Rosa Parks: Beyond the Bus


Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Civil Rights, Culturally Relevant Teaching, Teaching Ideas | Posted on 12/01/2015


December 1st marks the anniversary of the bus boycott day led by Rosa Parks. This year is the 60th anniversary from that inspiring day of courage. In preparation for this day, Teaching Tolerance offered an outstanding webinar that I had the privilege to attend. This webinar provided me with excellent tools to implement in my classroom to teach to my students the importance of Rosa Park’s leadership in the Civil Rights movement.


One of the key ideas that I took from this webinar, was that even though we recognize Rosa Parks as one of the leaders in the Civil rights movement, she did not act alone. There were a lot of other men and women that helped shape the movement. Among others, there were  Caucasian pastors and attorneys providing legal support and encouragement. The idea that is most relevant for the classroom though. is that it takes teamwork to accomplish a goal.

Some students sometimes believe that if they are not like a particular leader, they won’t be able to make any changes or to stand up for their what they believe in. The reality shows that big changes come from great leaders who are part of a group. So what the “Beyond the Bus” movement is trying to prove, is there are myths around the Rosa Parks’ story that need to be clarified. But above all, what I want my students to understand is that they don’t have to be politicians or rich and famous to promote action, or to be agents of change.

Rosa Parks was just a normal person, who was going home from work and by sitting down she stood up to change the world.


Reader’s Response: The Secret to Freedom


Posted by Mrs. Wells | Posted in Civil Rights, Critical Thinking, Culturally Relevant Teaching, Reader's Response | Posted on 01/24/2014




In this text, Lucy was just a little girl when her parents were sold off the plantation where her family lives.  With no family other than her siblings, Lucy learned from his older brother Albert that their lives could be different thanks to a secret code displayed on a number of quilts. The code  was part of the Underground Railroad: a system to help slaves be free. Using the information from the quilts, Albert escapes leaving Lucy behind.  Lucy was afraid that he would be caught and she would never see him again. Until one day…things changed.


In this story, we learned through these characters about how important family bonding is,  how difficult it could be to make some decisions and the importance of never giving up.

This secret code was created by the slaves to find freedom. For this post, I want you to think about what code would yu create if you were in a situation like that? Would you use a quilt or something different? Provide a brief description of your code and how you would use it.


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