In the Classroom: Elizabeth Partridge’s Marching for Freedom

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.


Filed under In the Classroom

5 responses to “In the Classroom: Elizabeth Partridge’s Marching for Freedom

  1. Great suggestion with this book, I can’t wait to read it!
    Another amazing book that teaches much about black/white relations post Civil War era, (although for a highschool audience) is They Call Themselves The KKK. This book was amazing, and it taught me so much about black history, and the treatment of African Americans in the Unites States by a group I previously knew very little about. You should check it out! We’ll talk about it on our website next month, too. Thanks for this post, and this reminder to us all of what today is really about.

    Jill (


  2. Jill, I agree on the power of the K.K.K book and even mentioned it recently in a post about the recent Twain flap.


  3. DaNae Leu

    Oh wow, I would have loved to have seen that. I made a short reader’s theater from Claudette Colvin and had my 6th graders read it last week. Some of them really got into it.


    • I thought of doing something with Claudette Colvin, but this seemed a bit tighter given that we had 10-15 minutes tops. Worked out really well so I recommend giving it a try. Kids can each take a chapter and work to select a few sections to read.


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