Rosa Parks (5th Grade)

Grades: 
3, 4, 5

This lesson explores the heroic actions of one American woman. Rosa Parks’s acts of philanthropy brought a community of people together for the common good and resulted in major social change in her community and in the nation. Students will identify the relationship of individual rights, justice, equality and community responsibility.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintThree to four 30 minute class periods
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • review the heroic philanthropic actions of Rosa Parks.
  • explain why acting philanthropically is good for the individual and community.
  • identify the relationship of individual rights and community responsibility.
  • identify community as the degree that people come together for the common good.
Materials 

Rosa Parks: My Story by Rosa Parks, James Haskins, and Jim Haskins (see Bibliographical References)

Reflection 

 Draw a bus with positive grafitti on it expressing words of fairness and justice in an ideal world.

Bibliography 

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set: Set up eight chairs in two columns like a bus. Have eight students sit in the bus seats and tell them (and the class) that they have been working all day and they are tired. They are riding the bus home on a half-hour trip. Tell them that you are a new passenger getting on the bus. Role-play that you are getting on the bus. Pick one student (not a sensitive one) and tell him or her that he or she must get up and give you his or her seat. If the student hesitates, say “You know the law, people with (red) shirts must give up their seats if someone with a (blue) shirt comes on the bus. So get up or I will have you arrested.” Hold a discussion about what happened and the feelings of the people involved. Guide the students to the conclusion that the law is not fair or just and that it is the responsibility of the individual and community to do something about the law.

  2. Introduce the class to the story of Rosa Parks. Read aloud Rosa Parks: My Story by Rosa Parks, James Haskins, and Jim Haskins. Hold a discussion about Rosa Parks’ actions. Ask students to describe how she acted as a hero and philanthropist on the bus, then and continued to act as a philanthropist. Discuss how she was acting in her best interest, but also doing something for the common good.

  3. As a class, create a time line of the events from the Rosa Parks biography. Have a discussion of how individual rights and community responsibility are related. Refer to the time line for examples of each.

  4. Locate the city of Montgomery, Alabama, on a map. Compare and contrast this city in 1955 with the learners’ own community. Discuss whether they think an act of discrimination like Rosa Parks experienced may have happened in their own community in the past or if it could happen in the present.

  5. Discuss how philanthropic activities can bring about social change. Define social change. Challenge students to think of examples of this in their own community. Ask them to brainstorm social change needed to ensure justice and equality in their own community (the class, school or local community) that they could take action to bring about.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Recognize that citizens have a responsibility for the common good as defined by democratic principles.
    2. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.6 Explain why acting philanthropically is good for the community, state, nation, or world.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.5 Identify the relationship between individual rights and community responsibility.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define community as the degree that people come together for the common good.
      2. Benchmark E.9 Describe how philanthropic activities can bring about social change.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.2 Identify why people practice philanthropy related to their own self-interest.