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.thebeatitudes-229x300

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.

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