Rosa Parks: A Civil Rights Hero

byCarol Boynton

In the many children’s picture books about Rosa Parks, she is simply portrayed as a tired old seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama, who decided to resist segregation law by refusing to move to the back of the bus. This moment of defiance is presented as a spontaneous act of courage that sparked the bus boycott and placed Rosa Parks in the forefront of civil rights. In fact, there is a deeper story in her history that is missing from this civil rights story.

This primary level unit spends three to four weeks on the life and legacy of Rosa Parks by expanding her life story, using the following texts for project-based learning activities: The Bus That Changed History: The Story of Rosa Parks by Pamela Duncan; Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds; If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks by Faith Ringgold; Rosa's Bus: The Ride to Civil Rights by Jo Kittenger; A Picture Book of Rosa Parks by David Adler and Robert Casilla.

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

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