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I have a mosaic of cultures in my fifth grade classroom in beautiful Emeryville, California. We love celebrating our diversity. Each year, my students celebrate their differences by hosting an International Cultural Day in my classroom. A brief history from each culture-its foods, dress, music, flags, and art-is presented to several parents, relatives and staff members. Some students dress in their cultural attire and play traditional music that represents their unique ethnic backgrounds.
I want my students to learn about citizenship experiences in a different way, from new voices. First, they will study the paths taken to citizenship in America from their ancestors by reading narratives from nine diverse paths. They will hear from new voices each day during class sessions. Then, all students will examine key narratives about African Americans' experiences, focusing on why their dismal path was laced with hatred and racism.
Respecting and Valuing Differences
Professor Jonathan Holloway asked the question at the Yale National Initiative's Open House "How do people tell the stories of who they are?" My students will learn about who they are from reading different narratives about their history. Perhaps some will feel proud to tell their stories, and engage in healthy dialogues about their similarities, but respecting and valuing their differences.
I chose the topic, "True Citizenship: A Question Of Race," because all my diverse students have expressed poor citizenship practices with their peers. These ten and eleven year old students have been taught to be respectful, show empathy, and display acts of kindness, in their homes, at school, and other venues. Something happens when they interact with each other, however. They sometimes forget to be kind and respectful and need tools to help remind them of what has been taught at home.
Students who identify with their past will become more sensitive to understanding other races who have similar experiences. When students have more information about their own backgrounds and their peers' backgrounds, they will then understand and respect their differences and celebrate their similarities.
I teach multiple subjects to twenty-nine fifth grade students. My classroom consists of African, Irish, Asian Indian, Sri Lankan, Filipinos, Latino, Vietnamese, Cuban, and Yemeni American students. I expect all students to become well informed about their history on citizenship, and benefit from learning what is proclaimed to be true citizenship. True citizenship means that all persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of the United States and the state wherein they reside, according to the fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution. In 1868 the fourteenth Amendment defined persons who were born or naturalized in the United States and subject to its jurisdiction as citizens. Citizenship, however, was not specified in the original Constitution in 1787. 1
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 research their cultural journey to true citizenship by reading about their cultural narratives on the subject. They will share their experiences with the group to reach a common-ground connection. Students will review the role of slavery in colonial America. The students will revisit the life of hardship the slaves experienced, and some ways that the enslave people resisted the institution of slavery. 2
The students will learn what are the rights of U.S. Citizens. Conversely, they will learn how to identify why those rights are denied to African Americans. The nine cultures will learn ways their families became citizens. In addition, students will learn about the Constitution, the Preamble, parts of the Bill of Rights (first Amendment), and other relevant Amendments (thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth). Students will learn the role the Civil War played regarding the rights of African Americans. The effects of the Emancipation Proclamation on African Americans' freedoms will be addressed.
Lessons, Activities, and Projects Objectives
In this section I present a sequence of lesson-objectives and activities that students will learn to meet the required California Core standards. These lessons will teach the students about comparative studies, citizenship and race, broadly imagined.
Read Aloud/Daily Bites/Creative Expression: Several read aloud books focusing on a variety of cultural narratives about freedom, fairness and citizenship will be read daily by the teacher or by a parent volunteer. This will be the anticipatory set that begins each lesson. The students will get daily bites of a new culture's citizenship narrative.
Cultural Reading of Chapter Books: Students will learn more about their citizenship paths by reading a chapter that address the cultures immigration experiences. The students will learn about the struggles and successes encountered by reading their books. 3
Class Chapter Book, The Watsons Go To Birmingham-1963: The whole class will read this required fifth grade chapter book called, The Watsons Go To Birmingham-1963. It will give the students more information about why African Americans journey to true citizenship was littered with challenges. 4
Critical Thinking and Writing -After the students read their cultural chapter books on their topic and listen to different read aloud books from different narratives on citizenship, they will have some background knowledge to begin their essay. They will write a compare/contrast expository composition on the topic. 5
To excite the students' love for theater, and to review the previous lesson about slavery, they will perform a Reader's Theater from the book entitled, Ellen Craft's Escape From Slavery 6. This will be one of the initial lessons in the unit and sets the tone for review.
Cultural Museum: Students will create a cultural museum. It will involve students creating a poster-board full of cultural items, inside a voting booth, depicting the stages taken to gain true citizenship for their cultures. Because this is an election year, the voting booth symbolizes the rights that African Americans were denied, and how all people need to be reminded to exercise that right to vote each year. Student will make cultural flags; organize family pictures and visuals, and other items to include in their cultural museum.
There will be on-going collections of items that will help visually tell their stories about citizenship journeys. They will use the Internet to download relevant items that connect to the theme.
The Brown-Bag Theatre: This theatre will need a stage created by students to hold town meetings for them to share and present their short plays, perform Reader's Theater, share short speeches about their cultural paths, as well as recite poetry and raps.
Play Writing: Students will write a play about how their journeys intersect, depicting ways to rectify how people react to racism, discrimination and unfair treatment toward African Americans. The students should now find that common ground to connect and interact with each other to become responsible citizens.
Implementing District Standards
As the instructional focus, the proposed research-based unit will include integrated fifth grade California's Common Core Content Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, English Language Arts and California Music Content Standards: Visual and Performing arts. My students will strive to met these standards in this unit. 7
Common Core Reading Standards for Literature and Foundation Skills: The Reading Standard for Literature that my students will learn is compare and contrast stories or narratives in the same expositive genre.
California's Common Core Writing Standards: Their Writing Standards will be to write an informational compositions that will examine the idea of citizenship and convey their ideas clearly; develop their topic with facts, definitions, and concrete details; and link their ideas (to self and world connections), and contrasting their discoveries and ideas to a particular culture.
California's Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards: Students will effectively engage in a range of collaborative discussions (pair-share, small
group and whole group, teacher and student led) with diverse partners about their research on citizenship, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
California's Common Core Vocabulary Acquisition and Use: They will review using words and phrases acquired through conversations and collaboration, reading their cultural chapter books, and being read to (read aloud books), and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe their feelings about their comparative analysis of citizenship
California Music Content Standards – Visual and Performing Arts: To prepare to perform at the Brown Bag Theater, students will learn and sing songs about citizenship and freedom from diverse cultures and time periods. They will sing a repertoire of music.
The background needed before introducing this unit will be for the students to review the role of slavery in colonial America, the life of hardship they experienced, and ways they sought to resisted slavery.
Slavery In America - Enslaved Africans faced many hardships in America. The slaves worked for long hours on plantations, in their slave owner's home, and received no pay in return. 8 Slaves were sold like animals on auction blocks and were branded after purchased. The slaves ate poor food and contacted diseases. 9 Additional atrocities faced the slaves. They were separated from their families, beaten, and abused for trying to learn to read. Some slaves were mistreated because they wanted to maintain their cultural practices. African Americans slaves had no citizenship rights because they were the property of slaveholders.
Many African Americans resisted slavery in different ways – They rebel by working slowly, buying their freedom, seeking to abolish slavery, and asking to be freed. 10 In 1849, Henry Brown escaped from slavery by having himself shipped in a crate to Philadelphia. 11Oftentimes, the slaves' anger over their inhuman treatment erupted in violence. Some slaves fought against their slave owners with sticks, knives and guns. Cleverly, slaves wore the "mask of obedience." No matter how angry the slaves felt, they pretended to be meek contented, and loyal to their masters. This strategy helped the slaves plan their escape, revolt or attack. Many slaveholders, unknowingly, accepted this cunning behavior. 12
Unit Content – Citizenship
In this unit study, students will learn the rights of a U.S. Citizen. They will learn how to identify why those rights are denied to African Americans. Students will study the Constitution, the Preamble, and some Amendments to the Constitution that support citizenship. They will become familiar with the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation as they relate to citizenship rights.
Students will learn the meanings of liberty and citizenship. They will understand the different parts to the Constitution. The students will know that all native born people are citizens and deserve liberty. 13
There are many rights afforded U.S. citizens and this unit will focus on how to exercise the right to vote. 14. The Civil Rights Bill was ratified in 1866.Its purpose was to help people, who had been enslaved before the Civil War.
What is an American citizen? If you are born in the United States of America, then you are a true citizen. All African Americans who were born in the U.S. are citizens.
The debate about citizenship for the African Americans is on-going. In 1787, the founding fathers agreed on a structure of government that was designed to preserve American liberty, so writes Linda Monk in the text, Words We Live By. 15"Liberty is the freedom to think or act without being constrained by force. It is also the freedom from captivity or slavery. The important questions about gaining liberty and citizenship rights for African Americans have yet to be answered.
The U. S. Constitution
The Constitution signed on September 17, 1787, was the beginning of an experiment in liberty according to, Linda Monk. It would be the beginning of a new plan for how the U.S. government works to protect its citizenry. It has three parts: the preamble, the articles, and the amendments. 16 In this unit study, students will focus on the Preamble and on some of the Amendments.
When the Constitution's Preamble begins with the phrase, "We, the People," to whom was the Constitution referring? It was referring to the powers of the state and of the U.S. Government, when it was signed. The Constitution did not describe the rights of the people 17. The Preamble states that, 'We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Unites States of America.' It did not describe citizenship rights.
Frederick Douglas, an orator, clarified his meaning of the Preamble in his speech criticizing the Dred Scott case. This case held the ides that African Americans-free or slave-could never be a citizen. Dred Scott, a slave, sued for him and his family's freedom in Missouri in 1846. Mr. Scott charged that he was free because his owner had taken him and his family into a free territory for a time. Fredrick Douglas stated that, 'We, the People' was referring to all people. He wrote that We, the People meant, "not we the white people – not we, the citizens, or the legal voters – not we, the privileged class, and excluding all other classes but we, the people; not we, the horses and cattle, but we the people – the men and women, the human inhabitants of the United States, do ordain and establish this Constitution.' 18 Based on this statement, he felt that the Constitution included the African Americans as citizens, but at this time, Blacks did not receive nor enjoy true citizenship in America as others did.
In 1857, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Dred Scott because slaves were not legal citizens then; they had no standing in the courts. 19 He continue to appeal his case and won the case a number of times before it was finally adjudicated on appeal by the Supreme Court. 20
The Living Document - Because the Constitution was not perfect and was considered the living document, it needed to be changed or amended to list the rights of all citizens. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention met behind closed doors and boarded windows so they could speak frankly. They debated whether enslaved people should be counted as part of a state's population. If slaves were born in this country, why should there be a debate about whether they are citizens? There are several reasons why. States with many enslaved people wanted them counted. States with fewer enslaved people disagreed. Finally, the delegates agreed that three out of five slaves would be counted as a part of the state's population. 21 Does that means that a slave is three-fifths of a citizen? Have African Americans received true citizenship in this country? African Americans are still fighting for their citizenship rights in America.
Bill of Rights (1791 -1939)
After many challenges, the slaves needed something to ensure them rights as citizens. The Bill of Rights is comprised of the first ten Amendments to the Constitution, and are the rights guaranteed to protect the freedoms of all U.S. Citizens. It was ratified in 1791. The rights are real, but aren't applied equally. Even freed slaves often lacked the protection of the Bill of Rights. 22
The Civil War (1861-1865)
For this unit of study, the students will learn that the Northern and the Southern states clashed over the issue of Slavery 23. When whites from the North agreed to stop slavery, the southern states that favored slavery, became enraged. Southerners ignored Abraham Lincoln's plea that the North were friend with the South and not enemies. The moral issue of slavery tore the United States apart.
In April 1861, Confederate Southern soldiers attacked Fort Sumter. The battle waged for four years. At the end of the battle, president Lincoln vowed to Americans, "that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom." African Americans fought on both sides of the conflict. Unfortunately, the slaves fought against each other, over the issue of Slavery. Fighting in the War did not give the African American citizenship rights. Many soldiers returned home from battle, and were still discriminated against. 24
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, during the Civil War. Like the Constitution in its struggle to be ratified, it had little effect on the slaves and was not a law passed by Congress.It proclaimed freedom of the slaves. 25 But, this proclamation did not compensate the slave owner, didn't outlaw slavery, and did not make the former slaves citizenship. The Emancipation Proclamation, did not liberate the "Negro" in the 19 th century. 26
Are there any amendments to the Constitution that proposed to give the African American true citizenship? The thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery and was ratified in 1865. Many slave-owners from the south disregarded this amendment. 27Thousands of slaves ran away, in protest.
Amendment 14, passed in 1866. Section 1 states that, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. 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 persons within its jurisdiction the equal protections of the laws 28.
Amendment Fifteen, Section 1, states that, "The rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or precious conditions of servitude."After debate in Congress, it was ratified in 1870. 29The right to vote by men was ignored by southerners. These Amendments gave the African Americans hope for a better life. But the struggle continues for African Americans in their battle for true citizenship.
African Americans Continue to Struggle for Citizenship Rights
There are cases in the twenty-first century that show that African Americans have not yet received true citizenship and fair treatments in America. There is the Rodney King case in Los Angeles where four police officers viciously beat him. An all white jury in Simi Valley, California, tried the officers. All four officers were acquitted of charges. 30
Another recent case of discrimination and unfair treatment of African Americans is the Travyon Martin/George Zimmerman Case (2012). Trayvon Martin was a seventeen-year-old African American youth. As he walked through a neighborhood in Florida, he apparently got into an altercation with a twenty-eight year old white man, George Zimmerman, who was on community watch patrol. Travyon was unarmed. The patrol-volunteer fatally shot and killed Trayvon for no apparent reason. George Zimmerman was initially released with out charge, because he said that he acted in self-defense 31.
These cases described very dark moments in African American history that must be narrated for present and future generations to learn from.
Another Dark Moment in History - The Watsons Go to Birmingham -1963.
The class will read a required fifth-grade book, The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963. 32This chapter book, full of amusing figurative language and southern dialect, will entertain and confuse some of the students because of its unusual language style. Students will focus the discussion on chapter fourteen called, "Every Bird and Bug in Birmingham Stops and Wonders." In this chapter, the narrator, a ten-year-old African American boy calmly describes the appearances of the two bodies of the little black girls who were blown-up in Little Rock. Ironically, he uses patriotic colors to describe their dresses: red, white, and blue, like the American flag. This is a poignant contrast to the pointless crime that just happened, that wasn't patriotic.It was inhuman. The students will learn that the hatred of southern whites caused them to bomb the church and killed four little black girls. The Southern Whites who killed those children were protesting against integration. 32
Cultural Books and Excerpt on U. S. Citizenship
Students will read a book, read articles, or peruse the Internet to research the topic on what was their journey to citizenship. The student and their families will complete a questionnaire to learn more about their individual paths to citizenship. Each book description is listed in the Annotated Bibliography. (33-41) They will discover that the path to citizenship is more difficult for blacks than any other race.
Read Aloud Book Selections
Before every lesson, the students will listen to several read aloud-with pictures books. The teacher will read the following selections, and others: In, We The Kids, by David Catrow, the students will review the modified version of the Preamble to the Constitution, We The People. This book explains the rights and privileges promised to all Americans in kid-friendly language. 42
The book, Molly Bannakay, also a picture book, is about a white girl who was exiled from England and was sentenced to work as an indentured servant. After working for her freedom, she claimed some land and bought a slave, from the auction block, to help her take care of her land. She later married him. They had four daughters, and the oldest daughter had a son, Benjamin Banneker, a renowned scientist and mathematician. 43
Coolie is a picture book story about two Chinese immigrant boys who came to America to help build the great railroad across the west. They, like the African Americans, were bullied and treated harshly because of their race. The bosses called them "coolies" or lowly workers. They teased them about their clothes, hair and eyes." 44
Angel Child, Dragon Child, by Michele Maria Surag, is about a girl from Vietnam, who does not like her American school and shares her unique experiences in coming to America. 45
Another read aloud story, The Long Road, by Luis Garay, is about a Latino boy's frightening journey to a new country. The story will also help English learners as well as other students identify with how a newcomer feels in a new place. 46
Barack Obama of Thee I Sing, by Barack Obama, is a picture-read aloud book. It is about letters Barack Obama wrote to his daughters, giving tribute to thirteen Americans and their ideals that have shaped America. 47
Narratives of Citizenship and Race By Notable African Americans
This narrative selection has been organized for teachers to find the chronology of sessions and narratives that were studies in the national seminar. Professor Jonathan Holloway arranged each seminar with a specific focus that we researched and discussed in each class. I used the same order for introducing only some narratives that will be new voices for my students. These African American scholars' contributions to the on-going struggle to citizenship rights for African Americans, in particular, and for all people in general, will be noted in this section of the unit. The intellectual abilities and accomplishment of the scholars of these periods are noteworthy, amazing, and extremely inspiring.
Session 1: Freedom
Frederic Douglass (1818-1895), a former slave, was a very influential leader among African Americans. Frederic Douglass escaped from slavery and became a prominent abolitionist who spoke out boldly against the unfair treatment of African Americans. During this time of slavery and abolitionism, he gave speeches about how wrong America was to treat Blacks like brutes, dogs, and to sell them at auctions. He told America that it was inhuman. 48 In 1865, after the Emancipation Proclamation, Douglas wrote that he wanted the "immediate, unconditional, and universal" enfranchisement of the black man. He continued to state that without Freedom, liberty is a mockery. 49
Martin R. Delany (1812 -1885), a Black nationalist, of Mandingo decent, believed in racial separation as a means to gain citizenship for Blacks. He was an educator, physician, African explorer, political candidate, author, and journalist. He opposed the strategies to moralize and speculate blacks' freedom. 50 He believed that if Blacks were to be redeemed, they must move away from whites, their oppressor. He stood firmly for the Blackman lifting himself up and taking responsibility for his family. He felt that the African American would never be given equal rights. He stated, "Until colored men, attain to a position above permitting their mothers sisters, wives, and daughters, to do the drudgery and menial offices of other men's wives and daughters; it is useless, it is nonsense, it is pitiable mockery, to talk about equality and elevation in a society." 51
John Rock (1825 – 1866) an abolitionist, physician, and political analyst. In 1865, he was the first African American to speak before the Supreme Court on racial issues. His appeal was for whites to respect blacks.He had so much race-pride that he did not want White men to help the Negro. His position was, "Whenever a colored man is elevated, it will be by his own exertions." Mr. Rock wanted the doors of equality and citizenship to be opened for the African Americans. He said to his audience, 'hasten the day of general emancipation.' 52
Session 2: Uplift, Accommodation, and Assimilation
Edward Wilmot Blyden (1832 –1912), was the first Negro to support Pan-Africanism, and encouraged blacks to migrate to Liberia in the late 1870s. Blyden felt that the Negro needed to go back to Africa, a place of their fathers, and a place for larger opportunities and greater achievements. 53
Alexander Crummell (1819 -1898) was born in New York, a trained Episcopal priest. He fought for citizenship for Blacks by refusing to join the Diocese of Pennsylvania because of racial issues. He is known for establishing the American Negro Academy in 1897, a first black scholar-society in America. Part of his narrative for the solution to the race problem was amalgamation or absorption.He said that the Jews in America are sufficient for themselves. So are the Germans, the Italians, the Irish, and so are the African Americans sufficient for themselves. 54
Paul Lawrence Dunbar (1872 -1906) was a prominent African American Poet in 1895.He used idioms in rural black settings. He wrote the poems, "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," "Majors and Minors," and "We Wear the Mask."The last poem mentioned has political and social hints about white racism. 55
Anna Julia Cooper (1858-1964) was a Black scholar, intellectual, writer, and educator. She taught high school mathematics for thirty-nine years in Washington, D.C. One of the burgeoning feminist thinkers, she was a humanitarian. She said that this is the time for woman- all the departments in the new era are to be hers. She appealed to women to be intelligent and informed about all the movement of their time, because they have a lot to offer this society. She states that the race to fairness is for the hopefulness and elasticity of the youth. All its achievements are before it. 56
Ida B. Wells (1862-1931) was a crusader for justice, a teacher and journalist. She was born in Mississippi during the Civil War. She co-owned a newspaper in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1892, white racists destroyed her printing press.She led campaigns against lynching or mob murder. "No other nation burns its so-called criminals: only under the Stars and Stripes is the human holocaust possible," she shared. 57 She was the co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) was self-educated, devised a plan for African Americans. The plan was for them to become be self-sufficient. At that time, he didn't believed in integration. Many White southerners were against integration anyway. He wanted to find a way to teach blacks how to become economically sufficient, but some Black and prominent leaders disagreed with his plan. They felt that what Booker T. Washington asked for wasn't enough. They felt that he was too passive in his approach to receive equal rights and citizenship. His plan, some called the Atlanta Compromise. 58 At twenty-six, Mr. Washington founded the Tuskegee Institute in Atlanta, a black vocational and agricultural school.
William E. B. DuBois (1898 – 1963) a black intellectual of the twentieth century disagreed with Booker T. Washington on his plan on civil rights. Mr. DuBois wanted full equality in America, and now. He wanted full rights that the Constitution declared. In 1905, he and several African American intellectual initiated the Niagara movement. It began with the declaration of principles. Among other things, the Niagara movement demanded: access for health care, high quality, all rights that were denied blacks. Riots, lynching, Jim Crow were the order of the day. The principles of the movement, basically said to America, enough is enough. 59
Session 3: Migration and Urbanization
Claude McKay (1889-1948) fought against racial atrocities. By the end of World War l, white racism, lynching, destroying homes, schools and churches ran through the Black neighborhoods like a wild fire out of control. McKay used poetry to express his outrage. His famous poem, "If We Must Die," expressed his rage with the message of fighting back. 60
Marcus Garvey (1887–1940), was an organizer and leader of the Black Nationalist movement, Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). The UNIA was a self-help program for people of African descent. He fought for the working class and poor blacks. There were more than seven hundred UNIA programs in the United States and several hundred more in the Caribbean and Africa at that time. Mr. Garvey spread his Pan-Africanism beliefs in the black communities. He helped incorporate the Black Star Line, a shipping vehicle for promoting worldwide commerce among black communities from 1919 to 1922.
He was under pressure from British and American authorities, and was imprisoned in Atlanta in 1923. Born in Jamaica, he worked as a printer, journalists in different countries for a while. 61
Session 4: Art and the Negro
Langston Hughes (1902-1967) studied at Columbia University and published plays, novels, poetry, essays and an autobiography. Some of his poems were written about the unfair treatment towards the Negro and a cry to America to give them their fair share. The following statements written by Hughes in his essay, My America, gives his clear views on America's treatment of the Negro at that period. 'For Democracy to achieve its meaning, the Negro like other citizens must have the right to work, to learn skilled trades, and to be upgraded 5.'He produced several poems on citizenship and fairness that I will use with my students: 'I, Too Am an American;' 'Harlem;' and 'Jim Crow Sign.' 62
Alice Moore Dunbar-Nelson (1875-1935) was educated at both Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania. A teacher, political analyst, and poet, published her first book of poetry at age twenty (1895). She was aware that the rights of Black women to vote were a privilege that they didn't understand. The black women were a disappointment in the handling of the ballot. She would vote as her husband, brother or fathers influenced her to. Dunbar-Nelson wanted her to be independent in exercising this freedom, and should not be just another vote. She wrote that, 'when the Negro woman finds that the future of her children lies in her own hands-if she can be made to see then-she will strike off the political shackles as she has allowed to be hung upon her, and win the economic freedom of her race. 63
James Weldon Johnson (1871–1938) was a poet, lyricist, novelist, civil rights leader, diplomat, lawyer, and teacher. He wrote, Lift Every Voice and Sing, known as the 'Negro National Anthem.' The first secretary to the NAACP, Johnson wrote fondly about Harlem comparing it to the South where thousands of Negroes migrated. He wrote that New York was a place that guarantees its Negro citizens the fundamental rights of American citizenship and protects them in the exercises of those rights. 64
Session 5: Class Radicalism
Angelo Herndon (1913 - ) was an African-American Communists organizer who worked passionately for unemployed blacks and whites in Atlanta. He was found guilty for insurrection in 1932, but defended himself in front of an all white jury. In the excerpts from You Cannot Kill the Working Class speech, he wrote in his concluding remarks: You may do what you will with Angelo Herndon. You may indict him, but there will come thousands of Angelo Herndon's. If you really want to do anything about the case, you must go out and indict the social system, he stated. But this you will not do, for your role is to defend the system under which the toiling masses are robbed and oppressed. 65
Asa Philip Randolph (1889–1979) was a labor and civil rights leader 66. The Black-Labor Alliance helped the civil rights movement achieve one of its greatest victories - passage of the Voting Rights Act. Inspired by this success, Randolph and Rustin founded A. Philip Randolph Institutein 1965 to continue the struggle for social, political and economic justice for all working Americans. He was involved in the Organization of Black Trade Unionist to Fight for Racial Equality and Economic Justice. 67 In 1925 he helped organize and became the first president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, a union for all-black railroad workers of the Pullman Company 41.
Session 7: Civil Right Radicalism
Malcolm X (1925-1968) made radical statements about integration and other topics. He was a revolutionary black nationalist. He shared that there were many strategies to slow down integration in the South. "Just simply prevent votes from ever taking place by not ending the debates on issues. Then, either the government would come to a complete halt, or whatever bill they wanted to prevent from passing would be put aside," were insightful comments from him. 68
James Baldwin (1924–1987) articulates issues of race, citizenship and democracy. An essayist, novelist, poet, James Baldwin was a literary figures of the postwar era. 32 He is known for the classic, 'The Fire Next Time', (1963) an analysis of America's racial division. In the preface to this classic, James Baldwin wrote a compelling letter to his nephew, James. He describes to his nephew how white men don't care about him, and thinks that they are superior human beings. He encourages James to not listen to them, and that he can achieve anything with hard work. 69
Session 11: Public Policy
Harold Washington (1922 -1987) served in the U.S. House of Representatives, studied at Roosevelt University and Northwestern University Law School. In 1983 he became the first Africa-American mayor of Chicago. During his four-year term, the Mayor was aware that Chicago was a city where citizens were treated unequally and unfairly 5. He mentioned that women, Latinos, Blacks, youth and progressive Whites have been left out of the Chicago government. Mr. Washington supported educational excellence where all children will have fair opportunities to receive jobs and contracts. He wanted the people to create a city where every citizen will receive his or her full measure of dignity. Harold Washington advocated for 'Fairness' as the standard for all Chicago citizens. 70
Session 12: Post-Racial Citizenship
Barack Hussein Obama (1961- ) a first term senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, announced his candidacy for the President of the United States of America in 2007. Barack Obama focused on issues that brought people together; and did not focus on the race issue. 71 The questions to be answered were what was the candidate going to do about the realization of racial injustice or 'Freedom,' that remains the central factor behind the African American struggle. Will there be more opportunities for people of color, and fewer inequalities for them. 72 Borrowed from the excerpts from his keynote 2004 Democratic National Convention, on the race issue, Barack Obama states, 'for the African-American community, that path to a more perfect union (the title of his speech), means embracing the burdens of our past without becoming victims of our past, and to insist on a full measure of justice in every aspect of American life. 73
In his 2008 Democratic National Convention in regards to his ethnicity, he said that, "I stand here today, grateful for the diversity of my heritage, aware that my parents' dream live on in my precious daughters. I stand here knowing that my story is part of the larger American Story. 74 He became the first African American President of the United States of America. He was elected the forty-fourth (44 th) president of the U.S. From humble beginning to Presidency, is a monumental narrative for all students to connect to.
True Citizenship: A Question of Race
Every student should be grateful for the diversity of his/her heritage. They should want their parents' dream of equal opportunities and fair treatment to all people, to live on in them. However, equal opportunities and true citizenship for African Americans lives only in their struggles to attain it, and is still a dream, and not fully a reality. Today, true citizenship is still a question of race.
Instructional Objective: Students will review the role of slavery in colonial America.
Warm-Up: Students will be given a song called, The Songs of Freedom to learn. This should take two days or less to learn.
Anticipatory Set: Teacher will set-up as stage (crate boxes) depicting an auction scene using different items (student supplies) to be sold. How many of you have been to an Auction? We are going to have a mini-auction because I want to get rid of some things. I know that can use these items so I am selling them for as much money as possible can. (I will ask a volunteer if he/she will pose as a slave to be sold at my auction). After I have auctioned my school supplies, then the student (slave) will stand on the box and I will began to sell him/her. Tell students to take two minutes to write in your journal about my auction. Give it a title. Write down in your graphic organizer ideas about the topic. We will have a whole discussion.
State the objective: Africans were sold like school supplies and put into what is known as institutional slavery. Their slave owners controlled their lives: their housing, clothing, food, traditional practices, jobs, recreation, education, children, and transportation...
State the lesson objective: You are going to learn the role (responsibility or job) of slavery in colonial America.
Objective: Take out your Social Studies text booklet to page 89. Read quietly, the standard in the upper left hand corner. What does institutionalization mean? It denotes the process of making something a social role, as an established custom within the system. English-Learners will need scaffolding of this concept. Explain to them that people are not animals and should not be treated like them. People have rights to certain Freedom that slaves are not allowed to have because their slave-masters bully them and force them to do things. They want them to stay slaves. This is institutionalization of a people.
Vocabulary with definitions review: Take three minutes to review them. Student leader will set timer. Now, find a shoulder partner to review the words and their definitions. Time. Close your book. Teacher wills flash card for a minute or so. I will show you the word or the definitions and you tell me the meanings or the words. Teacher will flash the cards for a few minutes. Good job. Tell your partner that they are amazing. I need three powerful sentences for each word. Great Job! (Student helper will issue tickets to students that respond). Teacher will monitor and correct any incorrect grammar usage. (Transition – Freedom's Song will be the transition song-
Model/Presentation: Next, I will read from a book about two run-away slaves. It's entitled Ellen Craft's Escape from Slavery. "On Friday, all of you will have an opportunity to read the script in Reader's Theater." What lessons have we learned from reading this story? Teacher writes their responses on a chart. Take note in your journal about any Collaborative (35-45 minutes) (To Do): Visual Teaching Strategies (VTS) – "What do you see in the drawing on page 89? This visual activity will engage the children in discussion about the slavery scene. Yes, what more do you see. Why do you say that? (These are the questions that I ask the students over and over to get them to look deeper and to use descriptive words to explain their thinking).
Independent practice (35 minutes): On the overhead project: I will model the concept Make Generalizations (transparency R19).
Class, read the information in the target box. Reading: Make Generalizations (broad, wide, large, extensive.
How will they engage and practice? I want you to read pages 90 and 91 and discuss with your partner the questions 1 to 3. These pages offer context to the following topics: Slavery in the Americas, A Life of Hardship, and Resistance to Slavery).
Students that complete this independent practice before time, answer the summary question on page 91 in their S.S. Notebook. In their Social Studies notebook, title a page, Middle Passage, and write down the conditions the enslaves Africans endured on the slave ship from Africa to America.
Instructional Objective: Understand the fundamental principles of American constitutional democracy, including how the government derives its power from the people and the primacy of individual liberty.
Warm-Up: Student will take out lyrics to Freedom's Song and sing, with teacher modeling. Did anyone have problems learning the lyrics for homework? Most students should know them now.
Anticipatory Set: (I will use the same auction scene from previous lesson). The slave owner will tell a slave that he has to work for over 14 hours in the field picking cotton. Oh, by the way you can't see your wife anymore because she will be sold to Mr. Jones, today. The slave starts crying and pleads to the owner, "How much will I get paid, sir? Can I buy my wife's Freedom? The angry owner begins to beat him. "You balonz to me, boy, and you will never be paid. I own you, boy," and Mr. Jones will own your wife!" Get back to work! Students answer these questions in their journals: It this skit realistic? What right do the slaves have? What rights were taken from the slaves? Let's take feedback. Teacher will write responses on the chart titled, Rights of the Slave vs. Rights of the Owner.
Objective: What are the rights of U.S. Citizens, the power of the people, the right to vote, and the Bill of Rights.
Model/presentation - Today, we will review vocabulary, and read about the Rights of U.S. citizens.
Vocabulary with definitions review: Turn to page 163 - Preamble, Liberty, republic and principle. Have students list the liberties they have as American in S.S. notebook, title it, Liberties I Enjoy in the U.S. Students will work in table groups and brainstorm the rights that they enjoy as a U.S. citizen. Table leader will take the notes on the cards provided. Do you know why you have those rights? You have those rights because they were made part of our country's government. Turn to page 163 in your text. What do you see Visual Teaching Strategies (VTS)? What more do you see? Why do you say that (evidence)? That is an image of a gathering of thousands of people in Washington, D.C. in 1963 where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke his "I have a dream speech."
How will they engage and practice? Class, read, 'Set the Scene,' at the top of page 163.
What are the varied learning styles/needs? Teacher circulates the room, listening to all readers, assisting students that need additional support.
Small Group Practice: Student Pair-share how the rights of citizenship affect their lives if not protected. Teacher shares a read aloud picture book called, We the Kids, page 164. For homework, you will memorize one line of the Preamble.
Independent practice/differentiated Guided Practice. Read together pages 164-165. Remind them that the Constitution impacts their lives every day. Let them make the connections to the Constitution and their citizens' rights. Then, point out the first three words, "We The People..." It is the people who form the government. Have students reread the last paragraph of the "Bill of Rights." Teacher points out that these are only some of the rights that they are guaranteed under the Bill of Rights.
Students will sing the transition song. Students will look at the images on page 165. Label each one with the amendment each one represents. Turn to page 166 Citizenship: Amending the Constitution. Read the Learn More section independently. The teacher will point out that amending the Constitution reflect new ideas about citizens rights that were not added to the Constitution. Teacher will help students answer questions.
Technology – Students will read the full text of all of the constitutional amendments, available on line at www.loc.gov.
Instructional Objective: Understand how the Constitution is designed to secure our liberty by both empowering and limiting central government and compare the powers granted to citizens, Congress, the president, and the Supreme Court with those reserved to the states.
Warm-Up: Students will sing the Freedom's Song. Student will read or recite his memorized line of the Preamble. Ask student what they learn from the Preamble presentation? Place the information in your S. S. journal.
Do the rights of Citizenship and the enforcement of that right apply to everyone? Why?
Anticipatory Set: Teacher will read the picture book, The U.S. Constitution by Norman Pearl. It teaches the students that America is filled with symbols, and these objects stand for grand ideas such as Freedom and Democracy. The highlight of this book is the chapter entitled, The Constitution and You because it teaches the students how the laws protect kids. This book reinforces the lesson on government.
Objectives: Students will learn about the three balances of government: Legislative (Congress), Executive, and Judicial. They will learn how the federal, national and state governments have different powers. Lastly, they will learn the Role of Citizens in Government.
Model/presentation - Yesterday, we looked at how the U.S. created the Constitution; we learned our rights as U.S. citizens. What are some rights of U.S. Citizens? You made a presentation on the Preamble to the Constitution, outlining citizen rights. From Fun-book reading, we learned that the government would protect the rights of citizens. Today, we are going to learn, what is the Role of government in our lives.
Vocabulary with definitions: Preview the lesson vocabulary on page 167. Tell students to be aware of the two terms, shared and reserved. They will learn that some powers are shared by both state a federal governments, while some are reserved for just the state.
How will they engage and practice?
Ask the students to explain in their notebooks why, through voting, a citizen is the most powerful part of a democracy. Let's share. Write down their responses on chart paper. Title it, Why is voting Powerful? After some discussion, explain that this nation's capital, Washington D.C., is the center for the federal government. The Capitol is where one part of our government makes important decisions.
What are the varied learning styles/needs: Show visuals of the important landmarks in Washington, D.C. for them to identify.
Collaborative/Small Group: Students will read the review questions before they read the content information as a reading strategy. They will read together pages 168-169 and discuss the write-in review questions. They are to find evidence for each answer they selected. They may use a highlighter to underline the details and the main idea.
Independent practice: When summarizing the lesson on page 169, students should use descriptive words to explain how each branch of government checks, and is checked by, each of the other branches.
Skill: Flowcharts: Turn to page 170. Students will read the skill page together. This page will teach them that suggested laws are called bills. It is not until a bill has been passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives and then signed by the President that it becomes a law.
Transition Song: Student sing Freedom's Song.
Cultural Book Reading: Teacher will distribute their cultural books. Allow them five minutes or so to browse through the books, and share them with their classmates. Each day, after our social studies lesson, we are going to read in our cultural books and complete a comprehension activity. We are going to do research to find out as much as we can about our cultural journeys to citizenship. We will gather information and artifact to add to our Cultural Museum. We will talk about that shortly. When you have completed reading your books, you are going to be the experts on your culture's journey. What do experts do? Yes, they share their knowledge with others. So, we are going to have a town meeting, so that each one of you can share what you have learned.
Instructional Objective: Students will understand the responsibilities of citizens, their laws, and some work reforms.
Warm-Up or Transition - Students will sing, Freedom's Song, and recite the, "Preamble, we the kids" version.
Anticipatory Set: Teacher will read the story, Ellen Craft's Escape from Slavery, it is about two runaway slaves. The teachers states, "For the next three day, all of you will have an opportunity to read the script in The Reader's Theater." What lessons have we learned from reading this story? Teacher writes their responses on a chart
Students add to their graphic organizer facts about slavery and how some slaves resisted.
Presentation of Information: Do the rights of Citizenship and the enforcement of that right by the government apply to everyone? Why? Why not?
Write down your responses in your journal, and give it a title.
Model/presentation - Turn to page 171, SET THE SCENE: Tell me, what do you see? What more do you see? Why do you say that? VTS strategies. Today, we are going to review the vocabulary words on page 171.
How will they engage and practice? Teacher brings in newspaper articles about laws recently passed by state and federal governments. Share and discuss. Add to your graphic organizer. What title should it have? Teacher discussed the Reading Skill: Draw conclusion: When you draw conclusion, you form an opinion based on information you have red. As you red the first section on page 172, underline details that help you draw conclusions about the responsibility of citizens.
(Teacher displays the Draw Conclusions Skill Definition on a large chart).
Collaborative Groups: Read pages 171-174. Re-read the standard and objective together. Make a list of the ways citizens protect liberty.
Independent practice - Students will read the above pages and answer three questions to assess their understanding of the text reading. 1. Why is it important for people to carry out their responsibilities as U. S. Citizens? 2. How can citizens protect against laws they think are unfair? (I expect that some student will remember to add this new information to their journals). 3. Underline two things Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did to win equal rights for all American.
Summary question: What are some ways in which citizens can help preserve the Constitution, respect the rule of law, and safeguard liberty? Class with discusses responses. (Transition: Freedom's Song).
Reading component: Take out your Cultural Readers and begin your comprehension lesson. Student read for twenty minutes and completes a graphic organizer, and summarizes their chapter, using captions, labels, and other expository features.
Transition Song: Distribute their cultural books. We are going to read in our cultural books and complete a comprehension activity. We are going to continue to do research to find out as much as we can about our cultural journeys to citizenship. We will gather information and artifact to add to our Cultural Museum.
Town Meeting Brown Bag theater: We will create a stage outside the cafeteria and share what we are learning with our school community. During our lunch period, three days a week, each student will alternate performing for 3 or three minutes, reading speeches or poetry... You may work with a partner, group or independently. The sign-up sheet will be here in the morning. The Early bird gets the worm.
Day 5 - Let's Create
Instructional Objectives: Music Content Standards: Sing songs about citizenship and freedom from diverse cultures and time periods. Reading: Reading from literature and compare and contrast stories in the same genre. They will read with accuracy and fluency. Create: citizenship songs, plays skits; Lesson 6: H-SS 5.7.6 Know songs that express American ideals. Create cultural museum.
Warm-Up: Class sings Freedom's Song, and Recite, We the People and create a rap beat.
Presentation of Information: Learn I Too Am An American, by Langston Hughes.
Anticipatory Set: Three groups alternate performing in the Reader's Theater about the runaway slaves.
Model/presentation - Teacher will show examples of voting booth (page 171) design museum. Teacher will also display different size crates for the theater.
Teacher will discuss the Cultural Museum and the Brown Bag Theater.
How will they engage and practice? This is Day one for creating the Cultural Museum. Teacher tells student that they will create a museum, using items that they can find from their past that were used, seen, heard about, or even read during their journey. Your parents and guardian may help. But, we can research ourselves if you can't find anything from home. We can also make items that will fit into their journey. What should a cultural museum look like? Students will investigate what should a cultural museum purpose. Make a list of item that you thing will be appropriate for the cultural museum. Student will write an outline on how they will furnish, decorate, and display their items.
Collaborative/Small Group - Read pages 171-174. Re-read the standard and objective together. Make a list of the ways citizens protect liberty.
Independent practice - Students will sing the transition song, Freedom's Song.
Reading Component: Distribute their cultural books. Each day, after our social studies lesson, we are going to read in our cultural books and complete a comprehension activity.
We are going to continue doing research to find out as much as we can about our cultural journeys to citizenship. We will gather information and artifact to add to our cultural museum. Students share ideas about what items they have found in their reading.
Assessment: It is ongoing. Teacher says, "So experts write down three facts that you have learned about the cultural museum, and read one interesting fact that you've learned about Langston Hughes' poem, I Too Am An American," and about the Reader's Theater, and class shares their ideas.
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