Sixth grade teachers, Mrs. Kristen Caldwell and Mrs. Krista Schroder, focus every day in February on honoring the historical leaders of the black community so that students can better understand how the community has changed over the years. This month provides an opportunity to learn about black history and culture, creating awareness and reminding us all that black history is OUR history!
In Social Studies, students learn about the U.S. civil rights movement beginning in the 1800s. They study the movement’s timeline, its groundbreaking events, and its leaders and activists. The class also collaborates on creating a poster of well-known historical figures that include Thurgood Marshall, Ruby Bridges, George Washington Carver, Jackie Robinson, Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Barrack Obama.
In the English portion of class, students study words such as “racism,” “prejudice,” “race,” “ethnicity,” and “discrimination.” They not only learn the dictionary definitions, but also do projects that help them understand how these concepts have impacted real people throughout history. One project involves choosing a black historical figure, researching the person’s history, and writing different types of newspaper articles (expository, editorial, breaking news, etc.) about them. Some of the individuals students can choose from include Shirley Chisholm, Katherine Johnson, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Colin Powell, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Desmond Tutu, Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson, Clarence Thomas, Nelson Mandala, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Ben Carson, Serena Williams, Sojourner Truth, Ruby Bridges . . . and the list continues!
As the foundation of all of their lessons, teachers always look to the Word of God, pointing students to many Scriptural references about creation, love, humility, and unity; for as I Corinthians 12 points out, we are all members of one body in Christ, regardless of race or culture.