Some Civil Rights History Tidbits

This week I begin facilitating a Grade 3/4 book group at my daughter’s school. The book, Scraps of Time, 1960: Abby Takes a Stand by Patricia C. McKissack, is a quick, succinct read depicting, from a 10-year-old girl’s perspective, many important issues of the Civil Rights movement in Nashville. I assumed the exact characters were fictional, but the mention of Z. Alexander Looby on p. 82 was certainly too specific not to be true. It always interests me to learn more about important but not widely known people.

The rules for the nonviolent sit-ins appear at the back of the book.

Related posts:

First Black Woman Doctor

Black History Month

African American Portraits



2 thoughts on “Some Civil Rights History Tidbits

  1. Kristi says:

    Hey, I’m looking into using this book for my 3rd grade reading group. Do you have any questions or type of lesson plan for this book. If so I would appreciate it, if you would share.

  2. christinerafal says:

    Hi Kristi,

    We used very general book-group type questions. For example, the students get a two-page or so homework sheet for each assignment. This was a mixed group of 3rd/4th graders; they actually read the book in just 4 sections. Book groups met Tuesday and Friday with a parent who went over the homeworks with them as the basis of a discussion. Each assignment usually started off with writing down 4 or so words that they didn’t know and looking those up; then listing the sequence of main events; then drawing a scene from the section and writing why they chose that scene (was it important for the book, did it evoke strong feelings, etc); the last question of the assignment gave them a chance to ask any questions, which is where you get a chance to make predictions, etc. The parent/discussant reads the book with them in case there was anything important they didn’t cover, but this is not usually my experience. It does help the parent know whether they’ve missed something if she/he has already read the whole book. For example, with this book the group read through Chapter 4 in the first section and no one had any comments about anything from Chapter 1. Well, how important is the best friend? Why is she in the story? What does she add? It’s good for the parent to have finished the book in order to decide how much to focus on such an omission. [She’s not all that important, the nature of the best-friend activities makes it clear that Abby is regular 10-year-old and thus allows the readers to identify with her, provides a little additional perspective on the movement, but that’s mostly it.]

    Thanks for reading. Let me know what you do and how it goes.

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