Our current studies of the civil rights movement continues to progress. Students are busy taking notes and making connections of the importance of clear note-taking skills and the benefits for learning. We have been focusing on the non-violent protests and the successes enjoyed from the efforts of so many people, black and white, to push for equality. It’s interesting to me, each year when I teach this unit, how far our society has come since the 1960’s in working towards equality. One great example is how our students simply cannot imagine why a group of people would have their rights systematically denied simply because of skin color. Seems to me the future of humanity looks brighter with each passing generation. As we continue in our studies the students will be focusing on writing a short biography of their chosen character and creating a video presentation following a small core of requirements. Beyond the basics, the video will be up to the student to show their creativity in presenting the importance of their character in civil rights as well as their interpretation of their character’s most important contribution.
The 8th graders continue to impress with their insights as we finish “The Rock & The River” as well as their curiosity and thoughtful compassion as they explore and reflect on the Civil Rights Movement. After break, we will transition our “Challenge of the Hero” focus from the novel to a personal narrative in which students write about a person who has made a difference in their own lives. This can be a challenging essay for students to write, as it is deeply personal (last year they wrote a personal narrative, but from the point of view of a historical figure from the 1920s/30s), but I have no doubt that this group of kids will rise to the occasion.