As we continue to “bridge the gap” between The Civil War and The Civil Rights Movement, students are exploring the special role music played in the growth and culture of African Americans. We listened to clips of jazz music and talked about how the music made us feel. We noticed that when listening to Duke Ellington’s Black and Tan Fantasie that we felt both happy and sad at the same time. Similar to the continued challenges that African Americans faced after The Civil War, jazz music helps to embody the joyous feeling of winning the war and the sad feeling of not fully being free. Students explored jazz instruments, musical terminology and will continue to learn how African Americans brought with them to America a tradition of using music to accompany and define activities of their lives.
Last semester, students learned about the Civil War and how the Emancipation Proclamation granted freedom to slaves in the American South in 1865. Before we begin our study on the Civil Rights Movement later this month, students are “bridging the gap” from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement by asking what happened to people of color after the Emancipation Proclamation and before the start of the Civil Rights Movement in 1955.
We built a physical bridge to help “bridge the gap” and investigated the events in the book The Beatitudes: From Slavery to Civil Rights.
In small groups, students researched one page of the book and created a tableau, news report, or song to present the facts and emotions about their person/event. Then, as a class, we put the events in order and read the book to bring all the pieces together. It was a powerful lesson that really helped students grasp the fullness of the story and timeline of people of color in our country.