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Students honor Dr. King’s legacy with Civil Rights Unit

Group of smiling students in hallway with bright pictures.
Fourth graders stand their stained glass windows they created in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Students in Michele Pacciarelli and Kelly Mecocci’s fourth grade class recently culminated a Civil Rights Unit in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Their lessons began with a class constructed timeline, beginning in 1865 with Jim Crow laws; state and local laws that enforced racial segregation in the Southern United States enacted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Students then learned about civil rights activists Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat on a public bus to a white passenger in 1955, and Ruby Bridges, the first African-American child to desegregate an all-white elementary school in Louisiana in 1960.

The class also reenacted the Greensboro sit-ins from 1960, a series of nonviolent protests held in Greensboro, North Carolina, that led to the Woolworth department store chain removing its policy of racial segregation in the south.

Students then ended the unit focusing on the triumphs of Dr. King’s high level of education, his famous speech, and his peaceful march mission. The class timeline ends on April 4, 1968, with Dr. King’s assassination.

Students created pictures that are symbolic of the glass windows in his church where he preached.

Stained glass window replicas, symbolic of the windows at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s church where he was a preacher.
Students created replicas of the stained glass windows at the church where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a preacher. The windows say “Brave. Powerful. Smart. Peaceful.”