In the Trenches

Thoughts and Ideas from a Classroom Teacher

Freedom on the Menu

on March 11, 2012

My students have been reading The Watson’s Go to Birmingham – 1963, by Christopher Paul Curtis, in our reading and social studies block lately. I love this book, and it’s one of the reasons why I so excited to come back to fifth grade this year. It covers so many awesome themes for literature and addresses lots of important issues, both current and historical. Tomorrow, in our reading, the Watson’s are starting their journey from Flint, Michigan to Birmingham, Alabama. As they journey through the states on their trip, we will be looking at some of the events happening around that time along the route. Tomorrow we are reading Freedom on the Menu. This book depicts the actions of a few brave college students in Greensboro, NC, who staged a sit-in at the lunch counter in Woolworth’s. 

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I found this excellent guide to the book from Thinkfinity that can be used for vocabulary, themes, and historical connections.

Here’s a Readers’ Theater script to accompany the book, as well, that we might try. 

This website about the Greensboro Sit-Ins is also great for a primary source connection. 

This YouTube video shows an interview with one of the Greensboro Four, years after the sit-ins. 

There are so many activities that can be done with this book, and I am looking forward to seeing how my students connect with the story. I know we will be able to learn so much! 

 

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