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Search tags: Civil-Rights-movement
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review 2019-01-21 21:42
The Watson's Go to Birmingham
The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963 - Christopher Paul Curtis

The Watson's Go to Birmingham-1963 was first published by Christopher Paul Curtis in December of 1995. This story is about a family from Flint, Michigan. The story starts out telling the troubling experiences of the Watson kids (Byron, Kenny, and Joetta) at their school. After the parents have had enough, they announced that they would be traveling to Birmingham, Alabama, to visit their grandmother. One morning, Joetta also known as Joey, decides to attend church with some of her grandmothers friends. The church was the historical 16th Street Baptist Church located in Birmingham. While at church that day, a bomb exploded in the basement of the church. Needless to say, this story is based during the middle of the civil rights movement that was taking place here in the south. For an activity, I would have my students to choose a major event that occurred and was relevant to them. Ex) 9/11, major hurricanes, presidential elections. I would have the students to discuss how they felt or what they observed from their personal experiences. This book is on a 5.0 level according to the Accelerated Reader book leveling system.

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review 2018-02-24 23:06
Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles
Freedom Summer - Deborah Wiles,Jerome Lagarrigue

Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles is a beautiful story of friendship between John Henry (a young black boy) and Joe (a young white boy) in the 1960s. The two boys spend their entire summer together, going on adventures and making unforgettable memories. As the boys spend time together, Joe begins to notice all of the things John Henry can't do and all of the places he is not allowed into simply because of this skin color. But despite this, the boys become close friends and embrace each other's differences. This book has a great variety of vocabulary that readers can learn from and excellent illustrations that paint an accurate picture of the South during the 1960s. 


I would use this book during a Social Studies lesson and ask students to compare and contrast John Henry's and Joe's lives before and after the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964. Using historical facts learned in previous lessons and the book, I would ask them to compare/contrast what they could and could not do and what their daily life would look like. What changed? What stayed the same? They would write their response in a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation that they could share in class. 

Lexile Measure: AD460L

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review 2018-02-23 20:21
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - Doreen Rappaport,Bryan Collier

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Martin Luther King Jr. by Doreen Rappaport is a great rendition of the history of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This book does an excellent job of explaining historical events and facts of the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. King's influence during that time. This book is appropriate for young readers and uses developmentally appropriate language. The illustrations are exceptional. Without too many words and with just enough detail, readers can learn about the life and death of Dr. King as well as the start and end of the Civil Rights Movement.


This book serves a great educational purpose in the classroom. After a lesson on Dr. King's influence during the Civil Rights Movement, I would read this book to the class and discuss it afterwards. Then I would ask students to read portions of the famous "I Have a Dream Speech" by Dr. King and to find real word examples of how his dream came true. Then, I would ask students to help write a class "We Have a Dream Too" speech where we would write dreams or wishes we have for the world as it is today (and the issues Americans face today).



Guided Reading: S
Lexile: 410L
Accelerated Reader Level: 3.4

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review 2016-11-05 17:45
The Bat Boy and His Violin - Gavin Curtis,E.B. Lewis

Another story I have read to my 4th graders! I read this book the same week as Teammates, and we compared & contrasted the two. We talked about theme again, and how the moral was the same and different. We also discussed the time period again and how it was the same as Teammates (the civil rights movement). Another part of the book we discussed as a class is how the characters felt. We used pictures and context clues to determine if they felt happy, sad, determined, upset, encouraged,etc. 

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review 2016-11-05 17:03
Teammates - Peter Golenbock,Paul Bacon

I read this with my 4th grade class to discuss theme, which I felt very appropriate. First I had to explain the setting to be during the civil rights movement when blacks and whites were separated. They helped by adding to the discussion and sharing their own thoughts on this. Then I asked them if they knew what theme was. We discussed as a class that the theme is the moral of the story or lesson learned by the end. While keeping this in mind, I read the book only stopping at points to explain vocabulary. After reading,we talked about the theme of the book and what lessons they learned from it. 

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