African American Legacy: From Suffering to Suffrages to Civil Rights

Troy M. Gray, Language Arts, Davidson Elementary School

Final Unit (PDF)

Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)

200 Word Synopsis

The purpose of this unit is to immerse my students into a variety of different children’s literature in multiple genres, such as poetry, art, jazz music, dramatic photographs, novels, and short stories. These lessons will be integrated in literacy during Book Club and interactive read aloud and discussion sessions.(Interactive read-aloud and literature discussions are parts of our literacy program). It is shared talk, in which students examine ideas and think about narrative, expository, or poetic texts in meaningful and thoughtful ways. This gives the students a chance to think within, beyond, and about literature.

The unit will also be integrated throughout social studies units. The resources that will be incorporated will help to unveil the history from the 1930s throughout the 1960s, and will emphasize how the Civil Rights Movement helped shape America.

 My goal for this unit is to immerse my students in an understanding of how and why African Americans experienced tremendous hardships economically, politically, and personally, and how they’ve triumphed over these obstacles. This unit will be developed around themes reflecting human problems and reveal social issues such as war, hardship, poverty, racism, and environment. Many of these complex themes will be from different perspectives. I will also discuss freedom and happiness and what these mean to students throughout this unit. We will discuss how freedom and happiness relate to African Americans as we continue to grow as a nation.