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iconInquiry 6: Civil Rights Movement

Click the comic link or comic image on the right to view the graphic version of Civil RIghts Movement inquiry. Read the narrative below.

Kyle and Isaac are in a reading group focusing on the book "The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963" by Christopher Paul Curtis. Kyle wonders about what life was like in the 1960s. He decides to ask his grandparents.

Isaac grew up hearing about the Civil Rights Movement from his grandfather. He wants to make a video of his grandfather's experiences.

The children both create lists of questions such as:

boy and videoWorking with Ms. Anderson in the library media center, the children learn to use the video equipment. The grandparents are all thrilled with the results and agree to have their videos shared at open house.

Many traditional projects would stop here. However Ms. Anderson works with the classroom teacher to deepen the project. Kyle and Isaac work together to compare their interviews. Their grandparents had very different experiences and perspectives. They use Inspiration software to document this comparison.

To understand why their experiences were so different, they go to the Library of Congress website and explore historical photos and documents from the Voices of the Civil Rights section. Now that the children have a couple authentic connections to the past, the history is much more meaningful.

The lesson on primary resources has much more meaning when it's connected to "real life."

Update: Once the children got the hang of the video camera and iMovie, they've begun to teach other students. After watching the new Ken Burn's film The War. They want to collect oral histories from members of the community who have experienced war.

© 2007 Leslie Preddy, Daniel Callison, Kym Kramer, and Annette Lamb