Nothing Without Us: Bringing Justice to Public Policy

byJacqueline Travis

Even today, especially in light of what has happened to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Aubrey and so many more, African-Americans are still fighting for equal rights and true equity. Because of this, I would like to inspire our young people to be active leaders in advocating for policy by exploring historic moments in which policies were won because of everyday people advocating for their rights. We will do this through learning about the Civil Rights Movement in a developmentally appropriate way.

This unit, designed for 2nd graders, will span 6 weeks. Students will learn to analyze sources like historians, asking critical questions to interpret them and learn about the past. They will also learn visual literacy strategies to support their interpretation of images. Using images, videos and a variety of text, will be engaging for primary students and helps make the content accessible for all students. Students will read, write, discuss and create art to learn about the Civil Rights Movement and demonstrate their thinking about what they learn. Students will also use the framework of the building blocks of distributive politics to design a mock campaign in order to seek a solution for a collectively determined issue.

(Developed for Social Studies, Reading, and Writing, grade 2; recommended for Social Studies, Reading, and Writing, grade 2)

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