Rosa Parks Day

Rosa Parks Day lesson plan

Use recycled materials to create props to act out Rosa Parks' historic role in the U.S. Civil Rights movement.

  • 1.

    Invite students to read about Mrs. Rosa Parks' act of civil disobedience, and the roles she played in the civil rights movement.

  • 2.

    Students recreate the bus Rosa Parks sat on. Begin by using a tissue box to create a bus. Paint the bus with Crayola® Tempera Paint. Dry overnight. Add details with Crayola Washable Markers.

  • 3.

    Use Crayola Scissors to cut wheels from recycled cardboard. Decorate them with markers. Attach wheels to the bus with Crayola School Glue. Dry completely before standing on its wheels.

  • 4.

    Make bus seats from construction paper. Glue them inside the bus. Dry.

  • 5.

    With construction paper, make puppets of people who were involved at the beginning of the Montgomery bus boycott: Mrs. Parks, bus driver, police officer, passengers of different races, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Draw people's features and clothing with Crayola Multicultural Markers.

  • 6.

    Invite students to write a play about Mrs. Parks' experience. Use puppets to reenact the events.

Standards

  • LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • LA: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.
  • SS: Identify and describe ways family, groups, and community influence the individual's daily life and personal choices.
  • VA: Select media, techniques, an processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Analyze, describe, and demonstrate how factors of time and place influence visual characteristics that give meaning and value to a work of art.
  • VA: Describe ways in which the principles and subject matter of other disciplines taught in the school are interrelated with the visual arts.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resources include: Rosa by Nikki Giovanni; The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson; Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles; Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-Ins by Carole Boston Weatherford; The Civil Rights Movement for Kids by Mary C. Turck; The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
  • Students research details about pivotal events leading up to and during the civil rights movement. Students investigate the ideas that shaped Martin Luther King's philosophy for attaining peace and justice.
  • Students take on the persona of Rosa Parks and keep a journal of the events that occurred from her bus ride, subsequent arrest, and time in jail. What was she thinking when she got on the bus that infamous day? Or about when she was arrested? What was Rosa's time like in jail? Were the risks she took worth it to herself and/or her family?
  • Encourage students to look closely at photographs from the civil rights era. How do the separate water fountains, seating areas on buses, etc. make they feel? If they had lived at the time, how would they have felt about "separate but equal" laws and practices?