MENU

Kindergarten Discusses Civil Rights

Kindergarten Discusses Civil Rights
Posted on 01/29/2019
drawingIncluded in the January Kindergarten Scope & Sequence (monthly syllabus of what the K students will talk about or be taught) is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. This content was discussed over a two week period and crossed many different kindergarten disciplines: Social Studies, Reader’s Workshop, Writer’s Workshop, Shared Language & Included Technology. Using many different methods to help the students understand and grasp the lesson.

In one of our Kindergarten classrooms, the students spent more than a week learning the timeline of events leading to the Civil Rights Movement. This content was taught in a developmentally appropriate way for young children. The class read about various people who participated in the events, using excerpts from the book “The Youngest Marcher” the story of Audrey Faye Hendricks a young Civil Rights Activist.

The dates/events on the timeline included:

1944 - Birmingham, Alabama - adopted racial segregation ordinances
June 4, 1956 - Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth began holding weekly church meetings to plan integration of schools and facilities in Birmingham
Jan. 1963 - Reverend Shuttlesworth urged Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to come to Birmingham
April 1963 - Dr. King discussed strategies with many people, including the Hendricks family
April 29, 1963 - Reverend James Bevel proposed that Children’s March and go to jail
May 2 -7, 1963 - The Children’s March resulted in the arrests of 3,000 - 4,000 young people, filling jails
June 19, 1963 - President John F. Kennedy submitted a civil rights bill to Congress
July 23, 1963 - Birmingham rescinded its segregation ordinances
August 28, 1963 - Civil rights activists held the March on Washington for jobs and freedom
July 2, 1964 - Congress passed the Civil Rights act of 1964 

The students were then asked what they remembered and here are their responses in their own words:

Q: Who was Audrey Faye Hendricks?

She was the youngest marcher, she was 9 years old.

Q: What was she marching for?
She marched for Civil-Rights "and justice for all" so all people could go to school together, shop in stores together, ride on the bus sitting anywhere they wanted and eat at the Ice cream place together.

Q: When did the March happen?

A long, long time ago when you were a baby. (To put the time into perspective the teacher told the students it happened when she was young.)

Q: Where did she live?

In the south in Alabama.

Q: What special people helped her and the other children?

Martin Luther King, Jr. came to her house and knew her family. Her pastor asked him to come to Alabama from Boston where he was at B.U.

Q: How many children marched on May 2-7 in 1963?

Around 3,000, Audrey Faye Hendricks was the youngest. They put her in jail for 7 days or one week.

Q: What happened next?

People all over America were angry and the President made a paper (The Civil Rights Bill); he sent it to some law people (The Congress)

Q: Did anyone else help the children?
250 people marched into "D.C." for justice for all

Q. Did the leaders listen? Did anything change?
The papers were made into a Law to protect all people and no children can go to jail and people can be together and be kind and have Justice for all.

The students also remembered the president's name was Kennedy and they added that the laws were changed in Alabama before the laws in the whole country were changed.

The students asked how they could help to continue the Civil Rights Movement and were informed about one way they could help – the MLK Day of Service, organized by the City of Cambridge – and encouraged to participate with their families.