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Teaching the Civic Rights Movement through the Eyes of Young Participants

Teaching about the civil rights movement in the elementary grades has, in many schools, focused exclusively on the lives of Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Many students are well versed in the content of King’s “I Have A Dream” speech, and they know well that Rosa did not give up her seat on the bus. While these moments and heroes of the movement are essential in the study of this era in history, the study of more obscure and lesser known people and events is a great way to deepen our students’ understanding of the sacrifices that so many thousands of ordinary people made in the pursuit of equal rights for all.