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Imagine sitting in classroom one day and learning that the very next day the public schools would be closed indefinitely. As a student, what would you do? How would you continue your education? Would you miss your teachers that are now disbanded or the camaraderie of your peers?
This did happen when Prince Edward County ignored the Brown verdict of 1954 and Brown II in 1955, and chose to close the schools for five years rather than integrate them. White Virginians initiated a campaign of massive resistance to the Brown mandate. At this time, seventeen states and the District of Columbia mandated separate schools. Desegregation evolved very slowly until the late 1960's, when the federal court system and the executive branch worked to forcibly implement desegregation in Southern school districts.1
Students will begin this unit by studying one of the five cases brought collectively before the Supreme Court in 1952, Brown v. Board of Education. The case, Davis v. Prince Edward County, Virginia was argued on behalf of the students at Robert Russa Moton High School who â€˜believed that the deplorable conditions at the school deprived them of equal educational opportunities.'2 Students will trace the major cases and legislation that prelude Brown, inclusive of the Jim Crow laws, civil rights activists and lawyers that led to this landmark decision.
The unit Civil Rights: Massive Assistance Resuscitated is designed to teach fourth and fifth grade accelerated and gifted students in Richmond, Virginia the struggle that African Americans endured to gain equality. The students will study the laws and major Supreme Court decisions that emerged from the Reconstruction Era through the 1960's. Students will use the constructivist approach to learning by using cognitive terminology such as analyze, predict, classify, reflect, synthesize. Differentiated instruction will provide avenues for the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learner. The unit follows the state's standards and guidelines in Virginia Studies and language arts. The unit could certainly be modified for use in the upper grades.
I was born and raised in New Jersey, in a relatively blue collar, sleepy suburb of New York City. A true mutt of ethnicities, my mom was a Polish American and my dad Armenian, who disembarked at Ellis Island.
My mom grew up in the Polish section of Garfield, New Jersey. She graduated from Douglas College (the separate women's college now part of Rutgers University) with a Masters in Education. She spoke fluently in four languages. Finding employment, however, was an arduous task during the Great Depression. She agreed to pay an unscrupulous judge in the early 1930's (under the table) to change her name to a more American name hoping to put an end to the ethnic slurs and the taunting as a Dumb Pollock. She became the foreign language department chair of a regional high school and finally earned the respect she once yearned for from her community and colleagues.
My father emigrated as a boy in 1915 from Armenia due to the heinous massacre and genocide from the Turks (Ottoman Empire) and was a photo engraver, a job that eventually would become obsolete. He passed a week before my 13th birthday.
My brother and I lived in a Leave it to Beaver neighborhood where it was certainly not the norm to be supported by a widowed mother on a teacher's salary. Although my mother put bread on the table, her eyes would be a daily reminder of the strain and undue pressure she was constantly faced with. My parents firmly believed that hard work and perseverance were the keys to success. My schools were all within walking distance, no cars, no buses; we used our feet and carried a sturdy umbrella. My high school was 98% white and shielded for the most part from the strife and discrimination that African Americans endured... and then, I left for college. We grew up as the activists, artists and were part of the enormous music culture that swept the nation and fueled the fires. We were the ones that fought for peace with marches, sit-ins, and rallies. I attended Woodstock and witnessed history in the making. Buses were chartered for the Moratorium March in DC opposing the draft and war in Vietnam. I vividly remember hugging a friend who was drafted and sent to Nam only to hug his parents upon his return home in a box with minimal military fanfare. We listened to Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Bob Dylan, John Lennon and many others. Those were turbulent times and experiences that could never be replicated again, until recently.
I began my teaching career in the inner city of Paterson, New Jersey before relocating to Richmond, Virginia - a city drenched in southern heritage, historical significance, laden with monuments to its Confederate war heroes as well as its United States' Presidents. Our students are predominantly African American with a rising Latino presence.
Like the majority of our country, I was obsessed with the 2009 election process and the issues facing our nation. I was a part, albeit a small part, of Barack Obama's grassroots movement. I volunteered at his Richmond and Chester, Virginia headquarters, canvassed neighborhoods, and entered data on the DNC computers. Enthusiasm filled the city with the anticipation of Obama's arrival. Would an African American presidential candidate in Richmond, Virginia be welcomed? On a placid crisp day, October 22, 2008, 12,900 diverse citizens coiled around the Richmond Coliseum patiently waiting to see Barack Obama and listen to his message of hope and unity:
There are no real or fake parts of this country. We are not separated by the pro- America and anti-America parts of this nation - we all love this country, no matter where we live or where we come from. There are patriots who supported this war in Iraq and patriots who opposed it; patriots who believe in Democratic policies and those who believe in Republican policies. The men and women from Virginia and all across America who serve on our battlefields may be Democrats and Republicans and Independents, but they have fought together and bled together and some died together under the same proud flag. They have not served a Red America or a Blue America - they have served the United States of America. 3
Virginia roared. There was no turning back. Change had come to Virginia. On election night November 4, 2008, Virginia turned blue for the first time since 1964. In Richmond, Virginia, the students were ready for change.
Barack Obama's message of hope and the proclamation of, "Yes We Can" inspired and woke up all generations. Once again people are tuning in and are involved in the cause. I am proud to renew a passion that I once gently placed in a suitcase on a shelf. I hope to instill that same enthusiasm within my fourth and fifth grade accelerated students as they take the journey with me on the Civil Rights Trail and explore the Brown v. Board of Education verdict of 1954.
I plan to teach this unit over the course of the year with the intent of having students invest in their own learning, allowing them to understand how truly fortunate they are to be the recipients of a free public education. It is essential that they can connect to the material studied and not as a distant spectator. This is why I have decided to start with a case close to home, Prince Edward County. Students will specifically focus in on one of the five cases consolidated in the Brown verdict of 1954, the case of Davis v. Prince Edward Board of Education.
To understand where we are going, we have to understand where we have been. Students will construct a timeline and retrace through history how the Supreme Court's landmark decision Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka affects their lives today. Students will interpret the Thirteenth Amendment, 1865 (abolition of slavery), Fourteenth Amendment, 1868, (all citizens equal protection of the law), the Civil Rights Acts of 1875 and 1964 (right to public accommodations, outlawed discrimination). Students will identify the effects of segregation and "Jim Crow" had on life in Virginia for African Americans and whites. They will identify events in Virginia linked to desegregation, Southern Manifesto, Massive Resistance and their relationship to national history. The students will also recognize the political and social impact of: Oliver Hill, Thurgood Marshall, Spottswood Robinson, Harry F. Byrd, Sr. Barbara Johns, and Reverend L. Francis Griffin.
Students will examine the Supreme Court decisions of Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka and the people that led the African-American struggle for equality. We will also look at the impact Brown had on Richmond Public Schools and chart the history of our school. This unit will incorporate Virginia Studies and reading objectives from Virginia's Standards of Learning. Teachers from other states could use this unit while charting the history on segregated schools within their own state or may choose one of the four other Brown v. Board of Education cases; Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (Kansas), Belton v. Gebhart (Delaware), Briggs v. Elliott (South Carolina), Bolling v. Sharpe (District of Columbia).
The civil rights unit will include interpretation of the 13th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution and provide legal argument to the verdicts that prelude the Brown decision.
The Thirteenth Amendment ratified in 1865, grants citizenship for all people born in the United States along with equal protection. It plainly mandated that there could no longer be one set of rules governing the conduct of black men and another for whites. It legally abolished slavery in the United States. 4 The Fourteenth Amendment was adopted in 1868. It states, "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law." 5
Legislation, Acts, and Policies in Chronological Order
The Civil Rights Act of 1875
It is vital that students understand why segregation emerged after the Civil War and Lincoln's emancipation of the slaves. In 1875, the Civil Rights Act was passed, "Be it enacted that all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement."6 In 1883, the Supreme Court overturned the Civil Rights Act of 1875 on the ground that it dealt with private discrimination (such as access to privately owned inns and restaurants), but the Fourteenth Amendment only authorized Congress to regulate state action.
Jim Crow Laws (1875)
Ironically, the same year the Civil Rights Act of 1875 passed segregation laws (led by the state of Tennessee) known as Jim Crow laws began to be adopted. The Jim Crow laws varied from state to state but carried the same message of racism.
- Stories abound about the origin of the term Jim Crow. Some describe him as a
- slave; others assert he was a slave trader. The most plausible theory traces the
- term's roots to the1830s when Thomas â€˜Daddy' Rice, a minstrel performer, began
- caricaturing blacks in his show. The character was a buffoon and was treated with
- disdain. In time, the term became synonymous with legalized segregation of the
Students will interpret a current political cartoon or caricature and then interpret one from the Jim Crow era.
Southern Manifesto (1956)
The southern leaders of the United States Congress in 1956 wrote and signed the
document Southern Manifesto. It was signed by 101 congressmen from 11 states
who opposed the integration of public places. It was made by the man in the
South who is usually given credit for having coined the phrase Massive
Resistance and certainly made it his property by the strength of his exhortation
Senator Harry Flood Byrd of Virginia.8
Massive Resistance (1956)
The aftermath of the Brown decision and the continuing struggle for an equal education would be blocked by policies such as Southern Manifesto and Massive Resistance. The US Senator Harry Byrd, Jr. from Virginia was pro-segregation and called the decision, "the most serious blow that has been struck against the rights of the states in a manner vitally affecting their authority and welfare."9 Senator Byrd and the Byrd Organization were actively engaged in resisting integration and applying the Jim Crow laws. Most of the laws enacted in Byrd's resistance were negated by the courts in the late 1960's.
Civil Rights Act (1964)
In 1964 the Civil Rights Act was signed into law. It outlawed discrimination in employment, schools and provided equal access to all public facilities. It also established the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Students will cooperatively make a Venn diagram comparing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the Civil Rights Act of 1865.
Supreme Court Landmark (and Controversial) Decisions
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
After the Civil War, African Americans were free but not equal. The Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875, and the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution, were made virtual dead letters by hostile court decisions, culminating in 1896 in Plessy v. Ferguson, which gave legal sanction to the principle of "separate but equal" facilities segregated by race.10
On June 7, 1892, Homer Plessy boarded a car of the East Louisiana Railroad thatwas designated for use by white patrons only. Although Plessy was born a free person and was one-eighth black and seven-eighths white, under a Louisiana law enacted in 1890, he was classified as an African-American, and thus required to sit in the "colored" car. When, in an act of planned disobedience, Plessy refused to leave the white car and move to the colored car, he was arrested and jailed. 11The decision supported a doctrine called separate but equal, which was employed in all aspects of public life.12 The interpretation of separate but equal facilities, remained law until 1954. In Plessy, racial segregation was protected by law and became the basis in judicial rulings over the next half-century upholding racial segregation in all aspects of southern life. This case dictated the fate of numerous cases to follow and offers an excellent opportunity for debate challenging the Fourteenth Amendment.
Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka (1954)
The United States Supreme Court had on its December, 1952 docket, five cases that challenged the constitutionally of racial segregation in public schools. They represented the states of Kansas, Delaware, Virginia, South Carolina, and the District of Columbia. The cases would be consolidated together under one name Oliver Brown et al. v. the Board of Education of Topeka. The Supreme Court justices decided to make Brown the keynote case so that the "whole question would not smack of being a purely Southern one."13
Davis v. Prince Edward County (Virginia)
A student strike was organized by Barbara Johns in Farmville, Virginia opposing the inadequate facilities at the all Negro Robert Russa Moton High School. The students wanted an equivalent high school to the nearby white Farmville, High School. They believed they were denied equal educational opportunities. The Richmond NAACP took on their case in May of 1951 to strike down segregation in the state of Virginia.14
Until 1954, the Plessy verdict established law. Jim Crow laws validated racism and were accompanied by white mob rule by beatings, lynching, and intimidation. African-Americans had no legal recourse but to protect themselves using the democratic processes. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) brought a consolidation of five cases known as Brown v. Board of Education, Topeka to the Supreme Court in 1952. On May 17, 1954 Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote the opinion for a unanimous Supreme Court decision overturning Plessy and ruling in favor of the African-American plaintiffs.
- We conclude that in the field of public education the doctrine of â€˜separate but
- equal' has no place.
- Chief Justice Earl Warren, United States Supreme Court, May 17, 1954
Brown II (1955)
In 1955, the Supreme Court issued Brown II and ruled that desegregation is to proceed with â€˜deliberate speed.'15 The ambiguous language in Brown II allowed school districts to avoid compliance as Bob Smith indicates:
Based on "Brown II," the U.S. District Court ruled that Prince Edward County, Virginia did not have to desegregate immediately. When another court case in 1959 ruled that the county's schools finally had to desegregate, the county board of supervisors stopped appropriating money for public schools which remained closed for five years, from 1959 to 1964. White students in the county were given assistance to attend white-only "private academies" that were taught by teachers formerly employed by the public school system, while black students had no education at all unless they moved out of the county.16
Unit Focus Case from Brown v. Board of Education
Davis v. Prince Edward County Board of Education
This unit will begin sixty-five miles southwest of Richmond in Farmville, Virginia, the seat of Prince Edward County. Robert Russa Moton High School was the site of a student walkout on April 23, 1951. This protest detailed the horrid and inferior conditions at the all Negro high school that paled in comparison with the pristine all white Farmville High School. Spottswood Robinson, Oliver Hill, Thurgood Marshall and the local Richmond Chapter of the NAACP would take on the case on behalf of the 117 students boycotting the conditions of the school.
In response to the Court's ruling, Prince Edward County Supervisors chose to close the schools from 1959-1964 in massive resistance to the edict issued by the Supreme Court. Many of the white students attended Prince Edward Academy which was later renamed the Fuqua School. The Negro students were either sent out of state to live with relatives to continue their education, tutored by Longwood College students or were unschooled. I want my students to recognize that the education they receive should be valued and to understand the struggle and hardships that led us to this point.
The film Farmville: An American Story 17 will lead us into the unit and be student interactive. Each student will have a specific task to be responsible for as they watch this film. Students will be given neon Post-it notes and a category listed on the board such as; people, places, attitudes of African-Americans/whites, facility conditions at Robert Moton High School/Farmville High School, fears, important dates. Although each student is responsible for their own category he or she may but may put a note under any other category as the film is shown.
Essential questions will include: What was it like to be in segregated school? What was it like to have no public school? Students will then reflect, was there a time when you felt you were discriminated against or left out? How did it make you feel? If public education is a constitutional right, why do so many students today take it for granted or choose to drop out?
Students will use graphic organizers/concept maps to investigate the role the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) played in the Brown case, specifically how Thurgood Marshall orchestrated in coordinating the five cases argued before the Supreme Court under one umbrella. They will identify the lead lawyers in each case, their arguments, and research the history of the NAACP.
- "The only way to get equality is for two people to get the same thing at the same time at the same place." 18
- Thurgood Marshall
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, NAACP (1909)
- The NAACP is the nation's oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-
- based civil rights organization. The NAACP's stated goal was to secure for all people the rights guaranteed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the United States Constitution, which promised an end to slavery, the equal protection of the law, and universal adult male suffrage. The NAACP's principal objective is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens of the United States and to eliminate race prejudice. The NAACP seeks to remove all barriers of racial discrimination through democratic processes.19
Dates of Note
Thurgood Marshall was the first African American appointed to the United States Supreme Court in1967. Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday would become a national holiday in 1983. Douglas L. Wilder would become the first elected African American Governor of a state, the state of Virginia in 1989. Barack Obama would become the first elected African American United States President in 2009.
Carl Rogers, an American psychologist, stated, "the emotional environment of the classroom, open communication, and a general regard for individual students are also crucial which complement the learning process.....the teacher must understand and value cultural differences to be able to modify curriculum content and the instructional approach to meet the diverse needs and interests of students." 20
As a facilitative teacher I address both the affective domain and the cognitive domain of the learner. Carl Rogers asserts that an effectual teacher can tap into the student's understanding of one's self. The facilitative teacher can use these valuable resources in environmental learning as an active progression where students are invited to learn using their needs and interests to propel them into the learning process. A positive environment is created where children can become emergent in their own invitational education, a term coined by Purkey and Novak. They state; "All children are able, valuable, and responsible; this potential can best be a cooperative activity; children possess relatively untapped potential and this potential can best be realized by...inviting development." 21 Civil rights is the perfect place to engage students in self-reflection.
Theory of Multiple Intelligences
Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences (MI) theory has made me a passionate and tolerant teacher. The passion comes from the many avenues one may take when teaching a concept or preparing a project. The tolerance is delivered by knowing there are multiple ways to learn, exhibit, and assess students. The standard way does not always make it the most effective way. "One of the most remarkable features of the theory of multiple intelligences is how it provides eight different potential pathways to learning. If a teacher is having difficulty reaching a student in the more traditional linguistic or logical ways of instruction, the theory of multiple intelligences suggests several other ways in which the material might be presented to facilitate effective learning." 22
Lessons within the unit that could be expanded by using the MI Theory would be:
The students will highlight the major cases, documents, and contributions of people associated with the civil rights movement, such as, but not limited to; Thurgood Marshall, Booker T. Washington, Charles Houston, W.E.B. Du Bois. William Hastie, James Nabrit, Reverend L. Francis Griffin, Barbara Johns, Spottswood Robinson, Oliver Hill, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, Ida B. Wells, and Chief Justice Earl Warren.
Verbal-Linguistic Intelligence is "the ability to facilitate complex acquisition and processing of language, the love of words both written and spoken."23 The creative process and synectics would be implemented on a daily basis. Students will keep creative writing journals providing a glimpse of point of view and perspective from inanimate/animate objects such as; the water gushing from the hoses on the marchers powerful yet powerless to change direction; the chartered bus full of exuberant participants rolling to a march versus the ride home; the four year old sitting on his grandmother's lap on a bus when she was asked to move or give up her seat for an able bodied white man; the waitress at Woolworth's who was ordered not to serve some, even though it may have contradicted her own personal morality; the hospital that denied Dr. Charles Drew admission after his automobile accident; the bullet speeding through the air when it neared its target; the uniform of a Klansmen hanging on a hook waiting to be worn.; a noose being tightened on a wailing tree; the animals sharing a barn filled with protesters in the middle of the night reacting to hearing dogs and seeing the light of torches closing in from 600 yards away; Lincoln's Bible with the weight of Barrack Obama's hand as he is inaugurated on January 20, 2009. Students will be given a document or information to interpret. They will first read, highlight, pair, share, and explain. Students could also create civil rights cards similar to baseball cards
Logical-Mathematical Intelligence is the ability to think logically, employing inductive and deductive reasoning skills, recognizes patterns, and work with abstract concepts.24 Students will consult the US Census and graph the population growth of Richmond by ethnicities from Reconstruction to present time. They may also look at the population of our school since it was constructed in 1911. They will then write an assessment on the results they have found.
Spatial Intelligence is "the ability to perceive images."25 Students will create a timeline by sequencing photographs. They will then question; who, what, where, when, and why. Students will create their own photograph captions. They will choose a person in the photograph that had the most impact on their own viewing. They will write a paragraph from the perspective of the person pictured.
Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence is the gift of physical movement using fine or gross motor skills. "These groups of students need to learn by acting and moving; learning by hands-on experiences."26 Students will role-play the arguments between the NAACP lawyers, and the opposing state lawyers.
Musical Intelligence is the "ability to create or interpret music, students who have keen ears to distinguish sounds and subtle nuances in music."27 Students will co-produce a video on the civil rights movement and incorporate music from each decade in history.
Interpersonal Intelligence is "the ability to understand and communicate with others and to facilitate relationships and group processes. They learn best in cooperative settings."28 Students will read the poem, I Am One Person, What Can One Person Do?29 After students read the poem they will have open dialogue and then write collaboratively answering the following questions: Discuss a time when you feel you made a difference in one's life. In what situation is it appropriate to speak up? When is it inappropriate? Describe Rosa Parks in three words. Write 10 characteristics that describe your group. Compare and contrast the words with the list that you wrote about Rosa.
Intrapersonal Intelligence is "the ability to be somewhat insulated from ones peers; have a strong sense of self; work best on projects independently."30 Students will choose from a menu of independent projects based on their talents and interests. They may also offer assistance to other groups sharing their expertise.
Naturalist Intelligence is "the ability to discriminate between living things as well as the sensitivity to other features in the natural world."31 Students will develop pride in beautifying their own school; plant flowers, weed, paint stepping stones featuring civil rights leaders.
I incorporate Gardner's theory into my methodology when students are selecting their culminating projects. I find that when students can build on their talents, interests and strengths it transfers and fortifies their end product. Students who are actively engaged and responsible in their own learning are motivated to go the extra mile. They are also able to appreciate one another's talents and accomplishments and derive joy from sharing their expertise. Students will be engaged in interactive inquiry, problem based learning emphasizing cooperative and collaborative teams, literature circles, debate, role-playing, and be responsible for independent projects.
Socratic Seminar v. Debate
The Socratic Seminar will help students hone in on students' interpreting skills. Based on collaborative learning where the goal is to comprehend the ideals, values, and issues reflected in the text. The seminar encourages dialogue and not debate. "Dialogue offers a mutual understanding to find meaning, common ground, and is open ended. (Debate however, is oppositional, two distinct opposing sides arguing to find the other wrong.)" 32 This will be useful when we interpret the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments.
Differentiated instruction will allow me to use strategies that will reach all learners visual, auditory, and kinesthetic via direct instruction, inquiry based learning, collaborative learning, cooperative learning, debate, interviewing, role-playing, and through literature circles. I will incorporate information processing strategies such as scaffolding, webbing, and graphic organizing, into my lesson plans. My assessments vary from child to child and are often performance based. For example, when completing the Civil Rights Unit, students may choose individual projects from a list of options such as: create a short film documentary about the history of your school; construct a scrapbook containing several poignant photographs of the civil rights movement with creative captions, sculpt a civil rights memorial, build a model of Moton High School adjacent to a model of Farmville High School dating, 1951, compose a song of protest, write a diary of a child who could not attend public school because the schools were closed, make a state flip book of Jim Crow laws, write a newspaper article about the decision of Brown v. Board of education, and so forth. Students are given rubrics and graphic organizers at the inception of their projects. Students are then given timelines that are approved by me. These time contracts are critical because many gifted students tend to be procrastinators or perfectionists, and in either case the work may take a back seat.
In 1956, Benjamin Bloom headed a group of educational psychologists who developed a classification of levels of intellectual behavior important in learning. Bloom identified six levels within the cognitive domain, from the simple recall or recognition of facts, as the lowest level, through increasingly more complex and abstract mental levels, to the highest order which is classified as evaluation.33 My main goal is to teach children how to think, and to use Bloom's higher order critical thinking skills (analysis, synthesis, evaluation) to dissect a problem; expand on an equation, solve syllogisms, use logic, and analogies as part of their daily vernacular. I would like them to address the verdict of Brown as if it was not passed. What would public education look like now? What educational opportunities would be lost?
The following books would be inclusive (but not limited too) when conducting literature circles and book clubs: They Closed Their Schools,34 The Watsons Go to Birmingham,35 Mississippi Bridge, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, The Land,36 The Other Side,37 Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement,38 She Would Not Be Moved: How We Tell the Story of Rosa Parks and The Montgomery Bus Boycott,39 Let it Shine, Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters,40 A Dream of Freedom,41and The Jim Crow Laws and Racism in American History 42.
Jewels of Wisdom
Our culminating program, Jewels of Wisdom, will provide students with a panel of former Moton students, tutors, and community leaders with first hand knowledge about the case. The students will formulate questions for interviews after researching the subject. Students will use their acquired knowledge by building and contributing to a class wiki on civil rights using the decades as a guide. The wiki will become a living document and not just a culminating project.
Robert R. Moton High School is now a museum and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1998. It is site number 24 on the Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail. Students will tour the facilities and meet with individuals and groups related to the movement. On July 21, 2008 Virginia Governor Tim Kaine christened the Capitol Square Civil Rights Memorial in Richmond, Virginia recognizing the civil rights lawyers, community leaders, Barbara Johns and the 450 students who walked out of Robert Russa Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia. Prior to visiting the Civil Rights Memorial, students will research the sculptor, subject, medium used, and why it took almost sixty years to be recognized.
Opening Activity: Separate But Equal (Format sample for each lesson is shown below.)
Content: What is the difference between segregation and integration? Why didn't
Separate but Equal, work?
Process: Analysis, Categorization, Synthesis
Research: Film, Internet, Books
Products: Interactive note taking, KWL chart, Venn diagram, Journal writing
Affective: How does the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education verdict affect
our daily lives today?
Objective: In their introduction to the study of civil rights, students will define
integration, segregation and the concept of Separate but Equal using the Supreme
Court's Brown v. Board of Education: Davis v. Prince Edward County case as a
Prior to entering the room students will randomly select a card with a heading on the front and an A or a B on the back. Students will be given the opportunity to trade their cards once. After the trade, all students with an A on their card will be given a miniature Hershey Bar; all students with a B will receive a regular sized Hershey Bar. (Teachers, please make sure you are able to give each student both bars before the lesson ends.)
A class KWL (Know, Want-to-Know, Learned) chart in conjunction with individual student journals will begin our discussion with the definitions of segregation, integration, and the concept of Separate but Equal. Students will develop a set of questions about what they want to know before viewing the movie. The students with an A will also be responsible for the facility conditions at Robert Russa High School and the students with a B will be responsible for the facility conditions at Farmville High School. A discussion of separate but equal will follow the movie, which will be interactive, Farmville: An American Story. Students will have their titles posted on a board in close proximity (see below). They will be given colorful post-it notes and will place them under the correct heading (at least 2 students/heading), while watching the film. They will be responsible for their category and for their designated high schools A or B. Listed titles with sample observations are:
People: Barbara Johns, Edwilda Allen, John Stokes, Barbara Johns, Principal M. Boyd Jones, Rev. L. Francis Griffin, Spottswood Robinson, Prince Edward County School Board, Superintendent of Schools, T.J. McIlwaine, Oliver Hill, Thurgood Marshall, and the NAACP.
Places: Farmville High School, Robert Russa Moton High School, Mary Branch Elementary School, Farmville, VA, Farmville Baptist Church, District Courts and the United States Supreme Court.
Conditions at Farmville High School: wide halls, fresh paint, custodial staff, centrally heated classrooms, new desks, up-to-date textbooks, science labs, courtyard, cafeteria, gymnasium, football field/equipment, and staffed infirmary.
Conditions at Robert Russa High School: crowded, tables with long benches or old desks from Farmville HS, leaky roof, buckets catching water, students using umbrellas indoors, woodstove, tar paper shacks for additions, used books, no science labs, no teacher restrooms, no infirmary, buses were used for extra classroom space, tattered cleats and football equipment.
Attitudes and Fears of African-Americans: change came out of rebellion, black people must stick together, we have a right to equal facilities, frustration, anger, Farmville jail can hold so many people, dejection, Ku Klux Klan, burned cross, parents intimidated and fired from their jobs, locked up, hurt, snatched, and possibly murdered.
Attitudes and Fears of White Americans: never the intention to send blacks to school, blacks are of an inferior race, wanted to know who the parents were, put off the appropriation of funds to build a new high school for African-Americans and state representatives were on their side.
We will infuse their post-it notes as a group activity into a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting the two high schools and correlate their reactions when the Hershey Bars were initially dispensed. After completing the Venn diagram, student dialogue will be encouraged offering reasons why they thought the Separate but Equal policy was struck down by the United States Supreme Court in 1954. They will also discuss the decision
Prince Edward County made in closing their schools for five years rather than integrate them. They will then make observations about their own school, looking at both its positive and negative attributes. For example, our school will be celebrating its 100th year anniversary in 2011. Our school is beautiful and well maintained. Our building has three floors plus a loft that houses my classroom. This summer, 2009, the school system is constructing an elevator to meet ADA demands. Did all the students/adults in the past benefit from the use of all the non-classrooms in the building? Students will write an expository paragraph in their journals supporting their opinion. They will also complete the L portion of their KWL chart.
Students will read and discuss the poem about Rosa Parks while working in collaborative groups, "I Am One Person, What Can One Person Do? (See Interpersonal Intelligence). They will then compare the actions of Barbara Johns to Rosa Parks and then reflect on how they made a difference in someone's life or a person that made a difference in their life.
Students will create (through research) baseball cards highlighting major contributors to the civil rights movement such as, but not limited to; Thurgood Marshall, Booker T. Washington, Charles Houston, W.E.B. Du Bois. William Hastie, James Nabrit, Reverend L. Francis Griffin, Barbara Johns, Spottswood Robinson, Oliver Hill, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, and Chief Justice Earl Warren. They will provide a biographical sketch and also include an obscure anecdote or fact about their figure.
Students will construct a class timeline based on photographs (generated by me), laws, and events. After researching the subject using the cooperative learning strategy, think-pair-share, they will write their own photograph captions, keep a creative writing journal and scrapbook. (See verbal-linguistic and spatial intelligences).
Required Components: Students will be responsible for completing the Group Matrix, history, and for three individual products. Students will fill in the group matrix/organizer after choosing a decade to research and the role(s) they will portray in procuring information (time-traveler, politician, activist, artist, i.e.) from the 1900's through 1960's. They will collaboratively write a brief history of that period. Individual products may be found throughout the Strategy section of this unit. Students are also encouraged to introduce new products with teacher approval. This unit is designed for an entire year, 2 hours/week. For further unit activities please contact lpleveicrichmond.k12.va.us
Civil Rights Evaluation Rubric
|Group: Matrix Entries 2-3 page History of Civil Rights Given a Designated Decade||30 points||15 points||5 points||0 points|
|__Wrote thoughtful, creative, well-worded specific responses that were relevant to the assigned topic.||__Wrote well-worded, specific responses that were relevant to the assigned topic.||__Wrote responses which lacked focus, were poorly stated, and were not entirely relevant to the assigned topic.||__Wrote responses which lacked a specific focus, were poorly stated, and not relevant to the assigned topic.|
|Selection of Sources: Individual Roles: Highlight Student's Role Selection Politician/Lawyer Supreme Court Justice Time TravelerCivil Rights ContributorSociologistArtisan||10 points||5 points||1 point||0 points|
|__Identified highly appropriate sources in a variety of formats (books, journals, electronic sources).||__Identified mostly appropriate sources in a variety of formats (books, journals, electronic sources).||__Identified a few appropriate sources but made little attempt to balance format types.||__Identified no appropriate sources in any format.|
|Note-taking & Keywords||10 points||5 points||1 point||0 points|
|__Extracted relevant information.||__Extracted mostly relevant information.||__Extracted a lot of information which wasn't relevant.||__Extracted irrelevant information.|
|__Brainstormed keywords, categories, and related terms that was effective in researching the questions.||__Selected mostly effective keywords to use in researching the questions.||__Selected some keywords that were not effective in researching the questions.||__Selected no effective keywords to use in researching the questions.|
|__Wrote notes including succinct key facts which directly answered all of the research questions and were written in the student's own words.||__Wrote notes which included facts that answered most of the research questions and were written in the student's own words.||__Wrote notes which included irrelevant facts which did not answer the research questions. Some notes were copied directly from the original source.||__Wrote notes which included a majority of facts which did not answer the research questions. Most or all notes were copied word-for-word from the original source.|
|Organization and Synthesis :||10 points||5 points||1 point||0 points|
|__Presented content clearly and concisely with a logical progression of ideas and effective supporting evidence.||__Presented most of the content with a logical progression of ideas and supporting evidence.||__Presented content which failed to maintain a consistent focus, showed minimal organization and effort, and lacked an adequate amount of supporting evidence.||__Presented content which was unfocused, poorly organized, showed little thought or effort and lacked supporting evidence.|
|__Selected a fitting and effective format to creatively communicate research findings.||__Selected an appropriate format to structure and communicate research findings.||__Needed to select a more effective format to structure and communicate research findings.||__Failed to select an appropriate format to communicate research findings.|
|Citations/ Documentation:||10 points||5 points||1 point||0 points|
|__Cited all sources of information accurately to demonstrate the credibility and authority of the information presented.||__Cited most sources of information in proper format and documented sources to enable accuracy checking.||__Cited most sources of information improperly and provided little or no supporting documentation to check accuracy.||__Created citations which were incomplete or inaccurate, and provided no way to check the validity of the information gathered.|
|__Used information ethically all of the time.||__Used information ethically most of the time.||__Failed to use information ethically some of the time.||__Failed to use information ethically.|
|Description:||100 -90 points||89- 66 points||65- 0 points|
|Products: 100 points (300 points/role) *||__Quality product well thought out and meticulously designed.||__Mediocre Product (all or most of the elements slapped together)||__ Poorly constructed, limited details.|
|Product 1. (100 points)|
|Product 2. (100 points)|
|Product 3. (100 points)|
|430-390 = A||389- 350 = B||350-310 = C||309- 280= D 279- F|
1. Noll, James W. Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Educational Issues, 2002 (89)
2. National Park Service Brown v Board of Education National Historic Site: Experience Your America (Accessed June 20, 2009) www.nps.gov/brv
3. Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2002, 2002
6. Virginia Historical Society," The World of Jim Crow - The Civil Rights Movement in Virginia The Center for Virginia History http://www.vahistorical.org/civilrights/jimcrow.htm (accessed July 22, 2009).
7. Smith, Bob. They Closed Their Schools: Prince Edward County, Virginia, 1951-64. Farmville: Robert Russa Moton Museum, 2008.
8. Kluger, Richard. Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality. New York: Vintage, 2004.
10. Virginia Historical Society, The Civil Rights Movement in Virginia The Center for Virginia History http://www.vahistorical.org/civilrights/jimcrow.htm (accessed July 22, 2009).
11. Hudson, Wade. Powerful Words: More Than 200 Years Of Extraordinary Writings By.... (Powerful Words). Cincinnati: Scholastic Reference, 2004.
12. Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, The Civil Rights Movement in Virginia The Center for Virginia History http://www.vahistorical.org/civilrights/jimcrow.htm (accessed July 22, 2009).
14. Kluger, Richard. Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality. New York: Vintage, 2004.
15. Smith, Bob. They Closed Their Schools: Prince Edward County, Virginia, 1951-64. Farmville: Robert Russa Moton Museum, 2008.
16. Robert Russa Moton Museum. http://motonmuseum.com/
17. Brown v Board of Education National Historic Site: Experience Your America (Accessed June 20, 2009) www.nps.gov/brv
18. "NAACP - History." NAACP | National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. http://www.naacp.org/about/history/index.htm (accessed July 19, 2009).
19. Methodist University, Faculty, Teacher Education Program. "Methodist University - The Facilitative Teacher." Methodist University - Fayetteville, NC. http://www.methodist.edu/education/facilitative.htm (accessed June 2, 2009). 1982
22. Wilson, Leslie Owen. "MI defined." University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. http://www.uwsp.edu/education/lwilson/LEARNING/3mides.htm (accessed July 21, 2009).
28. Davidson, Ellen, and Nancy Schniedewind. Open Minds to Equality - A Sourcebook of Learning Activities to Affirm Diversity and Promote Equity. Milwaukee: Rethinking Schools, Ltd., 2006.
30. Naturalist Smart Kids." Chariho Regional School District | Serving the Communities of Charlestown, Richmond, and Hopkinton in Southern Rhode Island. http://www.chariho.k12.ri.us/curriculum/MISmart/NATenjoy.html (accessed July 22, 2009).
31. "Socratic Seminar Student Guidelines - StudyGuide.org." Home - StudyGuide.org. http://www.studyguide.org/socratic_seminar_student.htm (accessed July 22, 2009).
32. Office Port, Bloom's Taxonomy. http://www.officeport.com/edu/blooms.htm (Accessed June 30, 2009)
33. Smith, Bob. They Closed Their Schools: Prince Edward County, Virginia, 1951-64. Farmville: Robert Russa Moton Museum, 2008.
34. Curtis, Christopher Paul. The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963. New York: Laurel Leaf, 2000.
35. Taylor, Mildred D. Mississippi Bridge. New York City: Puffin, 2000.
36. Woodson, Jacqueline. The Other Side. New York: Putnam Juvenile, 2001.
37. Bausum, Ann Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement [FREEDOM RIDERS]. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2006.
38. Kohl, Herbert She Would Not Be Moved: How We Tell the Story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. New York: New Press, 2007.
39. Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters. Singapore: Gulliver Books, 2000.
40. McWhorter, Diane A Dream of Freedom : The Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1968. Mexico: Scholastic Nonfiction, 2004.
41. Fremon, David K. The Jim Crow Laws and Racism in American History (In American History). Berkeley Heights: Enslow Publishers, 2000.
Aldred, Lisa, and Heather Lehr Wagner. Thurgood Marshall: Supreme Court Justice (Black Americans of Achievement). United States of America: Chelsea House Publications, 2004. This book grabs the attention of young readers with its poignant historical content and photographs of Thurgood Marshall's rise in becoming the first African-American United States Supreme Court Justice.
Bausum, Ann (Author). Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement [FREEDOM RIDERS]. Washington D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2006. John Lewis and Jim Zwerg share their historical experiences and perspectives about the peril that young people faced who participated in the freedom rides of the Civil Rights Movement.
Bridges, Ruby. Through My Eyes. New York: Scholastic Press, 1999. Through My Eyes is an inspiring story about the integration of a white public school from the viewpoint of six year old Ruby Bridges. Ruby was ushered into the Louisiana school in 1960, surrounded by mobs of segregationists and guardsmen.
Brown v Board of Education National Historic Site: U.S. National Park Service- Experience Your America. http://www.nps.gov/brvb/ (accessed June 20, 2009.)
Civil Rights Memorial, Department of General Services >DGS Overview. http://www.dgs.virginia.gov/DivisionofEngineeringandBuildings/CivilRightsMemorial/tabid/1035 (accessed July 26, 2009).
Curtis, Christopher Paul. The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963. New York: Laurel Leaf, 2000. Fictional account narrated by Kenny Watson about his family trip to bring his mischievous older brother Byron from Flint, Michigan to Birmingham, Alabama. Byron was to live with his grandmother in 1963. The author incorporated factual events including the burning of the Sixteenth Baptist Church.
Davidson, Ellen, and Nancy Schniedewind. Open Minds to Equality - A Sourcebook of Learning Activities to Affirm Diversity and Promote Equity. Milwaukee: Rethinking Schools, Ltd., 2006. An exceptional resource book for educators; engages students in a variety of learning activities using critical thinking skills and social activism.
Estes, Thomas H., Mary A. Gunter, and Susan L. Mintz. Instruction: A Models Approach (5th Edition). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 2006. Great resource book for teachers; cites effective teaching strategies and instructional models for improving student learning.
Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2002. This book provides a comprehensive and historical account of the complex Reconstructive Era in American history.
Fremon, David K... The Jim Crow Laws and Racism in American History (In American History). Berkeley Heights: Enslow Publishers, 2000. This book covers the political and legal obstacles that perpetuate racism against African-Americans in the United States.
Gardner, Howard. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. New York: Basic Books, 1983.
Hudson, Wade. Powerful Words: More Than 200 Years of Extraordinary Writings by.... (Powerful Words). Cincinnati: Scholastic Reference, 2004. A collection of inspiring words spoken and written; from over thirty African-Americans who made a difference with their ideas on how to make America a better place.
Kemnitz, Thomas Milton. An Issue This Nation Cannot Ignore. Unionville: Royal Fireworks Press, 2008. Kemnitz provides a great interpretation of Barrack Obama's speech on race, given on March 18, 2008. Student friendly paperback provides historical context, grammar, and poetic devices.
Kluger, Richard. Simple Justice: The History of Brown v. Board of Education and Black America's Struggle for Equality. New York: Vintage, 2004. This was the text used in the Yale Civil Rights seminar and provided an in depth background of the cases, people, and events that led to the Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education.
Kohl, Herbert. She Would Not Be Moved: How We Tell the Story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. New York: New Press, 2007. Kohl reveals the real reasons why Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus that ignited a 381-day bus boycott.
Krull, Kathleen. A Kids' Guide to America's Bill of Rights: Curfews, Censorship, and the 100-Pound Giant. New York: HarperCollins, 1999. Student text that breaks down the Bill of Rights as the groundwork that led to the ratification of additional amendments ensuring equality for all.
Lawson, Don. Landmark Supreme Court Cases (Government Books). Boston: Enslow Pub Inc, 1987. Good reference book for students.
Methodist University, Faculty, Teacher Education Program. "Methodist University - The Facilitative Teacher." Methodist University - Fayetteville, NC. http://www.methodist.edu/education/facilitative.htm (accessed June 2, 2009). Cites excellent sources and rationale on why/how a facilitative teacher increases and promotes student learning.
"NAACP - History." NAACP | National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. http://www.naacp.org/about/history/index.htm (accessed July 19, 2009).
"Naturalist Smart Kids." Chariho Regional School District | Serving the Communities of Charlestown, Richmond, and Hopkinton in Southern Rhode Island. http://www.chariho.k12.ri.us/curriculum/MISmart/NATenjoy.html (accessed July 22, 2009).
Noll, James Wm... Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Educational Issues (Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Educational Issues). Dubuque, Iowa: Mcgraw-Hill/Dushkin, 2008. Clashing Views provides point and counterpoint on a variety of contemporary issues and is a debate style reader which presents arguments from prominent educators.
Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters. Singapore: Gulliver Books, 2000. This book engages the reader with the accomplishments and contributions of 10 civil rights activists.
Press, Jalmar. Open Mind Whole Mind: Parenting and Teaching Tomorrow's Children Today. New York: Jalmar Press, 1999. A great resource book on how teachers can teach creatively to address each student's learning style.
Smith, Bob. They Closed Their Schools: Prince Edward County, Virginia, 1951-64. Farmville: Robert Russa Moton Museum, 2008. This book provides the background for the focus unit on Prince Edward County's decision to close their schools rather than integrate them.
Smith, Michael. "Howard Gardner, multiple intelligences and education." contents the informal education homepage. http://www.infed.org/thinkers/gardner.htm (accessed July 26, 2009).
"Socratic Seminar Student Guidelines - StudyGuide.org." Home - StudyGuide.org. http://www.studyguide.org/socratic_seminar_student.htm (accessed July 22, 2009).
Taylor, Mildred D. Mississippi Bridge. New York City: Puffin, 2000. A young white boy describes prejudice during the depression era in Mississippi.
Taylor, Mildred D. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (Puffin Modern Classics) (Puffin Modern Classics). New York City: Puffin, 2004. The twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Taylor's book provides the reader with a compelling story about an African-American family taking a stand against social injustice.
"The World of Jim Crow - The Civil Rights Movement in Virginia - Virginia Historical Society." Virginia Historical Society - The Center for Virginia History. http://www.vahistorical.org/civilrights/jimcrow.htm (accessed July 22, 2009).
Tomlinson, Carol Ann (Author). How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms [HT DIFFERENTIATE INSTRUCTI -OS]. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 2001. Great teacher resource that addresses the individual student's learning profile. Carol Ann Tomlinson provides field-tested teaching strategies that appeal to student diversity in the classroom.
Wilson, Leslie Owen. "MI defined." University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. http://www.uwsp.edu/education/lwilson/LEARNING/3mides.htm (accessed July 21, 2009). Website defines Gardner's seven multiple intelligences.
Wilson, William Julius. More than Just Race: Being Black and Poor in the Inner City (Issues of Our Time). New York: W. W. Norton, 2009. This book is part of the series; Issues of Our Time, edited by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Wilson examines the plight of the poor, inner-city black.
Woodson, Jacqueline. The Other Side. New York: Putnam Juvenile, 2001. This story is about two young girls, one black, one white, who strike up a friendship besides a fence that segregates their town.
Farmville: An American Story. DVD. Directed by Richard Wormser. 2008; Farmville: Robert Russa Moton Museum.
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