True Citizenship: A Question of Race

byTauheedah Wren

Fifth grade historians will learn the importance of being responsible citizens. This unit will focus on comparative studies about citizenship experiences. Students will research the pathways to citizenship in the United States for people from around the world. Students from nine different cultures will investigate their particular cultural journey to true citizenship by reading ethnic books on the subject. They will write expository essays using compare and contrast strategies, seeking to understand the similarities and differences in their journeys.

The class will read a chapter book about the arduous struggles to citizenship for African Americans. After much deliberation, collaboration, and reflection, students will learn that true citizenship has been realized by some ethnic groups, but not for African Americans.

Student will create a cultural museum inside a voting-booth structure. The ethnic artifacts, pictures, maps, books, and regalia will be showcased there to help tell the story, positive and negative. They will form a Brown-Bag Theatre, where students can perform Reader's Theater, cultural poetry, raps, speeches, and share their essays about their journeys. Both activities will be set up in a public place in their school.

(Developed for History/Social Studies, grade 5; recommended for History/Social Studies, U. S. Constitution, and Citizenship, grade 5)

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