It's Black History Month and we all look to our great African American leaders in this ongoing battle for civil rights. Much as I revere MLK, Rosa, and others - including President Obama - I always taught my kids first about Abraham Lincoln, the man who got us started towards equality. I know many others contributed and should be given credit for change, but for me, it's Abe.
It's because of the Emancipation Proclamation, of course. Parts of it are included in these free comprehension passages on Civil Rights. Click here to download: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-i62PVJovVednBsblVJQ2NjUDA/edit?usp=sharing
These passages challenge 4th-6th grade readers to imagine an America today without the contributions of MLK, Rosa Parks, and Lincoln. Readers also decide which of these Civil Rights leaders was the most important and give reasons why they think so. Everyone's opinion counts! Might be worthwhile for teachers to set up informal debates in the classroom. Students learn pretty quickly that without solid reasoning their opinions won't get much play.
This is a month when we as teachers and adults are reflective about how far we've come and how far we need to go. When we allow students to see a bigger picture; form opinions about civil rights issues and then learn how to support them - we allow students to become reflective as well.
For a full literacy center on Civil Rights, check out my Black History Month Activity Center (http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Civil-Rights-Activities-for-4th-5th-and-6th-Graders-488915)
OR for a full day of Civil Rights activities for your sub teacher (or for you), click here http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Civil-RightsFull-Day-of-Activities-for-5th6th-Grade-488784
There are TONS more civil rights activities at www. teacherspayteachers.com.
For younger readers check out this teacher's offering: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Martin-Luther-King-Activities-second-and-third-grade-1045024 And for secondary students, look at this comprehensive power point http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Civil-Rights-in-America-Black-and-White-World-117627
P.S. Maybe you can tell I'm from Illinois. Once while visiting Salem, Ill. when I was about 8 or 9, we adopted a stray border collie and named him - can you guess? Abe. Our family has an antique mahogany bed that is similar to one in his Springfield house. We call it our Lincoln Bed! I figure he's one of the cousins.... in my dreams!