In honor of today I thought I would relate something we did with Elizabeth Partridge‘s award-winning book about an important part of the Civil Rights Movement, Marching for Freedom. Asked to contribute something to our school’s Martin Luther King assembly last Friday, I suggested to my Book Blogger Club (filled with book and blogging loving 5th, 6th, and 7th graders) that we present the book. Eager to perform and learn about the history in the book, they were immediately game.
First, of course, they needed to know the book and so I met with our 5th graders while my colleague Roxanne Feldman worked with the 6th and 7th graders. They then each chose a chapter from which they would select excerpts to read at the assembly. It was interesting how carefully they chose, knowing just what was needed so that their peers would truly appreciate the history recounted in the book. We rehearsed. We added a slide show of photographs. A few girls with beautiful singing voices decided to hum “We Shall Overcome” behind the girl who did the introduction.
On Friday they did their presentation and were wonderful. And the audience of 4-6 graders learned from their peers and through voices of children of the time about a remarkable and significant milestone in the Civil Rights Movement.