Powerful Video of Birmingham, 1963

My class is finishing up reading either The Watsons Go to Birmingham or Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and I have been on the search for a good end-of-novel project. Both books revolve around racism and how families cope (or don’t) with the times they are living in. We’ve had some real powerful discussions about racism of the past and racism of the present.
I found this video this morning and it is perfect for what we have been talking about.

The movie is part of the Media that Matters Film site, which seems like a great resource. I downloaded the activity/discussion guide but I need time to look it over. We did watch the beginning of Spike Lee’s Four Little Girls (the inspiration for the Watsons book) and it was powerful … a bit too much. A few kids went home really shaken. That emotional response allowed us to have more discussions about our country’s past and how far we have come.
Meanwhile, I think we may move into creating Claymation movies that address the bigger idea of tolerance for a final project that will just about wrap up our school year (we go until June 25 this year due to ice and snow this past winter). I just worry about having enough time …

Peace (everywhere, all the time),

  1. That is a wonderful digital story for the ages. I am still moved by the courage and conviction of a generation of people to build the bridge and make the changes that allow us to live better lives today. Thanks for sharing it, Kevin. My K class has discussed segregation and civil rights in a small way by drawing comparisons to the way we live our lives now. This video can extend their learning.

  2. Oh, wow, I love this movie, both for the content and the style!

    I’m sending a link to this post to NCWP TC Pam and Elk Grove teacher Lesley, whose 8th grade students (Pam’s) and 4th grade students (Lesley’s) have connected via their Change Writers Project. I know they will be interested in seeing your students’ projects on tolerance.

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