Lesson Plan: African American History Month Poem
Grade Level: 4-12
Want to teach your students to write an African American history theme based haiku during African American history month, here is a lesson plan. It can be adapted to fit the lower grades.
Curriculum: Integration of History and Creative Writing (Poetry)
Focus: Critical Thinking and Writing
Overview: The Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 was, for many, the movement that ushered in the modern-day Civil Rights Movement. Americans boycotted city buses, walking for 381 days. They were boycotting to end bus segregation on city buses in Montgomery, AL. The boycott ended on December 21, 1956; bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama ended on that day, also.
In order to prepare the students for the research paper on the boycott, have them watch the video Boycott.
Teach students how to write a haiku. Explain to the students that the haiku is a Japanese style poem. There are 5 syllables on the first line; seven syllables on the second line, and 5 syllables on the third line. Below are two sample haikus.
I am Civil Rights
I protest; I walk and walk
Rosa Parks was tired
She refused segregation
Now I am free, yeah!
Have students read poems about the Montgomery Bus Boycott (Reference List Below)
Discuss the poems. You may want to explore the following:
- Words that create Images
Have students write haikus about the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Have students search the web for images on the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Develop a literary journal using a publishing program.
Five Good Sources on the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Brooks, Gwendolyn. In Montgomery. Chicago: Third World Press, 2003.
Browder versus Gayle. In the District Court of the United States for the Middle
District of Alabama Northern Division: Civil Action No. 1147. N. Transcript and place
Dove, Rita. On the Bus with Rosa Parks. New York: W.W. Norton and
Durr, Virgnia. Outside the Magic Circle. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Universito of
Alabama Press, 1985.
King, Martin Luther, Jr. Stride Toward Freedom. New York: Harper and Row,