to a first grade in an all white school. Ruby Bridges demonstrates to young readers how age does not limit one's ability to be a true hero in the face of adversity.

Curtis, Christopher Paul. The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963. New York: Delacorte Press, 1995. Print. Christopher Paul Curtis's novel won both the Newbery Honor and the Coretta Scott King Honor due to its deeply moving yet entertaining way of combining the fictional account of an African American family with the factual events of the violent summer of 1963 wherein the Sixteenth Avenue Baptist Church is bombed and innocent children are victims. The narrator of this story is a fourth grader named Kenny and his sincere nature and innocence brings young readers authentically into to his world as his story unfolds.

Demi. Gandhi. New York: Margaret McElderry Books, 2001. Print. This beautifully illustrated account of Gandhi's life allows children to learn about the events which led to his title, Mahatma or 'great soil', by way of choice quotes which highlight Gandhi's message of nonviolence, simplicity and peaceful protest.

Enix, Veronica, and T. Taylor Bruce. The Day Martin Luther King, Jr. Died. Bothell, WA: Wright Group, 1997. Print. This historical fiction tells the story of what a third grade girl, modeled after the author herself, experiences the day MLK Jr. was shot in such a way that any child around this age could understand and relate to the emotions which arise with such a tragedy. Readers who are removed from these events gain insight into the significance MLK must have had in the lives of so many Americans.

Farris, Christine King, and London Ladd. March On!: The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World. New York: Scholastic Press, 2008. Print. This electric picture book, told from the viewpoint of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s older sister, is a personal, honorary account of the 1963 March on Washington. Although the main focus of this book is on the march itself, Farris takes a moment to reflect on their childhood as a way to highlight their upbringing, which taught them the importance of doing good, yet not bragging about it. King's sister also gives us a look into the night before the march, when Dr. King stayed up to work on his speech until the very last minute demonstrating his perseverance, determination and commitment to this momentous movement.

Garcia, Rita. One Crazy Summer. New York: Amistad, 2010. Print. In the summer of 1968, our country was going through great changes. In April, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, and President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. The Black Panthers organized to promote Black Power in Oakland. Garcia tells a story of three young girls who go to Oakland to visit their mother, who has abandoned them to be a poet. Through the eyes of an eleven-year-old girl, Delphine, the reader is led to understand the historical changes our country was undergoing in a way only an innocent child could express.

Giovanni, Nikki, and Bryan Collier. Rosa. New York: Henry Holt, 2005. Print. This marvelously illustrated picture book takes readers on a journey through Rosa Park's life, beginning with her role as a loving daughter, dedicated wife and talented seamstress. The story fluidly moves to the historical moments she is most famous for making sure to intertwine those events, which further defined her peaceful protest, like the Brown v, Board of Ed. Decision, the aftermath of murder of Emmit Till and MLK's movement.

Holland, Leslie J. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream Speech in Translation: What It Really Means. Mankato, Minn.: Capstone Press, 2009. Print. This informational text is replete with text-features, which assist a young reader in understanding more concretely MLK Jr.'s famous speech. Through explanatory fact boxes, photographs, bold-faced words, timelines and kid-friendly glossaries, this text guides young readers to analyze, connect to and deeply comprehend the gravity King's dream.

Jackson, Garnet, and George Ford. Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Man of Peace. New York: Scholastic, 2001. Print. This informational text is an excellent choice for struggling readers as it presents MLK's life through simple text supported by illustrative photographs.

Levine, Ellen, and Beth Peck. If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King. New York, NY: Scholastic, 1990. Print. Ellen Levine herself writes, "Writing nonfiction lets me in behind the scenes of the story. I enjoy learning new things and meeting new people, even if they lived 200 years ago. Real heroes aren't necessarily on TV or in the news. They can be ordinary people who are willing to take risks for causes they believe in. Nonfiction offers a way to introduce young readers to real people who have shown tremendous courage, even when faced with great danger. All of us have the potential. And one doesn't have to be a grown-up." In all of her non-fiction books, Levine takes great care to understand her young audience just as ineptly as she researches the historical information the she relays. Through his text, Levine takes the reader on a journey back in history in a way, which engages young readers and informs them of a time less familiar.

Medearis, Angela Shelf, and Anna Rich. Dare to Dream: Coretta Scott King and the Civil Rights Movement. New York: Lodestar Books, 1994. Print. Using Coretta Scott King's autobiography as her primary source, Medearis relays a straight-forward, entertaining biography for young readers which charts the milestones in Coretta Scott King's life from her early dream to be an opera singer, her marriage to MLK, her involvement in the civil rights movement, and her continued dedication to her husband's work after his death. As a way to support a naïve young reader, the author makes sure to include information on segregation, Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott, and other key events in the civil rights movement as well as illustrations and photographs which assist visual learners.

Pinkney, Andrea Davis, and J. Brian Pinkney. Sit-in: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down. New York: Little, Brown, 2010. Print. Andrea Davis Pinkney skillfully employs literary techniques of metaphor, imagery and poetic prose to inform the reader of the moving story of four young students, who followed Martin Luther King Jr.'s words of peaceful protest and dared to sit at the "whites only" Woolworth's lunch counter. Brian Pinkney uses his artistic style to create expressive paintings filled with emotion that reflect the hope, strength, and determination that drove the dreams of these students and many others.

Randall, Dudley. Ballad of Birmingham. Detroit: Broadside Press, 1965. Print. This simple yet moving poem about the bombing of the church in Birmingham and the death of four young girls is an artistic way to introduce the tragic event to young children who will be spared the gruesome details yet connect with the heartfelt sentiment of a mother who lost her beloved child in a most violent way.

Rappaport, Doreen, and Bryan Collier. Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 2001. Print. Rappaport crafts this biography in such a way that the reader is left to ponder the importance of each word, most notably, Marin Luther King's own words, on the page. The watercolor and collage illustrations exude with the emotion felt by King throughout the marches, peaceful protests, boycotts and speeches leaving the reader to share in the same spirit, which lives on through his memory.

Roop, Peter, Connie Roop, and Rebecca Zomchek. Tales of Famous Heroes. New York: Scholastic Reference, 2010. Print. This collection of introductions to various famous heroes with its caricature illustrations and fun facts allows children to get a taste of what makes a hero and pique their interest in reading more in-depth about one which inspires them the most.

Ruffin, Frances E., and Stephen Marchesi. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on

Washington. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 2001. Print. This informational text is appropriate for struggling readers to get a clearer understanding of the March on Washington by way of simple text and illustrations which guide a lower reader in an exploration of his or her own independent reading.

Shelton, Paula Young and Raul Colon. Child of the Civil Rights Movement. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2010. Print. This is a story about a little girl who lives through the civil rights movement and is based on real events, which the author experienced as a child. The story follows the experiences of her family as they move from New York, where segregation is not as prevalent, to Georgia where whites and blacks are clearly separated. The story is one of inspiration as the family faces the adversities of racism and works together to make a difference, closely aligning themselves with King's message of peaceful protest and equality.

Tougas, Shelley. Little Rock Girl 1957: How a Photograph Changed the Fight for Integration. Mankato, Minn.: Compass Point Books, 2012. Print. In 1957, after nine African American girls bravely tried to integrate into an all white high school, a photograph would capture the harassment, torture and threats one of these girls faced at the hands of an angry mob. This photograph speaks one thousand words and is a most effective way to demonstrate the truth of the times to those less familiar with the realities of segregation.

Weatherford, Carole Boston, and Jerome Lagarrigue. Freedom On the Menu: The GreensboroSit-Ins. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers, 2005. Print. This story is told through the experiences of an eight-year-old girl who witnesses the sit-in movement at Woolworth's lunch counter and what she ends up doing to be a part of such a movement which would allow her to eat a banana split sundae with all the others, regardless of skin color.

Winter, Jonah, and Sean Addy. Peaceful Heroes. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2009. Print. This collection of introduction to the lives and work of heroic men and women heralds not only their accomplishments as heroes but the peaceful means by which the attained their heroic title. Both Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. found their place in this honorary collection and are reflected as brothers in the pursuit of non-violence.

Digital Resources

Gandhi. Dir. Richard Attenborough. Perf. Ben Kingsley. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2007. DVD. This interpretation of Gandhi's life and message by Richard Attenborough, though lengthy and deep in its content, provides children with a historical context in which to better understand and relate to Gandhi's message of peace. By way of this visual journey through his evolution to a Mahatma and great hero of the world, children of different learning modalities are able to partake in his story.

March On! The Day My Brother Changed the World and more stories about African American history. Weston Woods Studios, Inc. Scholastic, 2010, DVD. A series of four read along stories from Scholastic Treasures: March On! The Day My Brother Changed the World by Dr. Christine King Farris, Rosa by Nikki Giovanni, Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport and Henry's Freedom Box: The True Story of the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine. An interview with Christine King Farris and Ellen Levine is also included.

Our Friend, Martin. Dir. Edward Asner. Perf. Edward Asner, Angela Bassett. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, 1998. DVD. This cartoon features a young, African American teen named Miles whose class is on a field trip to the museum to learn about Dr. Martin Luther King. Just when Miles thinks he would rather be home playing basketball, he and his friend Randy are sent back in time to experience poignant moments in King's life, making his message that much more meaningful for a child of different generation.



This website provides an audio recoded interview with David Margolick, the author of the book, Elizabeth and Hazel, Two Women of Little Rock wherein he discusses the circumstances of the photograph of the Little Rock nine girl along with the events which followed this captured moment. A brief summary of the relationship between the women is discussed wherein the audience learns of how complex and unresolved their fated connection remained as a result of racism.


This website allows children to read and respond to 'On the Front Lines with the Little Rock 9" to see how other students changed segregation laws. This website is a part of the Plugged Into Reading Program materials in connection to the Sit-In text.

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