Through a variety of activities, "Surviving the Struggle" will allow students to examine the lives of three young people who stood against tremendous odds during much of their lifetime. The obstacles which they faced could easily have defeated the spirit of those much older and seemingly better equipped to cope. In their own way, each of these young people managed to survive and triumph. These individuals are: Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges, and Ryan White. The thread of each life will come from books we will read together:
The Diary of Anne Frank
The Story of Ruby Bridges
Ryan White: My Own Story
. A film on each survivor's life is also included.
Through reading, both individually and as a class, students will study the lives these young people lived. They will research background information on the Holocaust, the Civil Rights movement, especially school integration in the South, and facts concerning the disease AIDS. Students will see Anne, Ruby, and Ryan as unique individuals, but also as people who shared a great deal in common.
Though designed for a fourth grade class, this unit could easily be taught to third through eighth grade students. It emphasizes the standards of literacy in the areas of reading, language arts, social studies, science, art, and social development.
(Recommended for Reading, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, and Social Development, grades 3-8.)