When the Pilgrims came to America their primary purpose was to start a new life with new laws on new territory. Things went well during the first couple of months because everyone was happy and spent much of their time adjusting to this new country. Therefore, they did not have time to create problems. However, as time passed some of the problems of the English began to surface. Groups began to segregate themselves and created disturbance for the settlers. That was 375 years ago. We are still moving to create change. Although there were positive action as a result of these moves, there was still a conflict of interest as separation occurred.
It is only natural that when a group of people get together there must be a set of rules and regulations to keep order and peace. It took the lawmakers of the early settlers 170 years to come up with the document known as the Bill of Rights which were used to guarantee us to freedom of speech, or religion, or the press, and the right of assembly. They also protect a person’s rights to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness‘. This document describes the fundamental liberties of the people. It also forbids the government to violate these rights.
Many changes have occurred since this document was written. More amendments have been added as our population of the United States has become more diverse. However, the amendments to the constitution do not address the problems that we face today. This action naturally causes the same types of conflicts that occurred 375 years ago. If we could not solve problems then with less people and less complex situation, why do we feel that we can solve the problems today?
This unit will remind the readers of some of the problems that our young children are faced with today and will also provide activities which can be used to help the teachers and students develop strategies which would keep our students from becoming a part of the negative stereotype which plagues our African-American children.
When the unit is completed, the students will be able to:
1. develop strategies to eliminate or decrease their chances of living in poverty.
2. develop ways to decrease their chances of becoming a part of crime statistics.
3. improve their academic performances in school.
4. develop a better relationship with their family members especially their parents or legal guardians.
5. develop a respect for a better school climate and environment.
6. resist the temptation of becoming a substance abuser.
7. utilize problem solving skills in developing life saving skills.
8. attach situations using critical thinking skills.
Although this unit is written for grades K-5, it can easily be adapted for all grades K-12.
This unit could be completed during a marking period of 10 weeks. However, I strongly suggest that some parts of the unit be reviews once or twice a month during the school year for the purpose of strengthening the children personal values and positive conflict resolution skills.
The diversity of the population across the nation has created problems which are the same for all communities.
When you open your newspapers, read educational magazines and listen to the nightly news the headlines about education are all the same: ’POVERTY’, ’CRIME’, ’ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE’, ’SCHOOL SAFETY’, ’SUBSTANCE ABUSE’ AND ’PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT’. These issues are not confined to any particular community nor ethnic group. These communities can be inner city or suburban, large or small, rich or poor the same questions prevail: ‘What can we do for our children?‘ and ‘What are the parents doing for their children?‘
The major difference involving all communities is that inner city schools receive more space in these publications for the negative things that are happening in their communities, while the suburban communities receive space for the positive things they are doing. When negative things do happen in the affluent neighborhoods, if possible, it is the minorities who are blamed for the action.
We live in a democratic society where interested citizens must put forth every effort to produce an educational system that nurtures the respect of the public. We as professional educators, parents, community leaders, and entrepreneurs must come together to foster the type of environment that we will feel comfortable to retire after so many long years of work.