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Author brings history to life for EUMS students

 In honor of the 50th anniversary of the church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, Mrs. Holste’s 6th grade Language Arts classes read about the civil rights movements. While identifying main ideas, searching for supporting details, and composing summaries, the students’ interests were sparked about the hardships that many people had to endure in the not-so-long-ago past.

Along with reading nonfiction literature about this time period, Mrs. Holste shared two fictional pieces with her classes. Carole Boston Weatherford wrote a picture book, Freedom on the Menu, about the Greensboro sit-in, and a narrative poem, Birmingham, 1963, about the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing. The students observed how the author included true, historic facts within her fictional stories.

As a culminating activity for this unit, Ms. Jones, the EUMS media specialist, arranged for Mrs. Holste’s classes to meet the author through Skype in the school’s media center on September 23, 2013. Ms. Weatherford read her latest poem, Birmingham, 1963, and shared her experiences as a child living through the civil rights movements in the 1960s. The students were well-prepared with questions about the writing process, being an author, and living through the 1960s as an African American child. It was a wonderful unit that integrated Language Arts skills and a bit of American history.

Written by: Nicole Holste, 6th grade teachers
Posted: Sep 30, 2013 by Susie Jones

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