Thursday, January 10, 2013

More About Segregation and The Civil Rights Movement

On Tuesday I wrote about the lesson that we did using the book  Freedom Summer.  I meant to take a picture of the anchor chart and forgot (of course!).  I took a picture today.  It is nothing to write home about so don't get too excited! :)

The kids enjoyed it.  

We did a simulation activity to help kids understand segregation and discrimination.  The idea was shared on our county website so I cannot take credit for it.  

I put out new markers and crayons, fresh paper, and wrinkled, nasty paper from the recycle bin with broken crayons.  Before we started the activity I told students that the only rule for the activity we were about to do was they could not ONLY use what I gave them (no sharing or getting materials elsewhere in the room).  I asked students to draw a picture of their favorite thing to do after school.  I secretly selected one group of students (students wearing red or bright pink shirts) to get new crayons and fresh paper.  I was careful to make sure the group encompassed all of minorities  just to cover myself (you never know).   The rest of the class got 4 random, broken crayons and the wrinkled paper.  Then I put out peppermints that I give out when kids have a tummy ache and then a mixed bag of Willy Wonka candy with Twizzlers, Gobstoppers, Lemonheads, etc.  The kids in red could choose any candy they wanted.  The rest of the kids only got 1 red peppermint.  I made sure the kids did NOT eat the candy when they picked it out.

 Can you believe not one child complained or grumbled ?!?!  I about fell over!!  We have PREACHED this year "You get what you get and you don't pitch a fit!" and our kiddos have taken it to heart!  Sweet things!  I then called the kids to the carpet and asked the more outspoken ones to talk about how they felt.  I explain what I was up to and why and how it related to segregation and discrimination   Then they all got to pick out 1 piece of candy of their choice since they were good sports- and got to eat it then too!

The light started to spark but the concept was still just too big for my kids. I really feel blessed that this is a concept that is foreign to most of my students- I would hate the alternative.  My co-teacher shared this fantastic idea and they GOT it (well, as much as an 8 year old can get such a heavy, controversial topic). 

Have you seen the video or read the book The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss?  It is a great, child friendly example of segregation and discrimination ("They had no stars upon 'thars!").  


We watched it and then related it to the definitions for segregation and discrimination.  It was really the perfect,simple example!

You can watch the video on School Tube for free!  Click here for a direct link!

7 comments:

  1. Mandy, this is wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing your idea. I cannot wait to try it next week. Thank you :)

    Catherine
    The Brown Bag Teacher

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  2. Thanks for sharing the video! What a perfect tie-in for MLK Day to make some new connections.

    Lisa

    Stories from Room 114

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  3. Mandy,

    Do you read the book first before doing the activity?

    I love it and want to do it next week.

    Thanks for another great idea!

    Tracey

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  4. Never thought about using the Sneetches. Thanks for the tip.

    When I was in Kindergarten, my teacher did the old "Blue eyes acan't play with brown eyes" experiment that was popular oh so long ago.

    Problem was I was in KINDERGARTEN and devastated especially since I had a playdate after school with my best friend who had brown eyes. She had us believe this the WHOLE day! Can you believe it? Ugh! Your idea seems great and I'm sure it worked well! Well-thought out unlike my teacher's!

    Firstgradebloomabilities

    ReplyDelete
  5. Tracey,
    I did not read the book. Instead we watched the video and I stopped it and discussed it as needed. I thought about doing that too, but I only had 30 minutes for the lesson :)! I am sure you can do it either way, though!
    Mandy

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  6. Thank you. I can't wait to do it!!

    ReplyDelete
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