Project glad kennewick School District Civil Rights Level (6-8) ideas page I. Unit Theme


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Project GLAD

Kennewick School District

Civil Rights

Level (6-8)

I. Unit Theme: Time, Continuity, and Change

  • Group historical events and individuals onto a timeline

  • Integration vs. segregation

  • Your experiences with Civil Rights

  • Why and where cultural discrimination originated

  • Historic Civil Rights court cases

II. Focus and Motivation

  • Cognitive Content Dictionary

  • Big Book – Little Rock Nine

  • Inquiry Charts

  • Observation Charts

  • Civil Rights Awards

  • Songs, Chants, Poetry

  • Personal Interaction

III. Closure

  • Teachers and student made quizzes: Civil Rights leaders and events

  • Assessment of Learning Log

  • Persuasive letter against segregation

  • Civil Rights timeline mural

  • Process all charts

  • Evaluation letter to go home

IV. Concepts

  • Understanding the chronological order of people and events in civil rights history

  • Geography: where discrimination occurred in early history

  • Comparing and contrasting the history of civil rights events and how they have shaped our world today


Washington State Essential Academic Learning Requirements

Social Studies

EALR 1: CIVICS-The student understands and applies knowledge of government, law, politics, and the nation’s fundamental documents to make decisions about local, national, and international issues and to demonstrate thoughtful, participatory citizenship.

To meet the standard, the student will:

  • Component 1.2: Understand the purposes, organization, and function of governments, laws, and political systems.

  • Component 1.4: Understand civic involvement.

EALR 3: GEOGRAPHY-The student uses a spatial perspective to make reasoned decisions by applying the concepts of location, region, and movement and demonstrating knowledge of how geographic features and human cultures impact environments.
To meet the standard, the student will:

  • Component 3.1: Understand the physical characteristics, cultural characteristics, and location of places, regions, and spatial patterns on the Earth’s surface.

EALR 4: HISTORY-The student understands and applies knowledge of historical thinking, chronology, eras, turning points, major ideas, individuals, and themes in local, Washington State, tribal, United States, and world history in order to evaluate how history shapes the present and future.
To meet the standard, the student will:

  • Component 4.2: Understand and analyze the causal factors that have shaped major events in history.

  • Component 4.3: Understand that there are multiple perspectives and interpretations of historical events.

  • Component 4.4: Uses history to understand the present and plan for the future.

EALR 5: SOCIAL STUDIES SKILLS-The student understands and applies reasoning skills to conduct research, deliberate, form, and evaluate positions through the processes of reading, writing, and communicating.

To meet the standard, the student will:

  • Component 5.1: Use critical reasoning skills to analyze and evaluate positions.

  • Component 5.2: Use inquiry-based research.

  • Component 5.3: Deliberate public issues.

EALR 1: The student understands and uses different skills and strategies to read.
To meet the standard, the student will:

  • Component 1.1: Use word recognition skills and strategies to read and comprehend text.

  • Component 1.2: Use vocabulary strategies to comprehend text.

  • Component 1.3: Build vocabulary through wide reading.

  • Component 1.4: Apply word recognition skills and strategies to read fluently.

EALR 2: The student understands the meaning of what is read.
To meet the standard, the student will:

  • Component 2.1: Demonstrate evidence of reading comprehension.

  • Component 2.2: Understand and apply knowledge of text components to comprehend text.

  • Component 2.3: Expand comprehension by analyzing, interpreting, and synthesizing information and ideas in literary and informational text.

  • Component 2.4: Think critically and analyze author’s use of language, style, purpose, and perspective in literary and informational text.

EALR 3: The student reads different materials for a variety of purposes.

To meet the standard, the student will:

  • Component 3.1: Read to learn new information.

  • Component 3.2: Read to perform a task.

  • Component 3.4: Read for literary experience in a variety of genres.

EALR 1: The student understands and uses a writing process.
To meet the standard, the student will:

  • Component 1.1: Prewrite to generate ideas and plan writing.

  • Component 1.2: Produce drafts.

  • Component 1.3: Revise to improve text.

  • Component 1.4: Edit text.

  • Component 1.5: Publish text to share with audience.

  • Component 1.6: Adjust writing process as necessary.

EALR 2: The student writes in a variety of forms for different audiences and purposes.
To meet the standard, the student will:

  • Component 2.1: Adapt writing for a variety of audiences.

  • Component 2.2: Write for different purposes.

  • Component 2.3: Write in a variety of forms/genres.

EALR 3: The student writes clearly and effectively.
To meet the standard, the student will:

  • Component 3.1: Develop ideas and organize writing.

  • Component 3.2: Use appropriate style.
  • Component 3.3: Know and apply appropriate grade level writing conventions.

EALR 4: The student analyzes and evaluates the effectiveness of written work.
To meet the standard, the student will:

  • Component 4.1: Analyze and evaluate others’ and own writing.

  • Component 4.2: Set goals for improvement.

EALR 1: The student uses listening and observation skills and strategies to gain understanding.

To meet the standard, the student will:

  • Component 1.1: Use listening and observation skills and strategies to focus attention and interpret information.

  • Component 1.2: Understand, analyze, synthesize, or evaluate information from a variety of sources.

EALR 2: The student uses communication skills and strategies to interact/work effectively with others.
To meet the standard, the student will:

  • Component 2.1: Use language to interact effectively and responsibly in a multicultural context.

  • Component 2.2: Use interpersonal skills and strategies in a multicultural context to work collaboratively, solve problems, and perform tasks.

  • Component 2.3: Use skills and strategies to communicate interculturally.

EALR 3: The student uses communication skills and strategies to effectively present ideas and one’s self in a variety of situations.
To meet the standard, the student will:
  • Component 3.1: Use knowledge of topic/theme, audience, and purpose to plan presentations.

  • Component 3.2: Use media and other resources to support presentations.

  • Component 3.3: Use effective delivery.

EALR 4: The student analyzes and evaluates the effectiveness of communication.
To meet the standard, the student will:

  • Component 4.1: Assess effectiveness of one’s own and others’ communication.

  • Component 4.2: Set goals for improvement.


V. Vocabulary

boycott civil disobedience civil rights

discrimination freedom riders integration

segregation separate but equal sit-in

primary sources secondary sources De facto law

Dejure law Jim Crow law inferiority

racism abolish constitution

amendments servitude justified degradation

civil liberties majority minority

literacy test poll taxes prejudice

Civil Rights Act of 1964 Voting Rights Act of 1965 24th Amendment

civil disobedience


  • Writing for different audiences

  • Use style appropriate to the audience and purpose

  • Writing process

  • Express personal thoughts in a group

  • Use communication strategies and skills to work effectively with others

  • Uses listening and observation skills to gain understanding

  • Words in context

  • Recall specific details

  • Cause/effect relationships

  • Predicting outcomes

  • Read and write charts, poems, books and students writing

  • Journaling
  • Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of written work

  • Written and oral activities


  • Map skills

  • Comparative: Martin Luther King, Jr vs. Malcolm X

  • Examine cultural effects of civil rights movements

  • Graphic organizer: Plessy vs. Ferguson


Goin’ Someplace Special By Patricia Mckissak:

Watsons Go To Birmingham By Christopher Paul Curtis

A Picture of Freedom: The Diary of Clotee, A Slave Girl, Belmont Plantation, Virginia, 1859

Friend of Freedom River By Gloria Whelan

Bud, Not Buddy By Christopher Paul Curtis

Esperanza Rising By Pam Munoz Ryan

Becoming Naomi Leon By Pam Munoz Ryan

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry By Mildred D. Taylor

Washington City is Burning By Harriette Gillem Robinet

Teammates: Jackie Robinson By Peter Goldenbock


MLK’s "I Have a Dream" speech

Letter from a Birmingham Jail

Don’t Know Much about History by Kenneth Davis

Lyndon Johnson’s civil rights speech to Congress

Kids Discover: Jackie Robinson

Kids Discover: Declaration of Independence

Time: Famous Faces from Time

Rosa By Nikki Giovanni

Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman? By Patricia C. McKissack and Fredrick McKissack

Frederick Douglass: A Voice for Freedom in the 1800’s By Camilla J. Wilson

The Breadwinner: An Afghan Child in a War Torn Land By Deborah Ellis

Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine and Kadir Nelson

Internet Resources

Library of Congress:

National Archives Records Administration:

Internet Archive of Tests and Documents:

PBS “Stand Up For Your Rights”:

Western Michigan University’s Timeline of the American Civil Rights Movement:


  • Big books

  • Cognitive Content Dictionary with signal word

  • Observation Charts

  • Realia

  • Historian Awards

  • Personal interaction

  • Inquiry Charts

  • Movies/Videos

  • Read Aloud, variety of sources


  • Comparative Input: Martin Luther King, Jr. vs. Malcolm X

  • Narrative Input - Rosa: By Nikki Giovanni

  • Pictorial Input - Outline of Southern States showing Civil Rights Movement

  • World Map

  • Graphic Organizer: Plessy vs. Ferguson

  • Timeline - Civil Rights people and events

  • Read Alouds

-Goin’ Somewhere Special: By Patricia McKissack

-Teammates: Jackie Robinson

  • 10/2 lecture

  • Picture File of Civil Rights


  • T-graph-cooperation, team points

  • Picture file cards – observe, classify, categorize, label, highlight - why?

  • Personal interaction

  • Chants, poetry

  • Exploration Report

  • Mind Maps

  • Sentence Patterning Chart (Farmer-in-the-Dell)
  • Process Grids

  • Story Map - model

  • Expert Groups

- Jim Crow Laws

- Freedom Rides

- Brown vs. Board of Education


  • # heads together

  • Team Tasks

- Team Key

- Research Log

- Mind Map: Plessy v Ferguson

- Pictorial – Southern States

- Timeline

- Comparative Input – Martin Luther King, Jr. vs. Malcolm X

- Narrative Input – Story Map, Retell

- Sentence Patterning Chart

- Poetry Frame

- Simile Book

- Team Cognitive Content Dictionary

  • Oral book sharing

  • Choral reading

  • Daily review and processing of charts

IV. Reading/Writing

A. Total Class Modeling

  • Expository group frame

  • Cooperative Strip Paragraph with responding, revising and editing

  • Poetry Frame and Flip Chant

  • Narrative – Story Map

  • Memory Bank

  • DRTA

  • Poetry Frames

  • Story Map

  • Found Poetry

  • Inquiry

B. Small Groups (anything modeled by the teacher)

  • Ear to Ear Reading-Poetry Book

  • ELD review / retell Narrative

  • Expert groups #1-4 by choice

  • Research Center/Writers’ Workshop

  • Process Grid

  • Flexible Groups

- ELD Group Frame

- Clunkers and links – at or above with SQ3R-3 Missing Civil Rights Workers

- Struggling and Emergent

- Skills

  • Adding to the walls

C. Individual
  • Learning logs

  • Journal

  • Personal Explorations

  • Guided Imagery – Listen and Sketch

  • Focused reading with personal CCD

  • Research

  • Picture File Cards

  • Poetry Book

  • Add to charts

  • Color inputs

D. Writer’s Workshop

  • Mini lesson

  • Write – plan, share, write, revise, edit, publish

  • Author’s Chair

  • Conference

E. Reading/Writing Choices

  • Research

  • Picture file

  • Add to charts

  • Poetry book

  • Color inputs

V. Extended Activities for Integration

  • Raps

  • Sign language

VI. Closure

  • Portfolio Assessment: Teacher and Self-Assessment

  • Assessment of personal process grid

  • Process all charts and information

  • Team presentation – Teacher / Student rubric

  • Teacher and student made quizzes

  • Share Big Books

  • Where’s My Answer

  • Home/School Connection

  • Letter home

DAY 1:


  • Cognitive Content Dictionary – with signal word – teacher pick: historian

  • Set Standards - Historian Awards

  • Observation Charts – Ask a question, make a comment, make a prediction

  • Inquiry Chart

  • Big Book – Little Rock Nine


  • Pictorial Input – Map Outline of Southern States showing Civil Rights Movement
  • 10/2 discussion

  • Learning Log – ELD Review

Guided Oral Practice

  • Poetry and Chants – Emmett Till By: Bob Dylan

  • T-Graph – Team Points

  • Picture File Team Activity – free exploration; classify/categorize

  • Exploration Report

  • Personal Interaction: Have you ever experienced racism or prejudice at your school?


  • Comparative – Martin Luther King, Jr. vs. Malcolm X

  • 10/2 – primary language

  • Poetry and Chants – Civil Rights Bugaloo

  • Read Aloud – “Goin’ Somewhere Special” by Patricia McKissak

Reading and Writing

  • Read Aloud: Emmett Till by Bob Dylan

  • Writer’s Workshop

- Mini Lesson – Story Structure

- Write

- Author’s Chair

  • Interactive Journal

  • Home/School Connection

DAY 2:


  • Narrative Input – Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

Guided Oral Practice

  • Poetry and Chants - Civil Rights Cadence

  • Strip Book – Civil Rights Leaders are as…

Reading and Writing

  • Expert Group – Jim Crow Laws

- Freedom Rides
  • Read Aloud – Teammates: Jackie Robinson by Peter Goldenbock

  • Team Tasks


  • Review Charts

  • Interactive Journals

  • Home/School Connection

DAY 3:

  • Cognitive Content Dictionary – with signal word

  • Process Home/School Connection

  • Review Narrative Input with word cards and conversation bubbles


  • Timeline

Guided Oral Practice

  • Team Tasks

  • Flexible Groups

- ELD Retell – Rosa

- Expert Group – Freedom Rides

  • Mind map

  • Chants/Poetry – Do You Know a Civil Rights Leader

- Eyes on the Prize
Reading and Writing

  • Process Grid – Heads together


  • Interactive Journals

  • Home/School Connection

Day 4:

  • Cognitive Content Dictionary – with signal word using Stumper Word

  • Process Home/School Connection

  • Chants/Poetry – We Walk With the Wind

  • Review Timeline with words


  • Story Map - Rosa

Guided Oral Practice

  • Team Goal w/ T-Graph and Team Points

  • Chants

  • Strip Book

  • Farmer and the Dell/Sentence Patterning Chart

Reading and Writing

  • Reading/Trading
  • Poetry Frame

  • Flexible Grouping – Clunkers and Links with SQ3R: Three Missing Civil Rights Workers

  • Found Poetry – Jackie Robinson’s Letter to Eisenhower


  • Interactive Journals

  • Home/School Connection

DAY 5:

  • Cognitive Content Dictionary – stumper

  • Historian Awards

Guided Oral Practice

  • Chants

Reading and Writing

  • Co-op Strip Paragraph

- Respond

- Revise

- Edit

  • Ear-to-Ear Reading with Poetry booklet

  • Listen and Sketch – Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine and Kadir Nelson

  • Team Tasks

  • Flexible Group

- Emergent Reader – Co-op Strip Paragraph

  • Team Presentations

  • Team Evaluation

  • Found Poetry


  • Review all charts

  • Evaluate Week

  • Framed Inquiry Letter Home

  • Process Inquiry Chart

The Most Important Thing about the Little Rock Nine

By Cathy Guajardo and Corie Kelly
Big Book

The Little Rock Nine was a group of African-American students who were enrolled at Little Rock Central High School in 1957. The Little Rock Crisis, in which the students were initially prevented from entering the racially segregated school is considered to be one of the most important events in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. The most important thing to remember is that individuals and movements have shaped the United States!

On May 17th, 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court issued its historic Brown v. Board of Education declaring all laws establishing segregated schools to be unconstitutional, and called for the desegregation of all schools throughout the nation. The NAACP had registered nine black students to attend the previously all-white Little Rock Central High selected on the criteria of excellent grades and attendance. The most important thing to remember is that individuals and movements have shaped the United States!

Segregationists threatened to hold protests at Central High and physically block the African-American students from entering the school. Soldiers blocking nine African-American students from attending high school made national headlines and polarized the city. President Dwight Eisenhower attempted to de-escalate the situation and warned Governor Faubus not to interfere with the Supreme Court's ruling. The most important thing to remember is that individuals and movements have shaped the United States!

On September 23, 1957, when white residents found that the police quietly slipped the nine students into the school, they began to riot. The nine students were then escorted out of the school causing the President to order the US Army to Little Rock, taking power from Governor Faubus. The nine students successfully entered the school the next day. The most important thing to remember is that individuals and movements have shaped the United States!

The Little Rock Nine were admitted to Little Rock Central High under the protection of the U.S. Army, but they were still subjected to a year of physical and verbal abuse by many of the white students. Melba Pattillo had acid thrown into her eyes. Minnijean Brown was verbally confronted by a group of white male students in December 1957 in the school cafeteria during lunch. She had dropped her lunch tray, including a bowl of chili on the ground, and was expelled as a result. The most important thing to remember is that individuals and movements have shaped the United States!

In August 1958, with Governor Faubus and the Arkansas State Legislature, the school board cancelled the entire 1958-59 school year for its three high schools rather than integrate them. Thousands of high school students left the city to attend high schools in other school districts, or enrolled in all-white private schools. By the fall of 1959, with pressure from the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, Little Rock public schools had reopened as an integrated school system. The most important thing to remember is that individuals and movements have shaped the United States!

The Little Rock Nine were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal on November 9, 1999. Little Rock Central High School still functions as part of the Little Rock School District, and is now a National Historic Site that houses a Civil Rights Museum to commemorate the events of 1957. Since then, the Little Rock Nine have come face to face with a few of the white students who had tormented them as well as one student who had befriended them. The most important thing to remember is that individuals and movements have shaped the United States!

Ernest Green was the first African-American student to graduate from Central High School. He is a managing partner and vice president of Lehman Brothers in Washington, D.C. Elizabeth Eckford is the only one of the nine still living in Little Rock. She made a career of the U.S. Army, and is now a part-time social worker and mother. Jefferson Thomas graduated from Central High School in 1960. He is an accountant with the U.S. Department of Defense and lives in Anaheim, California. The most important thing to remember is that individuals and movements have shaped the United States!

Following the historic year at Central, Dr. Terrence Roberts and his family moved to Los Angeles where he completed high school. He earned a doctorate degree and teaches at the University of California Los Angeles and Antioc College. He also is a clinical psychologist. Carlotta Walls Lanier was one of only three of the nine who eventually graduated from Central. She graduated from Michigan State University and presently lives in Englewood, Colorado, where she is in real estate. The most important thing to remember is that individuals and movements have shaped the United States!

Minnijean Brown Trickey was expelled from Central High in February, 1958, after several incidents, including her dumping a bowl of chili on one of her antagonists in the school cafeteria. She is now a writer and social worker in Ontario. Gloria Ray Karlmark graduated from Illinois Technical College and received a post-graduate degree in Stockholm, Sweden. She was a prolific computer science writer and at one time published magazines in 39 countries. The most important thing to remember is that individuals and movements have shaped the United States!

Thelma Mothershed-Wair graduated from college and made a career of teaching. She lives in Belleville, Illinois where she is a volunteer in a program for abused women. Melba Pattillo Beals is an author and former journalist for People magazine and NBC, and lives in San Francisco. The most important thing to remember is that individuals and movements have shaped the United States!

Civil Rights Events


Plessy vs Ferguson

- Supreme Court states that “separate but equal” accommodations for whites and others are constitutional in Plessy v. Ferguson.

- Jim Crow laws become more widespread.


Jackie Robinson

- becomes the first black baseball player in the major leagues since the late 1800’s, when pro baseball becomes segregation.

1954Brown v. Board

- overturned the earlier ruling of Plessy v. Fergusson.

- This new law stated that separated public schools for black and white students are inherently unequal.

1955-1956 – The Montgomery Bus Boycott - was a political and social protest campaign started in Montgomery, Alabama,

- intended to oppose the city’s policy of racial segregation on its public transit system.


Little Rock Nine

- U.S. troops are ordered to Little Rock, Arkansas, to prevent white mobs from attacking black students enrolled at a previously all-white high school.

- The group of nine students about to enter the high school were known as the “Little Rock Nine”.



- Black college students in Greensboro, North Carolina, stage the first sit-in at the “Whites Only” lunch counter of the Woolworth’s store.

Civil Rights Events Cont.


The freedom Rides

– Riders left Washington on May 4, 1961 and traveled without incident across Virginia and North Carolina. They encountered violence for the first time at the bus terminal in Rock Hill, South Carolina when several young white males beat black riders who attempted to use a “whites only” restroom.


Cesar Chavez

– Chavez convenes the first convention of the National Farm Workers Association

- later called United Farm Workers’ Assoc. - This association was formed to help gain rights for farm workers.


March on Washington

– Civil rights and labor organizations stage the March on Washington. - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his “I Have a Dream” speech before 250,000 people.


Civil Rights Act

– President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the civil Rights Act,

- this act bans segregation in public places and racial discrimination by employers.


Voting Rights Act

– In Alabama, police violence mars the Selma-to-Montgomery march protesting discrimination in voting.

- President Johnson signs the Voting Right Act, which outlaws literacy tests and other obstacles to black voting.

Civil Rights Events Cont.


Cesar Chavez Pilgrimage

– César Chavez led a band of strikers on a 340 mile pilgrimage from Delano to Fresno.


Martin Luther King Jr. and The Fair Housing Act

– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.

- One week later, President Johnson signs the Fair Housing Act, which forbids discrimination in selling or renting homes and outlaws interfering with civil rights workers.

Rosa Parks

Narrative Retell

Rosa Parks was a seamstress. The women of Montgomery would come in with their fancy holiday dresses that needed adjustments or a special touch to look festive. Rosa Parks was the best seamstress. This Thursday they had gotten a bit ahead of their schedule. “Why don’t you go on home, Rosa,” said the supervisor. When she stepped up to drop her fare in, she was smiling in anticipation of the nice dinner she would make for Raymond. She then got off the bus and went to the back door to enter the bus from the rear. Rosa saw that the section reserved for blacks was full, but she noticed the neutral section, the part of the bus where blacks or whites could sit, had free seats. Rosa decided to sit next to a man she recognized. The bus driver bellowed, “I said give me those seats!” Mrs. Parks looked up in surprise. The man she sat next to muttered, “I don’t feel like trouble today. I’m gonna move.” “I’m going to call the police!” Blake threatened. “Do what you must,” Mrs. Parks quietly replied. She was not going to give in to that which was wrong. Some of the black people, recognizing the potential for ugliness, got off the bus. She recited in her mind the 1954 Brown versus Board of Education decision, in which the United States Supreme Court ruled that separate is “inherently unequal.” Jo Ann Robinson, a professor at Alabama State, the college designated for “Colored” people, learned about Rosa’s arrest. “Not Mrs. Parks! She then looked furtively around. She organized an effort to stand up for the courage of Rosa Parks. They were working to undermine a vicious law. They made posters to encourage people to walk and not ride the bus. Martin Luther King, Jr. lead this movement known as the Montgomery Boycott. “We will walk until justice runs down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.” People from all over the United States supported the nonviolent movement which helped sustain the marchers for years to come. Rosa Parks saying “no” supported the Constitution of the United States that makes no provision for second-class citizenship. All citizens are entitled to its protection. Rosa Park’s integrity and dignity turned her no into a yes for change.
Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad

By: Ellen Levine Illustrated By: Kadir Nelson

Listen then Sketch

(copyright permission to reprint granted by Corie Kelly and Cathy Guajardo)
Henry Brown wasn’t sure how old he was. Henry was a slave. And slaves weren’t allowed to know their birthdays.

Henry and his brothers and sisters worded in the big house where the master lived. Henry’s master had been good to Henry and his family

But Henry’s mother knew things could change. “Do you see those leaves blowing in the wind? They are torn from the trees like slave children are torn form their families.”

One morning the master called for Henry and his mother. They climbed the wide staircase. The master lay in bed with only his head above the quilt. He was very ill. He beckoned them to come closer.

Some slaves were freed by their owner. Henry’s heart beat fast. Maybe the master would set him free.

But the master said, “You are a good worker, Henry. I am giving you to my son. You must obey him and never tell a lie.”

Henry nodded, but he didn’t say thank you. That would have been a lie.

Later that day Henry watched a bird soar high above the trees. Free bird! Henry thought.

Henry said good-bye to his family. He looked across the field. The leaves swirled in the wind.

Henry worked in his new master’s factory. He was good at his job.

“Do not tear that tobacco leaf!” the boss yelled at the new boy. He poked the boy with a stick.

If you made a mistake, the boss would beat you.

Henry was lonely. One day he met Nancy, who was shopping for her mistress.

They walked and talked and agreed to meet again. Henry felt like singing. But slaves didn’t dare sing in the streets. Instead, he hummed all the way home.

Months later, Henry asked Nancy to be his wife. When both their masters agreed, Henry and Nancy were married.

Soon there was a little baby. Then another. And another.

Henry knew they were very lucky. They lived together even though they had different masters.

But Nancy was worried. Her master had lost a great deal of money. “I’m afraid he will sell our children,” she said.

Henry sat very still.

Henry worked hard all morning. He tried to forget what Nancy had said.

His friend James came into the factory. He whispered to Henry, “Your wife and children were just sold at the slave market.”

“No!” cried Henry. Henry couldn’t move. He couldn’t think. He couldn’t work. “Twist that tobacco!”

The boss poked Henry.

Henry twisted tobacco leaves. His heart twisted in his chest.

At lunchtime, Henry rushed to the center of town. A large group of slaves was tied together. The owner shouted at them.

Henry looked for his family. “Father! Father!”

Henry watched his children disappear down the road.

Where was Nancy?

He saw her the same moment she saw him.

When he wiped away his tears, Nancy, too, was gone.

Henry no longer sang. He couldn’t hum.

He went to work, and at night he ate supper and went to bed.

Henry tried to think of happy times. But all he could see were the carts carrying away everyone he loved.

Henry knew he would never see his family again.

Many weeks passed. One morning, Henry heard singing. A little bird flew out of a tree into the open sky. And Henry thought about being free.

But how? As he lifted a crate, he knew the answer.

He asked James and Dr. Smith to help him. Dr. Smith was a white man who thought slavery was wrong.

They met early the next day at an empty warehouse.

Henry arrived with a box.

“I will mail myself to a place where there are no slaves!” he said.

James stared at the box, then at Henry. “What if you cough and someone hears you?”

“I will cover my mouth and hope,” Henry said.

Dr. Smith wrote on the box: To: William H. Johnson

Arch Street

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Henry would be delivered to friends in Philadelphia. Then he printed on the crate in big letters: THIS SIDE UP WITH CARE

Henry needed an excuse to stay home, or the work boss would think he had run off.

James pointed to Henry’s sore finger. But Henry knew it wasn’t bad enough. He opened a bottle of oil of vitriol.

“No!” cried James.

Henry poured it on his hand. It burned his skin to the bone.

Now the boss would have to let him stay home!

Dr. Smith bandaged Henry’s hand. They arranged to meet the next morning at four o’clock.

The sun was not yet up when Henry climbed into the box.

“Ready!” he said.

James nailed down the lid.

Dr. Smith and James drove to the station. The railway clerk tipped the box over and nailed a paper to the bottom.

Dr. Smith begged the clerks to be careful. But they didn’t listen. They threw the box into thee baggage car.

Hours passed.

Henry was lifted up and thrown again.

Upside down!

He heard waves splashing. This must be the steamboat headed for Washington, D.C.

The ship rode smoothly, but Henry was still upside down.

Blood rushed to his head

His face got hot.

His eyes ached.

He thought his head would burst.

But he was afraid to move. Someone might hear him.

“I’m tired of standing,” someone said.

“why don’t we move that box and sit on it?” said another.

Henry held his breath. Could they be talking about his box?

Henry was pushed. The box scraped the deck.

Now he was on his right side!

Now on his left!

And suddenly, right side up!

“What do you think is in here?” said the first man.

“Mail, I guess,” said the other.

I am mail, thought Henry. But not the kind they imagine!

Henry was carried off the steamboat and placed in the railroad car, this time head up. He fell asleep to the rattling song of the train wheels.

He awoke to loud knocking. “Henry, are you all right in there?”

“All right!” he answered.

The cover was pried open. Henry stretched and stoop up.

Four men smiled at him.

“Welcome to Philadelphia!”

At last Henry had a birthday – March 30, 1849, his first day of freedom! And from that day on, he also had a middle name. Everyone called him Henry “BOX” Brown.

Goin’ Someplace Special

By: Patricia C. McKissack

(copyright permission to reprint granted by Corie Kelly and Cathy Guajardo)
Tricia Ann was about to burst with excitement. Crossing her fingers and closing her eyes, she blurted out her question. “Mama Frances, may I go to Someplace Special by myself, today? Pretty please? I know where to get off the bus and what streets to take and all.”

Although it had another Anne, ‘Tricia Ann always called it Someplace Special because it was her favorite spot in the world.

“Please may I go? Pretty please with marshmallow on top?”

“I don’t know if I’m ready to turn you loose in the world,” Mama Frances answered, tying the sash of ‘Tricia Ann’s dress. “Goin’ off alone is a mighty big step.

“I’m ready, “the girl said, taking a giant leap across the floor. “See what a big step I can make?”

Mama Frances chuckled, all the time studying her granddaughter’s face. I trust you’ll be particular, and remember everything I’ve told you.”

“I will, I will,” ‘Tricia Ann said, real confident-like. Suddenly, her smile grew into a full grin. “So you’re saying I can go?”

“I reckon…But you best hurry on ‘fore I change my mind.”

Pulling her pocketbook up on her shoulder, ‘Tricia Ann blew her grandmother a thank-you kiss. Then she rushed out the door and down the sidewalk.

“And no matter what,” Mama Frances called after her, “hold yo’ head up and act like you b’long to somebody.”

At the corner a green and white bus came to a jerky stop and hissed. When the doors folded back, ‘Tricia Ann bounded up the steps and dropped in the fare same as when Mama Frances was with her.

The girl squared her shoulders, walked to the back, and took a seat behind the Jim Crow sign that said: COLORED SECTION.

‘Tricia Ann had seen such signs all her life. She recalled the first time she and Mama Frances and taken this bus ride, and her grandmother had told her, “Those sign can tell us where to sit, but they can’t tell us what to think.”

“I’m gon’ think about Someplace Special,” ‘Tricia Ann said to herself ad turned to look u the window.

Stop by stop the bus began to fill. At the Farmer’s Market, people crowded on, carrying bags of fruits and vegetables. Mrs. Grannell, Mama Frances’s friend from sewing club, climbed on board. As she inched her way toward the back, ‘Tricia Ann noticed that there were no seats left behind the Jim Crow sign. So she stood up and gave Mrs. Grannell hers.

“It’s not fair,” she said, glaring at the empty seats up front.

“No, but that’s the way it is, honey,” said Mrs. Grannell.

“I don’ understand why-” she began. But by now the bus had reached ‘Tricia Ann’s stop in front of Capitol Square in the heart of downtown. The doors swung open and she hurried off.

“Carry yo’self proud,” Mrs. Grannell called out the window as the bus pulled away.

Holding her hat, ‘Tricia Ann leaned back as far as she could to see Peace Fountain’s magnificent water show. It made her dizzy to watch the sprays that shot high into the air, but she liked the feeling and turned ‘round and ‘round with her arms outstretched. Then, giggling, she staggered on wobbly legs to a nearby bench.

Instantly, ‘Tricia Ann leaped to her feet. On the bench was a sign that said: FOR WHITES ONLY.

Her face fell, and she wished for Mama Frances’s strong hand to hold. “Silly signs,” she muttered as she strutted away on sober legs.

At the edge of the square, she greeted Jimmy Lee, a street vendor. “What’s got yo’ face all clouded up like a stormy day?” He asked, Handing ‘Tricia Ann a free pretzel.

“Jim Crow makes me so mad!” she said. “My grandfather was a stonemason on Peace Fountain. Why can’t I sit down and enjoy it?”

Jimmy Lee pointed to a sign in Monroe” Restaurant window. He said, “My brother cooks all the food they serve, but do you think we can sit at one of their tables and have a BLT and a cup of coffee together?” Then with a chuckle he whispered, “Not that I’d want to eat anything Jesse cooks. That man can’t even now scald water.”

The light changed and ‘Tricia Ann carefully started across the street. “Don’t let those signs steal yo’ happiness,” Jimmy Lee called after her.

‘Tricia Ann pulled her shoulders back and fixed her thoughts on being inside that warm and welcoming place where there were no signs. Hurrying up Tenth Avenue, she passed the filling station, and stopped to buy a pop to wash down Jimmy Lee’s pretzel.

At the second light, the Southland Hotel rose up in front of her as spectacular as a palace. Mr. John Willis, the hotel’s doorman, saw her. “I b’lieve an angel done slipped ‘way from heaven,” he said, smiling.

‘Tricia Ann managed to smile back. Mr. John Willis always said the nicest things. “No, sir. It’s just me.”

“Your mouth is smiling, but your eyes aren’t,” he said.

Just then a long white car with two police escorts pulled up in front of the hotel. A man with black shiny hair and shy eyes stepped out. Suddenly people were everywhere, screaming and begging for his autograph. ‘Tricia Ann got caught in the crowd and swept inside.

So often she’d wondered what it would fell like to walk on the royal red carpet that covered the double-winding staircase, or to stand in the light of the chandelier that looked like a million diamonds strung together. Now, there she was-smack in the middle of the Southland Hotel’s grand lobby.

Somebody pointed at her. “What is she doing in here?”

It seemed as if the whole world had stopped talking, stopped moving, and was staring at her. The manager pushed his way to the front of the crowd. “What makes you think you can come inside? No colored people are allowed!” And he shooed the girl away with his arms.

‘Tricia Ann backed out, shaking her head. “I-I didn’t mean…,” she said, trying hard not to cry.

Hurrying past Mr. John Willis, ‘Tricia Ann ran straight into the Mission Church ruins where mama Frances often stopped to rest. There in the protection of the walled garden, the girl let the tears come. “Getting to Someplace Special isn’t worth it,” she sobbed. “I’m going home.”

“My flowers have been watered already,” came a voice above her. It was Blooming Mary, an elderly woman who took care of the garden with neither permission nor pay. Everybody said she was addled, but mama Frances didn’t agree. “Blooming Mary is a kind and gentle soul,” She’d told ‘Tricia Ann.

“You lost, child?” the woman asked.

Trying to steady her voice, ‘Tricia Ann answered. “No, ma’am, I just wish my grandmother was here to help me get to Someplace Special.”

“You can’t get there by yourself?”

“It’s too hard. I need my grandmother.”

Blooming Mary nodded and thought on the matter.

Then she said, “I believe your granny is here, just as my granny is here with me even as I speak. Listen close. Tell me what you hear.”

All ‘Tricia Ann heard was the distant buzz of a bumblebee. What was Blooming Mary talking about?

But as she listened closer, she began to hear her grandmother’s steady voice. “You are somebody, a human being-no better, no worse than anybody else in this world. Getting’ someplace special is not an easy route. But don’t study on quittin’, just keep walking straight ahead-and you’ll make it.”

‘Tricia Ann recalled these words from many conversations they’d had in this quiet place. They were so comforting, she didn’t fell alone anymore. She wiped her eyes and straightened her hat. “You were right, ma’am,” the girl told Blooming Mary. “Mama Frances is here. And she wouldn’t want me to turn back.”

“So, you aren’t lost after all,” said Blooming Mary, giving ‘Tricia Ann a bright orange zinnia.

“No, ma’m, I’m not.” And saying good-bye, she headed, real determined-like, on her way.

Two blocks later ‘Tricia Ann came to the Grand Music Palace, where a group had gathered for the matinee performance. As the girl approached, a little boy spoke to her. “Howdy, I’m Hickey and I’m six years old today. You comin’ in?”

Before ‘Tricia Ann could answer, an older girl grabbed his hand. “Hush, boy,” she said through clenched teeth. “Colored people can’t come in the front door. They got to go ‘round back and sit up in the Buzzard’s Roost. Don’t you know nothing?” his sister whispered harshly.

Hickey looked at ‘Tricia Ann with wide, wondering eyes. “Are you going to sit up there?”

In the last three rows of the balcony? Why, I wouldn’t sit up there even if watermelons bloomed in January. Besides, I’m going to someplace very, very special,” she answered, and then ‘Tricia Ann skipped away.

“I want to go where she’s goin’,” she heard Hickey say as his sister pulled him through the door.

At the corner ‘Tricia Ann saw a building rising above all that surrounded it, looking proud in the summer sun. It was much more than bricks and stone. It was an idea. Mama Frances called it a doorway to freedom. When she looked at it, she didn’t feel angry or hurt or embarrassed. “At last,” she whispered, “I’ve made it to Someplace Special.

Before bounding up the steps and through the front door, ‘Tricia Ann stopped to look up at the message chiseled in stone across the front facing: PUBLIC LIBRARY: ALL ARE WELCOME.

Mississippi Civil Rights Workers

Clunkers and Links

(copyright permission to reprint granted by Corie Kelly and Cathy Guajardo)
The Mississippi Civil Rights Workers Murders involved the 1964 slayings of three political activists during the American Civil Rights Movement. The murders of James Chaney, a 21-year-old black man from Meridian, Mississippi; Andrew Goodman, a 20-year-old white Jewish anthropology student from New York; and Michael Schwerner, a 24-year-old white Jewish CORE organizer and former social worker also from New York, symbolized the risks of participating in the Civil Rights Movement in the South during what became known as “Freedom Summer”, dedicated to voter registration.
The killings of the three young men occurred in Philadelphia, Mississippi, on June 21, 1964 when they came to investigate the burning of a church that supported civil rights activity. Chaney was a local Freedom Movement activist in Meridian. Goodman was a volunteer for the Summer Project and he and Schwerner had just finished a week-long training on the campus of Western College for Women regarding strategies on how to register blacks to vote. The three men headed to Neshoba County to inspect the ruins of Mount Zion United Methodist Church that had been burned just five days earlier. Deputy Cecil Price stopped the blue Ford carrying the trio and arrested Chaney for allegedly driving 35 miles per hour over the speed limit. He also booked Goodman and Schwerner, “for investigation”.

They were all denied telephone calls during their time at the jail. COFO (Council of Federated Organizations) workers made attempts to find the three men, but when they called the county jail, the secretary followed her instructions to lie and told the workers the three young men were not there.

The men headed toward Meridian on State Highway 19, at approximately 10:30 p.m. They never arrived in Meridian. Police found guns in the charred remains of the station wagon, which three of its hubcaps had been removed. They noted the car was facing the opposite direction from what Price had told investigators. When the FBI offered a $25,000 reward for news of the men’s whereabouts, a break came in the case. The FBI found their bodies on August 4. The bodies were in an earthen dam on a farm six miles southwest of Philadelphia, Mississippi. They had all been shot to death. The disappearance of the three activists captured national attention for 6 weeks until their bodies were found.
President Lyndon Johnson used the outrage over their deaths and his formidable political skills to bring about the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, signed July 2. Their deaths also were a factor in passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The U.S. Justice Department charged eighteen individuals with conspiring to deprive the three of their civil rights (by murder). The charges were lodged against Sheriff Lawrence Rainey, Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price and 16 other men. Cecil Price was among the seven men found guilty.

(copyright permission to reprint granted by Corie Kelly and Cathy Guajardo)

Mr. Branch Rickey

Pittsburg, Pa.

Dear Mr. Rickey,

I have been intending to write for about a month now and it seems that finding the right words come hard so I will attempt at this time to put them down.

It is certainly tough on everyone in Brooklyn to have you leave the organization but to me its much worse and I don't mind saying we (my family) hate to see you go but realize that baseball is like that and anything can happen. It has been the finest experience I have had being associated with you and I want to thank you very much for all you have meant not only to me and my family but to the entire country and particularly the members of our race. I am glad for your sake that I had a small part to do with the success of your efforts and must admit it was your constant guidance that enabled me to do it. Regardless of what happens to me in the future it all can be placed on what you have done and believe me I appreciate it.

I don't know the circumstances that caused you to sell but I am smart enough to know that a person does not sell a growing thing unless there is some misunderstanding some place but I do want to wish you and your family the very best of everything and sincerely hope that you are able to bring to Pittsburg just what you did to Brooklyn and St. Louis. I hope to end my playing in Brooklyn as it means so very much but if I have to go any place I hope it can be with you.

My wife joins me in saying thanks very much Mr. Rickey and we sincerely hope that we can always be regarded as your friend and whenever we need advice we can call on you as usual regardless of where we may be.

My very best wishes to you and yours and a hope for your continued success.

Sincerely yours,

Jackie Robinson

Poetry Book


Civil Rights Bugaloo

Adapted by Cathy Guajardo
I’m a Civil Rights leader and I’m here to say,

I work for equality everyday.

Sometimes I lead marches, sometimes I speak,

Or I support and stand up for the weak.

Segregation, discrimination, boycotts, too!

Doing the Civil Rights, BUGALOO!

I organize sit-ins and lead demonstrations.

I fight for rights of students who want integration.

De facto and De jure are types of segregation,

Jim Crow Laws of the south caused separation.

Protestors, leaders, freedom riders, too!

Doing the Civil Rights, BUGALOO!

I come from many walks of life,

Enduring threats, bombings, and strife.

I was the first black man to play the game,

And was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Civil Rights, Voting Rights, and Fair Housing Act, too!

Doing the Civil Rights, BUGALOO!

Civil Rights Cadence

Adapted by Corie Kelly
Civil Rights leaders are here to stay,

We see them each and everyday.

Women, men, black and white,

All working for equal rights.

Sound off--leaders

Sound off--helping

Sound off--1,2,3,4…Us ALL!
Sitting-in to test the laws,

Proves that they had major flaws.

We tried new things to prove to all,

We’re all worthy and must stand tall!

Sound off--leaders

Sound off--helping

Sound off--1,2,3,4…Us ALL!

Do You Know a Civil Rights Leader?

Adapted by Cathy Guajardo and Corie Kelly
Do you know a civil rights leader? Yes, ma’am.

Do you know a civil rights leader? Yes, ma’am.

What did they do? Stood up for their rights.

What did they do? Helped create new laws.

Did they fight for equal rights? Yes, ma’am.

Did they fight for equal rights? Yes, ma’am.

Who did the fighting? Plessy and Brown

Was there anyone else? Jackie Robinson, too.

Did they sit-in? Yes, ma’am.

Did they sit-in? Yes, ma’am.

Why did they go? To protect their rights.

Why did they go? To eat where they wanted.

Did they fight for Civil Rights? Yes, ma’am.

Did they fight for Civil Rights? Yes, ma’am.

What did they fight for? Fair treatment.

What did they fight for? Equality.

What else did they do? Protest and march.

How did they do it? Non-violently.

Where did they do it? Selma to Montgomery.

Why did they do it? To help us all stand tall.

What else did leaders do? Made new laws.

What else did leaders do? Lead and orate.

Give me some examples. Lyndon B. Johnson.

Give me some examples. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Are you through? Yes, ma’am.

Did you tell me true? Yes, ma’am.

What did you chant? Civil Rights for all.

What did you chant? We all stand tall.

Eyes on the Prize

By Todd Puckett

(copyright permission to reprint granted by Corie Kelly and Cathy Guajardo)

Plessy vs. Ferguson led to Jim Crow,

Blacks and Whites together no more.

Separate but equal was the name,

But the facilities were never the same.

Keep your eyes on the prize, oh my!
Sixty years of power by the Klan,

Found ways to control the black man.

Poll taxes, literacy tests and lynchings, too,

Their treatment was mean and cruel.

Keep your eyes on the prize, oh my!
Brown vs. the Board of Education in ’54,

Said, “School segregation no more!”

The south was slow to abide,

They had the Ku Klux Klan on their side.

Keep your eyes on the prize, equal schools!
Rosa Parks didn’t give up her seat,

Led to segregation’s defeat.

Martin Luther King led the boycott,

“Stead of the bus, we’ll walk!”

Keep your eyes on the prize, desegregation!
Little Rock Nine tried and tried,

But they were constantly denied.

President Ike said, “Follow the law.”

Troops marched up and down the hall.

Keep your eyes on the prize, let us in!
Finally in 1963,

MLK, Jr. said, “I have a dream.”

Civil Rights Act of ’64,

Discrimination isn’t OK anymore!

Keep your eyes on the prize,


We Walk with the Wind

By Rick Bowers and Frank Berry

(copyright permission to reprint granted by Corie Kelly and Cathy Guajardo)
Tune: Saints Come Marching In
We marched from Selma to Birmingham,

With our prayers rising up as one.

Black and White joining hand and hand,

Singing, “We shall overcome.”

We marched to the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

The road ahead of us was blocked.

Dogs and clubs, hoses, gas, and guns,

But we could not be stopped.

The wind of freedom is blowing,

Feeling like a new found friend.

Yes, we’re going to make the journey,

‘Cause we walk with the wind.

We walked all the way to Washington,

Rising up as a mighty throng.

We all felt the power of the dream,

To right so many wrongs.

The wind of freedom is blowing,

Feeling like a new found friend.

Yes, we’re going to make the journey,

‘Cause we walk with the wind.

The wind will blow across America,

From sea to shining sea.

The wind will blow across America,

‘Til everyone is free.

The wind of freedom is blowing,

Feeling like a new found friend.

Yes, we’re going to make the journey,

‘Cause we walk with the wind.

‘Cause we walk with the wind.

The Death of Emmett Till

By Bob Dylan

Jim Crow Laws Everywhere

Adapted by Cathy Guajardo

Jim Crow Laws here, Jim Crow Laws there

Jim Crow Laws, Jim Crow Laws everywhere!

Unfair Jim Crow Laws prohibiting,

Unjust Jim Crow Laws disallowing,

Unequal Jim Crow Laws banning,

And horrific Jim Crow Laws outlawing.

Jim Crow Laws on the bus,

Jim Crow Laws in the restaurants,

Jim Crow Laws at the train station,

And Jim Crow Laws throughout the south.

Jim Crow Laws here, Jim Crow Laws there

Jim Crow Laws, Jim Crow Laws everywhere!

Jim Crow Laws! Jim Crow Laws! Jim Crow Laws!

Home School Connection – Civil Rights #1

Interview a member of your family. Ask them what they know about discrimination in our country. Do they have family members that live, or have lived in the Southern states?

Student: Person Interviewed:

Home School Connection – Civil Rights #2

Discuss, with a family member, a time you have felt discriminated against or a situation where you have seen or heard about discrimination taking place.

Student: Parent or family member:

Home School Connection – Civil Rights #3

Tell your parents or a family member the story of Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad.

Student: Parent/family member:

Home School Connection- Civil Rights #4

Directions: Read the Introduction and Questions to Consider with a family member. Then try to answer the questions on the test.
Although African Americans secured the right to vote after the Civil War through the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, southern states moved quickly after Reconstruction to restrict the voting rights of blacks. Along with poll taxes, white primaries, and property requirements, some states like Alabama instituted literacy tests.

Questions to Consider

  1. After you have taken the test, indicate which questions were the most difficult and which are the easiest. Overall, how difficult is the test? If "passing" the test were a perfect score, would you have been able to vote in Alabama?

  2. Who would be the least likely to "pass" the test? Who would be most likely to be asked to take the test? What was the purpose of the test?

  3. Is it reasonable or equitable to use excerpts from the Constitution as a test of literacy?

  4. Should the ability to read or, in the case of the Alabama example, a knowledge of the Constitution be prerequisites for voting? What do you think are the necessary requirements for responsible voting in national or local elections?


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