Power and Race in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Unit of 3 Lessons
Grade Levels: 
Language Arts
Social Studies
Issue Area: 
Focus Question 

Focus Question: What is a world citizen's responsibility to promote and advocate for justice, equity, and kindness? 


Photo Credit:  9 - Civil Rights Movement by U.S. Embassy The Hague is licensed under CC by 2.0

Unit Overview 

Young people respond to literature and simulations around discrimination in 1933 Mississippi, through the Newberry winning novel by Mildred Taylor: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. They determine the importance of family, ownership, and community in socializing children and helping others through hard times. They analyze the effects of discrimination on community capital and self-worth.

Service Experience 
Participants go to a local senior citizens’ home and interview seniors about how the community has changed since they were teenagers. They will discuss the importance of family and how it influences their beliefs yet today. Learners will create a display with new insights from the knowledge gained during the interviews on a designated space in both the senior home and where youth come together.  
Lessons in This Unit 
Power and Race in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
Lesson 1 of 3

Using award-winning literature, the learners describe and analyze racism in Mississippi during the Great Depression. The readers identify the injustices in the community as well as the values and self-respect that build community relationships and strength.