Students today are more passive, less willing to fight or stand up for their rights than the students of the early 60s and 70s. This unit, will emphasize the importance of inspiring students today to become more aware of the struggles of the people who were at the forefront of the civil rights movement. It will teach them that they must continue to fight against racism, violence and sexism by using this period as an inspiration to wake up to the heroism within themselves.
The unit will begin with a study of background information on the enthusiastic and sometimes volatile leaders of the early sixties and seventies. They will learn about those people who were the doers and shakers of that generation. They will be inspired by children who were among the first people to participate in the desegregation of the schools in the south. This will be accomplished through reading case studies as presented in the book Children of Courage by Robert Coles, M.D. The culminating activity will allow the students the option of getting involved by identifying a worthy cause and developing a plan of action to help achieve practical benefits, while bringing out the hero within them.
(Recommended for Social Studies, grades 7-8)