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The History of African-American Children: A Guide for Teaching Black History at the Elementary School Level

by
Jennifer Flood


Contents of Curriculum Unit 04.03.07:

To Guide Entry


Overview

- Introduction
- Learning to View Art
- Differences: It’s Not Black and White
- Slavery
- Desegregation
- Desegregation: General
- Desegregation: Libraries
- Desegregation: Schools
- Celebrating Diversity
- Modifications for Secondary School Level
- Lesson Plans
- New Haven Standards
- Bibliography

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Introduction

My goal is to teach my kindergarten students about black history through the eyes of children. In doing so, I will be able to provide my students with an awareness to build upon as they grow and mature. My resources include pieces of art centering on African-American children and literature related to the pieces. My focus is on desegregation. To lead into desegregation, I will briefly touch upon slavery. The unit will conclude with a celebration of diversity.

Because slavery and desegregation are sensitive subjects, I have been very selective in choosing art and literature to work with. My intention is to make my students aware of black history without depressing them or instilling fear and anger. By the end of the unit, I hope my students will have an appreciation for black history and a realization of how far African-Americans have come. I want them to know that there is hope for an even better tomorrow.

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Learning to View Art

In this unit, art is used to enhance children’s understanding of Black History. Therefore, it is important for the teacher to develop a basic understanding of art before beginning this unit. When viewing a piece of art, many people believe the artist simply looked at something and then depicted it on canvas. While this may be true in some cases, a good artist will use a variety of techniques to enhance the quality and meanings of his/her painting. When viewing a piece, some important things to look for are lighting, visual doubling, lines that connect, facial features, objects, placement, horizon, and point of view.

An artist uses lighting to highlight individuals and/or depict the time of day.

Questions to ask when looking at lighting

- Does the artist highlight a certain individual(s)? Why?
- What makes the highlighted individual so important to the piece?
- Who/what are the images in the shadows? Why are they there?
- Does the lighting depict the time of day?
- Why did the artist choose to portray that time of day?
- Does the time of day affect the mood of the painting?

Visual doubling is used to connect certain people and/or objects. A person’s triangular stance may mimic a church steeple off in the background, thus portraying the individual as Godlike.

Questions to ask when looking at visual doubling

- Why has the artist connected these two objects/people?
- What is the underlying message?

To connect certain individuals or objects, an artist may use lines. For instance, a thin strip of clouds on the horizon may connect a character in the foreground to something in the distant background.

Questions to ask when looking at lines

- Why did the artist connect these people/objects?
- How does my perception change knowing these people/objects are connected?

Facial features allow the viewer to understand the mood of those in the painting.

Questions to ask when looking at facial features

- How do you think this person is feeling?
- Why do you think this person is feeling that way?
- Where is the person looking?
- What is the significance of the person’s gaze?

Objects can be placed in a painting because of their significance.

Questions to ask when looking at objects

- Why was this object placed here?
- Was it important to the person or event depicted?
- If the object had not been included, would it change the mood of the painting?

An artist generally places the most important characters in the center of the painting. Usually, these characters are the largest because they are towards the front of the painting.

Questions to ask when looking at placement

- Why is the center figure there? What makes him/her important?
- How do the other figures enhance the painting?

Looking at the horizon is a helpful tool for determining who is most important in a painting. Often, the artist will put characters with greater importance above the horizon and characters with lesser importance below the horizon.

Questions to ask when looking at the horizon

- Who is above/below the horizon?
- What makes the characters above the horizon more important?
- What makes the characters below the horizon less important?

The artist may intentionally paint a specific point of view.

Questions to ask when looking at point of view

- Where is the viewer standing?
- What is the meaning of that viewpoint?
- What would we feel if we were in the scene?

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Differences: It’s Not Black and White

To set the stage for learning about slavery and differences, read Dr. Suess’s The Sneetches. In the story, some of the Sneetches have stars on their tummies and some do not. They spend time and money fighting over which kind of Sneetch is better. By the end of the story, the Sneetches learn they were silly to fight over such a thing. After reading the story, discuss differences with the students.

Slavery

“Slavery is founded on the selfishness of man’s nature--opposition to it on his love of justice. These principles are in eternal antagonism; and when brought into collision so fiercely as slavery extension brings them, shocks and throes and convulsions must ceaselessly follow.”"
-- Abraham Lincoln 1

Slavery occurred from the early 1600’s to 1865, approximately 250 years. During this time, a great many slaves used the Underground Railroad to escape north to the Free States and Canada. Many people were responsible for aiding slaves in their escape, including former escaped slaves, Native Americans, abolitionists, and Quakers. Clarify the meaning of these terms for students as well as the terms: slave, freedom, and liberty.

Former Escaped Slaves: Blacks who had run away from their slaveholders. They wanted other slaves to enjoy the freedom they had found.

Native Americans: The various tribes of people who resided in America before the Europeans’ arrival. Native Americans were already upset with European Americans for taking over their lands.

Abolitionist: Anyone who assisted in putting an end to slavery.

Quakers: A religious group who did not believe in slavery.

Slave: A person who has no freedom and is owned by another person. A slave has to work hard without compensation.

Freedom and Liberty: To be able to make choices and do what one wishes. A free person can vote, speak, write, and worship as he chooses.

To pass this knowledge on to young students, read the book Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold. In this story, a girl reenacts a slave’s escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad. After reading the story, have students discuss the different stops on the Underground Railroad. Also have students identify how escaped slaves communicated with abolitionists (by signaling quilts and singing spirituals). Have children learn to sing the spiritual “Go Down, Moses.” After talking about the book, explain how the Civil War put an end to slavery.

To make the discussion more meaningful, present and discuss the following pieces: Henry Darnall III as a Child (c. 1710, Justus Englehardt Kuhn) Three Sisters of the Coplan Family (1854, William Matthew), A Ride for Liberty - The Fugitive Slaves (c. 1862, Eastman Johnson), and On to Liberty (1867, Theodor Kaufmann).

Henry Darnall III as a Child (c. 1710, Justus Englehardt Kuhn). This work portrays a white child and a black slave boy. Ask children where the characters pose. The white boy is in the center while the black slave boy stands behind a balcony and off to the left, but ever attentive at his master’s side. Remind children that during this time, people felt that slaves should be in the background. The white boy’s entire body is shown but only half of the black boy’s is in view, making it evident that black boy is half that of a white boy. Turn students’ attention to the lighting. Which figure does the light fall on? It falls on the white boy. Finally, have children look at the black boy’s gaze. Ask students why they think the artist painted the black boy gazing admiringly up to the white child? Again, it stresses the white boy’s status higher than the black boy.

Three Sisters of the Coplan Family (1854, William Matthew). Three free middle class black children are shown in this painting. They are well groomed and nicely dressed. Have students compare how the free black children are portrayed in this painting as opposed to the black slave boy in Kuhn’s painting. In this painting, slavery is not a factor. The attention is placed on the three girls. Their gaze is towards the artist painting them.

A Ride for Liberty - The Fugitive Slaves (c. 1862, Eastman Johnson). Explain to the children that the artist, Eastman Johnson, witnessed this family riding to freedom in the midst of the Civil War. Ask them how they might feel if they were the boy on the horse. Inquire about what else they notice in the painting. The colors are gray, setting a bleak mood. It is evening, the best times for slaves to escape. The reflections of riffles can be seen in the background on the left and the skies are filled with smoke. While the man is looking onward to steer the steed, the woman is looking back, worried about being followed.

On to Liberty (1867, Theodor Kaufmann). This piece depicts escaped slaves heading for the Union lines. The lighting is important. The people are moving out of the darkness of slavery into the light of freedom. Ask students to notice what the slaves are wearing. They are wearing ragged clothing and most do not have any shoes. Turn children’s attention towards the rocky ground. Ask them what it must have been like to walk the slaves’ path without any shoes. Also ask children what the women are carrying on their heads. It is most likely food and provisions for the long journey before them. Turn children’s attention towards the slaves’ faces and body language. Inquire about what the slaves must be feeling. The two women in the center look weighed down by their heavy load. They may be nearing exhaustion. Two children towards the right of the painting are being forced onward by an older sibling. Allow children to compare Kaufmann’s piece with Johnson’s. Lead students to discover that although escaping could be treacherous, the hope of freedom helped slaves overcome their fears.

To complete the discussion on slavery, talk about skin colors. Ask students if they are black or white. Lead them to realize that no one is black or white, but that we are all shades of brown. Give the children brown and white paint. Have them create the color of their skin color my mixing the colors together on construction paper.

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Desegregation

“Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the
law.”
-- Justice John Harlan1

While the Civil War put an end to slavery in 1865, it did not create an equal environment for blacks. In 1892, Homer Plessy was imprisoned because he refused to give up his seat in the “white” car of a train. Plessy was 7/8 white and 1/8 black. Plessy took his case to court, arguing it violated the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments. In 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court found Plessy guilty in Plessy v. Ferguson. The court argued in favor of separate but equal treatment for blacks.

In 1951, Oliver Brown was concerned over his third grade daughter’s walk to school. Linda had to walk a mile to her black school through a railroad switchyard. Because there was a white school close by their home in Topeka, Kansas, Oliver requested his daughter be allowed to attend it. The school refused to enroll her. The case, Brown V. Board of Education was brought before the Supreme Court. In 1954, the Supreme overturned the “separate but equal” verdict in Plessy v. Ferguson. It was now illegal for schools to be segregated. However, it took quite some time for the general public to accept this ruling.

During the Civil Rights Movement (1955-1965), blacks held non-violent protests beginning with the Montgomery bus boycott and leading to the sit-ins of the 1960’s. After 250 years of slavery and another 100 years of unequal treatment, blacks finally began to get the freedom they had strived for, for so many years.

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Desegregation: General

While slavery had ended, blacks were still not treated equally. The two stories selected to express this to children are Fishing Day by A. Pinkney and Uncle Jed’s Barbershop by M. Mitchell. These stories are both uplifting and inspiring. Not only do they deal with desegregation but also with people who overcame obstacles to achieve success and friendships. Fishing Day draws on the Jim Crow laws of the South. It is about a poor white family and a middle class black family. While their parents try to keep their distance, their children learn to get along. When reading the story, ask questions to help students’ comprehension. Questions to ask include: Why do you think the families have never spoken to each other? What do you think “keep with this side of things” means? Why do you think Pigeon (Peter) threw the rock at Reenie? If you were Reenie, would you help Pigeon? Do you think Peter would have talked to Reenie if his Dad was around and why (why not)?

Uncle Jed’s Barbershop is about a little girl named Sarah Jean who becomes very ill, and her Uncle Jed, who dreams of opening a barbershop. Because blacks and whites were segregated, when Sarah Jean became ill, she had to wait in the “colored” waiting room. She learned she needed a very expensive operation. Her favorite Uncle, Jed, provides her family with the money to cover the cost of the operation. Despite the cost of the operation and hard times during the Great Depression, Uncle Jed saves up enough money to open his barbershop on his 79th birthday.

During and after reading, ask the students questions that focus on the way blacks were treated such as why black people had to travel 30 miles to get a haircut. Ask students to think about this story and Fishing Day, both of which take place in the South. Inquire about whether it was harder for a black family who lived in the South than a family who lived in the North and why. Ask students to think about the way blacks and whites interact today. How is today different from when the stories took place? After reading the stories, present the paintings Our Gang (1886, Joseph Decker) and The Card Trick (1880’s, John George Brown).

Our Gang (1886, Joseph Decker). This painting was originally titled Accused. The African-American boy in this painting is obviously uneasy as he is surrounded by the gang of white children. Ask students why the boy might be afraid. The white children have him surrounded, up against a wall. One is carrying a bat or walking stick. Another has a stick and is crouching down beside the black boy’s dog. Even the dog looks frightened. Judging on the time of the painting and on the stories the students have listened to, ask students what they think prompted this scene. Did white people and black people get along at this point in history? Ask children how they think the artist feels about the African-American boy. The boy is centered in the painting. The artist wants the viewer to sympathize with the black boy, as if he were wrongfully accused.

The Card Trick (1880’s, John George Brown). In this painting, the mood is much more relaxed. It is obvious that the black boy is friends with the three white children. The black boy is showing his friends a card trick. The white boys are obviously delighted by the trick, as they are all smiling widely. While the black boy is not centered, the viewer’s attention is drawn to him because the white boys are looking at him. Ask students to compare this painting to Our Gang. In both paintings, there’s only one black boy with several white boys. In Our Gang, the mood is tense with a sense of distrust. The boys are not on friendly terms. In The Card Trick, the boys are friendly and happy to be together.

Talk about how Reenie and Peter from Fishing Day mistrusted each other until Reenie’s act of kindness. Ask students to think of ways to be kind to one another. Then have them write and draw about their thoughts. Their drawings can be compiled into a classroom book, read aloud, and discussed.

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Desegregation: Libraries

Many public libraries were still segregated until the mid 1960’s. This made it difficult for blacks who wished to become literate. Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) and Richard Wright (1908-1960) were African-American boys who wanted nothing more than to learn to read.

To begin a dialogue, ask students what they know about libraries. They should know that with a library card, libraries are places where people go to borrow books. Tell them while that is true today, it wasn’t always the case. Explain that some African-Americans found ways to learn to read. Ask children why they think someone would want to learn to read? Guide them to discover that in reading, a person can learn about many different subjects. Knowledge is power.

Present the book More Than Anything Else by Marie Bradby. Tell the class that the book is about a boy who really wanted to learn to read. Explain how the boy was born into slavery but was freed, as were most slaves, after the Civil War. Read the story to students, asking questions during and after reading about the boy’s life, his occupation, and his desire to read. At the end of the story, the boy writes his name in the sand: Booker. He is Booker T. Washington, famed educator and racial leader. Ask children how Booker might feel if he was allowed to borrow books from a library. How might it have made his learning process easier?

Another book about a famous black American is Richard Wright and the Library Card by William Miller. As an adolescent, Richard wanted to learn to read. At the age of seventeen, he began working in an optician’s office. That’s when he met Jim Falk. Jim was a white man with a library card. One day, Richard mustered up the courage to ask Jim if he could use his library card. Jim, although hesitant, allowed Richard the use of his card so long as Richard kept it a secret. From then on, Richard frequented the library and read as often as he could. The books inspired him to become a very successful writer. During the book, ask students why Jim wanted Richard to keep it (the library card) a secret. Also ask students why they think reading changed Richard’s life. After reading, compare Richard Wright to Booker T. Washington. Booker was a slave while Richard was always free. Neither boy had easy access to books. They both had to work hard to learn to read. Learning to read led them to very successful careers. Then show The Library (1960, Jacob Lawrence).

The Library (1960, Jacob Lawrence). Ask the students how the artist must feel about reading. The work shows there are fourteen African-American people engrossed in the books they are reading. The floor and tables are shades of brown and gold. The artist has connected the people with the books through the use of bright, vibrant colors. The artist therefore must hold reading in high regard as did Booker T. Washington and Richard Wright.

If possible, plan a trip to the town’s public library. Prior to visiting the library, have parents fill out applications for library cards so you have them for students before the trip. Find out if the library was ever segregated and if so, when it became desegregated. Allow students to use their library cards to borrow books.

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Desegregation: Schools

Many European-Americans were unhappy with African-Americans being allowed into the “all-white” schools. White parents pulled their children out of schools to prevent them from attending school with black children. Schools refused to open. Black children’s lives were threatened. Despite resistance, many brave black children attended white schools in the hope of receiving a better education. They paved the path for today’s integrated schools. Now, all children, no matter what race or color, can attend public schools.

Show students the cover of The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles. Tell students Ruby Bridges was the first black child to attend an all-white school in the year 1960. Ask them to look at the people on the cover and explain what is happening. An angry mob of white people is protesting. They do not want to allow a black child into an all-white school. Despite the ugly scene, Ruby keeps her head held high as she enters the school in the hopes of receiving a better education. During or after reading the story, ask the children how Ruby must have felt being accompanied by armed marshals while walking through the mob every day? Ask them to imagine what it would be like if they were the only child in an entire school. Lead them to discover how brave Ruby was. Following this conversation, show Norman Rockwell’s painting of Ruby Bridges.

The Problem We All Live With (1964, Norman Rockwell). Having read the story, solicit from children what they notice about this painting. Ask students who is in the center of the painting. Tell them that the girl is Ruby Bridges. Encourage students to notice the guards around Ruby and the tomato that was thrown at her. Ask students how Ruby is portraying herself. She is looking straight ahead, paying no attention to the angry mob from which the tomato came. Remind students of the part of the story where Ruby prays for the crowd. Show another of Rockwell’s paintings.

The Golden Rule (1961, Norman Rockwell). In this piece, people from all races are crowded together, hands clasped, faces hopeful. The saying “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” appears across the painting. Ask students what the saying means. Lead them to discover Ruby believed in this rule. Instead of fighting back, she cared about the angry white protestors and forgave them because they didn’t know what they were doing. Ask students if they think it is better for people to be separated like they once were, or united as in this painting.

If the class is diverse, have students draw pictures of their classmates. If not, have students draw pictures based on the people portrayed in The Golden Rule.

Continue reading books about integrated schools such as Mr. Lincoln’s Way by Patricia Polacco or Wings by Christopher Myers.

Mr. Lincoln’s Way is about a prejudice white boy in an integrated school. The boy’s views have been tainted by the views of his father. Mr. Lincoln, the black principal, finds a way to get the boy to see beyond color.

Wings is set in the city. Ikarus Jackson is a boy who literally has wings. This makes him quite different from the other children and often causes him to be the center of ridicule. Even his teachers view him as a distraction. A girl in Ikarus’s class stands up for him and Ikarus learns to appreciate his uniqueness.

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Celebrating Diversity

To conclude the discussion on desegregation, celebrate diversity! Seat students in a circle and ask them to think of something that makes them special or unique. Encourage them to think about what they’re good at and what makes them feel proud. Invite them to take turns, sharing their thoughts with the class.

Read The Color of Us by Karen Katz. The story paints a very vivid picture of all the beautiful skin colors that exists. Ask children to look around. Are any of them really the same exact color? Remind them of the painting activity they did at the beginning of the unit. Everyone’s a shade of brown, but not necessarily the same shade.

Read Think Again by Doug E. Fresh. It’s about a black boy and a white boy who learn to get along and eventually become best friends. After reading the story, play the CD that comes with the book. Doug E. Fresh sings the lyrics that are written in the book. Allow students to stand up and dance to this meaningful tale.

Have students learn to sing the song “Listen” by Kathy and Red Grammar. It celebrates the ways people are alike. In the lyrics, it explains how a heartbeat, singing, and laughter always sound the same.

Again, present the students with Norman Rockwell’s The Golden Rule. Ask students to examine the painting and express what makes each individual unique.

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Modifications for Secondary School Level

The artwork in this unit is appropriate for the secondary school level; however, picture books and most of the recommended activities are not. Below are suggestions for modifying the unit:

- Use a history textbook in collaboration with the artwork

- Use Frederick Douglass’s autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, when teaching about slavery and desegregation

- Students can research and report on a famous Black American

- Students can investigate local schools and libraries to determine if they were segregated and when they became desegregated

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Lesson Plans

Following are the first three lesson plans to aid in teaching the unit.

Lesson 1: Differences

Objectives

Students will:

- listen to a story.
- identify differences.
- describe what it’s like to be different.

Materials

The Sneetches by Dr. Suess

Setting a Purpose

“Today we are going to read a story about the Sneetches. The story is about a time when the Sneetches didn’t get along. While I’m reading the story, I want you to figure out why the Sneetches didn’t get along and what happened that made them get along.”

Procedure

- Read the story
- Tentative questions to ask while reading:
- Why don’t the Sneetches get along?
- How do the Star-Belly Sneetches feel about themselves?
- Would you do anything differently in you were a Star-Belly Sneetch?
- How do the Plain-Belly Sneetches feel about themselves?
- Would you do anything differently in you were a Plain-Belly Sneetch?
- Which kind of Sneetch would you rather be and why?
- What happened when Slyvester McMonkey McBean came to town with hisFix-it-Up Chappie?
- What made the Sneetches decide to get along?
- Tentative questions to ask after reading:
- Have you ever felt different?
- What made you feel that way?
- How did it make you feel?
- What did you do to make yourself feel better?

Closure

“The Sneetches realized they were wrong to judge each other based on the way they looked. This story reminded me of a time when people judged each other on the way they looked. They thought lighter skinned people were better than darker skinned people. We’re going to talk more about this later in the week.”

Lesson 2: Slavery

Objectives

Students will:

- listen to a story.
- state facts about the Underground Railroad.
- state facts about Harriet Tubman.

Materials

Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold

Setting a Purpose

“Do you remember reading about the Sneetches? What was the problem in the story and how did they solve it? What did I tell you it reminded me of? (Allow response time) There was a time when many white people made black people their slaves. Does anyone know what it means to be a “slave?” (Allow response time) Black slaves had to do whatever their white owners told them to do. If they didn’t, they were often severely punished. It was a bad time. Fortunately, there were many people who helped slaves escape and slavery no longer exists. Today, we’re going to read about one of the people who helped slaves escape. The person we’ll read about is Harriet Tubman. Harriet Tubman was a slave who escaped and helped other slaves escape on the Underground Railroad. As I read the story, I want you to try to figure out what the Underground Railroad was and how it worked.”

Procedure

- Read the story
- Tentative questions to ask while reading:
- What were some of the bad things about slavery?
- Where did Cassie stop to rest?
- Who helped Cassie?
- How did Cassie know it was safe?
- What clues did Cassie get from agents of the Underground Railroad?
- Tentative questions to ask after reading:
- Was Cassie ever on a train?
- Was the Underground Railroad really a railroad?
- What did Harriet Tubman do?

Closure

“Now you have an idea of what it was like for slaves. The next time we talk about slavery, we’ll look at paintings of slaves.”

Lesson 3: Slavery

Objectives

Students will:

- state facts about slavery.
- identify with slaves.
- explain what they think is happening in the paintings.
- compare the paintings.

Materials

A Ride for Liberty - The Fugitive Slaves by Eastman Johnson

On to Liberty by Theodor Kaufmann

Setting a Purpose

“Who remembers what slavery is? (Allow response time) What did Harriet Tubman do? Today we’re going to look at two paintings that show slaves. I want you to look at the paintings and tell me what you think of them.”

Procedure

- Show students A Ride for Liberty - The Fugitive Slaves by Eastman Johnson.
- Tell students the title of the painting. Ask them what it means to be a “fugitive.”
- Tentative questions to ask while looking at the painting:
- What do you notice?
- Who is in the painting?
- Where might they be coming from?
- Where do you think they’re going?
- Where is the woman looking? Why might she be looking that way?
- How do you think the boy on the horse feels?
- What do you see in the background? (There are riffle barrels in the background. Explain that this painting took place during the Civil War, the war that ended slavery.)
- What time of day is it? Why do you think the slaves chose to escape at night?
- Show students On To Liberty by Theodor Kaufmann.
- Tell students the title and explain that “liberty” means “freedom.”
- Tentative questions to ask while looking at the painting:
- What do you notice?
- Who is in the painting?
- Where might they be coming from?
- Where do you think they’re going?
- What do you think of when you think of the dark/light? Notice how the slaves are moving away from the darkness of slavery and into the light of freedom.
- What are the slaves wearing?
- Look at the ground. What must it feel like to walk there without any shoes?
- What do you think they’re carrying?
- Do you think their trip is easy? Why or why not?
- What are the children in the painting doing?
- Show students both paintings, side by side. Ask them to compare the paintings. The most important thing students should notice is how the slaves look like they are worried and/or struggling. Guide students to understand that while escaping may be scary and difficult, freedom was worth it.

Closure

“What do you think of slavery? (Allow response time) Many people thought it was wrong; so many that there was a war that put an end to slavery. While people could no longer own slaves, many people with white skin thought people with black skin still weren’t equal or the same. In future lessons, we’re going to spend more time learning about some special people who helped put an end to that way of thinking.”

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New Haven Standards

Social Studies Content Standard 1.0: Diversity

Students will:

- listen to multiple sources that reflect the diversity of culture.
- distinguish differences and similarities among individuals and families.
- identify and explore the diverse cultures within the school.
- identify and state the significance of contributions of selected persons

Social Studies Content Standard 2.0: Civics and Government

Students will:

- read, view, and listen to multiple sources concerning civics and government.
- discuss issues and express a preference.

Social Studies Content Standard 5.0: History

Students will:

- read, view, and listen to multiple sources concerning history.
- distinguish between events that are current and those in the past.
- explore the history of their school.

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Bibliography

Teacher Resources:

Bolden, Tonya. Tell All the Children Our Story: Memories and Mementos of Being Young and Black in America. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2001.

This book is about African-American children. It begins during slave times and ends in modern-day America. The majority of the artwork used in this unit can be found in this text.

Everett, Gwen. African-American Masters. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2003.

This book is a compilation of black artists’ works of the twentieth century. A brief synopsis accompanies each painting.

Pohl, Frances K. Framing America: A Social History of American Art. New York: Thames & Hudson Inc., 2002.

This is a textbook that focuses on American art of the 20th and 21st centuries.

http://www.watson.org/~lisa/blackhistory/contents.html

This website contains information on black history beginning with the Dred Scott case of 1857 and concluding with school integration in 1975.

http://www.worldbook.com

The World Book Online Reference Center links to many articles relating to black history.

Picture Books and Artwork:

Differences

Suess, Dr. The Sneetches. New York: Random House, 1904.

Some of the Sneetches have stars on their tummies and some do not. They spend time and money fighting over which kind of Sneetch is better. By the end of the story, the Sneetches learns they were silly to fight over such a thing.

Slavery

Picture Books:

Ringgold, Faith. Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railroad in the Sky. New York: Crown Publishers, 1995.

A girl reenacts a slave’s escape to freedom on the Underground Railroad.

Artwork:

Johnson, Eastman. A Ride for Liberty - The Fugitive Slaves, c. 1862

Kaufmann, Theodor. On to Liberty, 1867

Kuhn, Justus Englehardt. Henry Darnall III as a Child, c. 1710

Matthew, William. Three Sisters of the Coplan Family, 1854

Desegregation; General

Picture Books:

Mitchell, Margaree King. Uncle Jed’s Barbershop. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1994.

This story is about a little girl named Sarah Jean who becomes very ill and her Uncle Jed who dreams of opening a barbershop. Because blacks and whites were segregated, when Sarah Jean became ill, she had to wait in the “colored” waiting room. When she learned she needed a very expensive operation, her Uncles Jed proceded her family with the money to cover the cost of the operation. Despite the cost and the hard time during the Great Depression, Uncles Jed saves up enough money to open his barbershop on his 79th birthday.

Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Fishing Day. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 2003.

This story draws on the Jim Crow laws of the South. It is about a poor white family and a middle class black family. While their parents try to keep their distance, their children learn to get along.

Artwork:

Decker, Joseph. Our Gang, 1886

Brown, John George. The Card Trick, 1880s

Desegregation; Libraries

Picture Books:

Bradby, Marie. More Than Anything Else. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1997.

This story portrays Booker T. Washington as a child. It is about his desire to learn to read.

Miller, William. Richard Wright and the Library Card. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1998.

As an adolescent, Richard wanted to learn to read. At a time when libraries were segregated, Richard used his employer’s library card to borrow books.

Artwork:

Lawrence, Jacob. The Library, 1960

Desegregation; Schools

Picture Books:

Coles, Robert. The Story of Ruby Bridges. New York: Scholastic Inc., 1995.

This story retells the life of Ruby Bridges. Ruby was the first black child to attend an all-white school.

Myers, Christopher. Wings. New York: Scholastic Inc., 2002.

Ikarus Jackson is the center of ridicule because he literally has wings. He is mocked by all until a girl in his class stands up for him.

Polacco, Patricia. Mr. Lincoln’s Way. New York: Philomel Books, 2001.

This story is about a prejudiced white boy in an integrated school. The boy’s views have been tainted by the views on his father. Mr. Lincoln, the black principal, finds a way to get the boy to see beyond color.

Artwork:

Rockwell, Norman. The Problem We All Live With, 1964

Rockwell, Norman. The Golden Rule, 1961

Celebrating Diversity

Picture Books:

Fresh, Doug E. Think Again. New York: Scholastic Inc., 2002.

A black boy and a white boy struggle to get along. Despite their differences, they eventually become best friends.

Katz, Karen. The Color of Us. New York: Scholastic Inc., 2001.

This story paints a vivid picture of all the beautiful skin colors that exists.

Grammar, Kathy and Red. The Teaching Peace Songbook & Teacher’s Guide. New York: Smilin’ Atcha Music, 1993.

The song “Listen” can be found in this book as well as many other wonderful songs about peace.

Note:

1 http://www.watson.org/~lisa/blackhistory/contents.html

This website contains information on black history beginning with the Dred Scott case of 1857 and concluding with school integration in 1975.

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