Title: Claudette Colvin
Background: The students will have prior knowledge about some events that took place during the Civil Rights Movement together with the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
The students will have prior knowledge about Civil Rights Activists such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks.
Suggested Before Strategies to Actively Engage Students: Shared Brainstorming, Question and Answer Pairs, and Rotating Chair Discussions.
At the conclusion of this lesson, the students will:
~Explain some events that took place during the Civil Rights Movement
~Cite specific reasons why it was important for Claudette Colvin to take a stand
~Discuss Claudette Colvin and her role in the Civil Rights Movement
~Discuss the benefits of Civil Rights Activists during the Civil Rights Movement and its impact on today’s society
~Research information from books or websites related to The Civil Rights Movement or Claudette Colvin
~Explain the benefits of activism during that time period in American history
~Answer quiz questions related to the Claudette Colvin article by use of memory and by referring back to the text.
~Explore books and/or audiovisual devices related to The Civil Rights Movement, The Montgomery Bus Boycott, or Claudette Colvin.
~Complete a quiz, aligned with the Common Core State Standards, as a form of evaluation.
CCSS.ELA.-LITERACY.W.8.2 BDevelop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples. (i.e. provide background knowledge of words contained within the text so that the reader has a better understanding or generalization.)
Vocabulary Terms for Discussion:
Arrested: to seize and hold under the authority of law
Defining: critically important
Segregated: to separate or isolate from others
Activists: someone engaged in activism
Bail: a sum of money used for the release of an arrested person
Defending: to keep safe from danger or harm
Charisma: a personal quality attributed to leaders; charm
Rejected: refuse to accept; deny
Declaring: to make known
Probation: a person who is released from jail/confinement but is still under court supervision*
Shunned: to avoid deliberately
Associated: to join as a partner, ally, or friend
Unconstitutional: not in accord with the principles set forth in the Constitution
Victorious: having achieved a victory
Conclusion: the end or finish
Statesmen: a man [or woman] who is a leader in national or international affairs
Reputations: a characteristic attributed to a person or thing
Justified: to prove to be just, right, or valid
Tolerate: to allow without opposing
Discrimination: treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than merit
Idly: not working or active
www.dictionary.search.yahoo.com (retrieved 8-6-14)
*www.thefreedictionary.com (retrieved 8-6-14)
Geographic Term: Montgomery, Alabama-an area in the southern United States. Most neighborhoods are “either totally black or exclusively white”. Information retrieved from www.travel.yahoo.com (retrieved 8-6-14)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1, 8.1A, 8.1B, 8.1C, AND 8.1D-Comprehension and Collaboration
Suggested During Strategies to Actively Engage Students: Note Check, Student Summaries, and Graphic Organizers.
Anyone who hears her story may be amazed, but to hear Claudette Colvin tell it, she really did not have much of a choice. In 1955, Colvin was a 15-year old girl living in Montgomery, Alabama, when she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white woman. This event took place nine months before Rosa Parks did the same. According to Claudette Colvin, “I could feel Harriet Tubman on one shoulder and Sojourner Truth on the other.”
Almost everyone is familiar with the story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a defining moment in the early Civil Rights Movement. Far less is known about the story of Colvin, a high school girl who simply refused to stand up or back down.
During February, Negro History Month, the segregated high school in which Claudette attended taught its students about black activists like Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. Claudette was taking the bus home from school when the bus driver told her to give up her seat for a white woman. Giving up her seat was never an option for Colvin, who could feel the ghosts of Tubman and Truth commanding her to take a stand. She refused and was promptly arrested and thrown in jail for the night.
After posting bail, the NAACP considered defending her in court but decided not to when she became pregnant later that year. Unlike Parks, an NAACP secretary, Colvin was not the one the Civil Rights organizations wanted as the face of the Civil Rights Movement. She did not have the fair skin of Rosa Parks, nor the charisma or experience. Claudette Colvin was only a teenager, after all.
Claudette Colvin rejected the idea that she was too young and too small to fight. She became one of the first to truly challenge Montgomery’s bus laws, declaring herself not guilty in court. Claudette was sentenced to probation. As a result, she struggled to find work with a criminal record. She was shunned by a community reluctant to be associated with someone who had challenged the white establishment. Despite these obstacles, Claudette was determined to fight segregation. She became one of only four citizens willing to sue the bus company. A lawsuit was filed in 1956, known as Browder v. Gayle. The case went to the U.S. Supreme court. On December 17, 1956, the court ruled that Montgomery’s bus laws were unconstitutional. In fact, it was that decision that brought the famous Montgomery bus boycott to a victorious conclusion.
History usually remembers the elder statesmen—Martin Luther King and others who served as the face of the Civil Rights Movement. Their gigantic reputations are more than justified. Yet, there is another tale to tell, the tale of Claudette Colvin and so many like her. She is emblematic of countless young people who simply refused to tolerate discrimination and hatred. She did not wait her turn or sit idly by while others fought.
Reading Level: 8.7 This document contains 493 words
CCSS. ELA.-LITERACY.RL.8.1Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.(i.e. by placing a specific sentence into the text, what does the author hope to accomplish?)
Which of the following sentences is one of the central themes of the article?
a. She was only a teenager, after all.
b. Almost everyone has heard of the Montgomery Bus Boycott; a defining moment in the early Civil Rights Movement.
c. Claudette Colvin rejected the idea that she was too young, too small to fight.
d. The lawsuit in 1956, known as Browder v. Gayle, went to the U.S. Supreme Court.
CCSS.ELA.-LITERACY.RL.8.3 Anaylze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision. (i.e. Determine the reason behind words or sentences used by the author within the text.)
Explain the reason behind the following sentence by the author into the storyline: “But standing up was never an option for Colvin, who could feel the ghosts of Tubman and Truth commanding her to take a stand. She refused and was promptly arrested and thrown into jail for the night.”
a. The author wanted to surprise the reader
b. The author gave the rationale for Colvin’s action
c. The author wanted to provide his opinion of Colvin’s action
d. The author wanted to show that Colvin was brave
CCSS.ELA.-LITERACY.RL.8.3 Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision. (i.e. Determine the reason behind words or sentences used by the author within the text.)
What is the reason behind the placement of the following sentence by the author? “But there is another tale to tell, the tale of Claudette Colvin and so many like her.”
a. The author liked Colvin
b. The author showed that Covlin’s story was important
c. The author revealed the Colvin’s story was like a fairy tale
d. The author was saying that Colvin’s story was just like many others
Suggested After Strategies to Actively Engage the Students: One-Minute Paper, Two-Column Method, and Think, Pair, Share.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1A Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.1B Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
CCSS.ELA.-LITERACY.SL.8.1C Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.
CCSS.ELA.-LITERACY.SL.8.3Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced.
Allow students to form small groups to:
Freedman, R. ((2008). Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. New York: Holiday House, Inc. The author takes the reader directly into the time of the bus boycott by providing details and pictures related to the boycott as well as the Civil Rights Movement. The book further discusses life in Alabama together with the struggles that African American citizens endured in order to enjoy their freedoms today.
Hare, K. (2005). They Walked To Freedom 1955-1956: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Illinois: Sports Publishing, LLC. This non-fiction book contains information related to the individuals who played a large role in the bus boycott. This important event in history allowed for the end of racial segregation on public transportation. This event alone helped to inspire many other events with the same hope in mind – to end segregation.
Hoose, P. Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice Melanie Krupa Books
O’Hern, K. (2006). The Montgomery Bus Boycott. Ohio: Gareth Stevens Publishing. The non-fiction story discusses The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s. It details the stories of the individuals who took a stand for equal rights. This book is appropriate for students ages 9 thru 12 years old.
Stanton, M. (2006). Journey toward Justice: Juliette Hampton Morgan and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Georgia: University of Georgia Press. This non-fiction story is about the struggles of race relations in Alabama, as told by a white woman, Juliette Hampton. Ms. Hampton wanted to change racism. She further provides a picture, through text, of what life was like during the time period of the Civil Rights Movement.
Copyright Taking On The Giant. All rights reserved.