Activism is a subject with a lot of potential for students to draw meaningful, emotional connections to their own lives and families. In this multidisciplinary four-lesson unit, ideal for Black History Month (or any time!), students will have the opportunity to engage with the perspectives of multiple authors, synthesize information, and share their findings and personal connections with their peers and community. The unit culminates with students having the opportunity to build a website on Google Sites to share what they’ve learned in an authentic, engaging way. As each lesson is long enough to span multiple days, if an hour is given to work on this unit each school day, it is likely that the whole unit will take about four to five weeks to complete.
Although this unit is designed with certain technology and specific award-winning books in mind, it may be adapted in accordance with the resources your learning community has available. These books have Lexile levels that make them appropriate for independent reading for most fourth- and fifth-graders who are reading at grade level (700–1040). If most of the students who will be doing these lessons are not at a sufficiently high level, additional scaffolding or an alternate reading selection should be provided. This lesson may also be employed with older or younger students with some modifications or extensions.