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Rosa Parks Inspires Curriculum

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — November 15, 2005 1 min read

As thousands of people lined up at the U.S. Capitol to pay their final respects to civil rights hero Rosa Parks after her death last month at age 92, teachers throughout the nation were marking the milestone with lessons on the stand she and others took to dismantle segregation.

Several organizations have prepared historical materials and curriculum resources to help teachers craft lessons that highlight Ms. Parks’ life and her role in pushing equal rights for African-Americans., a Web project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, offers a teaching kit on Rosa Parks’ life.

A new civil rights curriculum for middle school students is posted by Discovery Education.

Teaching Tolerance, an arm of the Southern Poverty Law Center, offers a free teaching kit, Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks. It includes an Academy Award-winning film and classroom activities that retell the story of Ms. Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white man in Montgomery, Ala., in 1955, during the era of segregation. Her subsequent arrest sparked protests and a 381-day bus boycott, and helped launch the civil rights movement.

“Rosa Parks may have been quiet, but she was a fiercely committed activist,” Richard Cohen, the president of the Montgomery-based law center, said in a statement. “It is no accident that she didn’t give up her seat that day, and it’s no accident that she was the kind of person who could spark a revolution.”

A new civil rights curriculum for middle school students was also launched this month by the Faith & Politics Institute, Freddie Mac, and Discovery Education. Freedom on the Move, Continuing the March toward a More Perfect Union chronicles the “past, present, and future” of the movement for equal rights for minority groups in America. It includes class lessons, Web resources, and a student magazine.


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