Sunday, February 8, 2015

Favorite Civil Rights Reads!

Since February is Black History Month, I thought this would a great time to link up with the lovely ladies at the Teaching Trio to share my three favorite Civil Rights picture books for their Favorite Things Linky!

In 5th grade, we have an entire integrated unit about the Civil Rights Movement. We read tons and tons of primary sources. We watch videos, we learn about the history, we make timelines. Its truly one of the best units we teach all year. However, one of my favorite ways to "teach" this time period is through amazing picture books. You can see more of my favorite books by checking out my past post on Historical Fiction & my Civil Rights feed!

Here are my three favorites:

Freedom on the Menu
This picture book is great for teaching the idea of injustice. Told through the eyes of a little girl who wants a banana split at the lunch counter this book resonates with my 5th graders. The book is extremely well written and has great "stop and jot" moments. This book is also a great companion to primary sources about the Greensboro Sit-ins. {Click each book cover to see more on Amazon!}

Freedom Summer
 This book focuses on two best friends that try and go swimming together at the public pool, only to find out the pool is only open to whites. The writing is impeccable. For fifth graders, this book is perfect for meeting our multimedia standard in Language Arts. Have students read the entire story typed up without pictures first. Then, reread the story together with the pictures! The pictures definitely add to the tone, beauty, and understanding of the text. I'm so glad a fellow colleague thought up this great lesson!

A Taste of Colored Water
I love this book because it's written from a completely different perceptive. Instead of being through the eyes of an African American child, this story is told through two rural boys that have no concept of segregation. Lots of inferencing and imagination are at work in this story! The boys venture into the city with their uncle lured by the taste of "colored" or rainbow flavored water. My students love the humor but always see the bigger message of this text. It also pairs extremely well with the picture book White Water.

I use all of these books to teach about different historical perspectives and events. I also use them as our models before we start writing our own historical fiction. If you're celebrating Black History Month and need some great reads definitely start with my three fravorites!

What are some of your favorite February picture books?


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