Thursday, November 19, 2015

Focus on Primary Sources - Jackie Robinson

My kids love reading about sports stars, and when I ran across this material about Jackie Robinson recently, I knew it would be perfect for them.

And it was.

The National Archives has put together a fabulous set of resources, including primary sources and lesson plans, about this incredible baseball player.  A staunch advocate of civil rights for African Americans, Jackie wrote letters to several presidents, corresponded with NAACP leaders, and worked tirelessly for equal rights.  Fortunately, these artifacts have been archived and are available in digital format for students' use in the classroom.

They ate it up.  We began by doing a one minute quick write, to check and activate their background knowledge, and we were all surprised that very few students knew of him . . . and those who did had some pretty significant misconceptions.  Then we dove into the material, reading and talking and arguing and writing.  At the end, we revisited their quick write, and they were all astonished at how much they'd learned about the great number 42.

Of course, this isn't the only group of resources the National Archives is curated, but it is one that my thirders really enjoyed.

Which means they learned.

Home run.

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