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Protests and Marches

Student and Teacher Resources

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Sometimes People March by Tessa Allen

Grades: K- 6

Summary: "In this debut picture book, spare, inspiring text describes the many reasons people march, and delicate watercolor illustrations depict activist movements throughout American history. Use this timely and timeless introduction to activism to spark age-appropriate conversation about the ways in which people gather to seek change."

Themes: Activism, Social Justice, Civil Rights

Review:  This is a book that should find a home in all libraries and elementary school classrooms. Allen uses a combination of simple text and beautiful watercolor illustrations to explain why people march. She not only highlights historical events but also also gives modern examples that allow young children to make connections with current events. Allen also includes other forms of resistance, such as music, art, sit ins, and taking a knee. The end notes provide a more detailed explanation of the events and key people depicted in the illustrations.

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Lift as you Climb - The Ella Baker Story

by Patricia Hrurby Powell and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Grades: P - 3

Summary: Lift as You Climb - The Ella Baker Story, is an early elementary picture book biography, written in freeform verse. It follows the life of Ella Baker from a young girl on her grandparents' farm in North Carolina to an important activist within the Civil Rights movement. The illustrations provide vivid and emotional images of the fight against racial injustice. Author notes include a timeline of Ella Baker's life, a list of organizations that she worked with, and more detailed biographical information in paragraph form. In addition there is a bibliography of books, films, and articles.

Review: Another gem for teachers of elementary and middle school aged children, this is a perfect read aloud book to introduce a variety of topics within black history and civil rights. This is a fabulous book to help fill the knowledge gap children have of the role women played in the civil rights movement. Ella Baker is not a household name even though she is one of the most influential female civil rights activists and was an important ally to D. Martin Luther King. The illustrations in the book are important as they provide a visual representation to students of the role women played and that they were indeed a part of the movement. Ella Baker’s contributions to the civil rights movement are immeasurable. Several of the illustrations provide vivid images of historic events that were pivotal to the movement, including the fire bombing of the Freedom Rider's bus and police intervention. This realism is important and students need to see the reality of the struggle. It puts the danger, risk, and bravery needed to fight these injustices in context. There is a comprehensive Educators' Guide produced for this book by the publishers. It has lots of curriculum linked activities for K through Grade 3, and many of these activities are appropriate for older grades with only small changes. I would highly recommend grabbing a copy either from your local library or purchasing a copy for your classroom.

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