For the past 2 weeks, my 4th and 5th grade Literacy Group has been studying Famous Civil Rights Leaders in America. We read the story, Happy Birthday, Dr. King a few weeks ago, which led to lengthy discussions and questions. There are 9 native languages in my classroom this year, so lots to talk over and compare.
Anyway, as a culminating project, I decided that each child should choose a person to research and write a simple, 3 paragraph report about. They also had to find a good photo or picture of the person online. Now, we're creating a QUILT! Yes, that's right, a Civil Rights Leader Quilt! It's going to be so cool!
One young child in my class is here from South Korea. He decided to do a simple study of Malcolm X. Wow, what a report he wrote. See, in Korea, there is very little tolerance in regards to race. Basically, this child has told me often how much he doesn't trust black people. He also doesn't like poor people in America. He said, "Why can't everyone buy food here? It seems like everyone owns a cell phone, even when they are poor?" He and I have some very interesting, sometimes slightly heated, discussions. Anyway, in his report he said, "Malcolm X is regarded as a civil rights leader. However, he was not very logical. MLK was logical. He thought we should create a nation of people who are caring and fair. Malcolm X, however, thought that black people should be able to create their own nation within a nation, a nation of only black people. That is illogical. Black people cannot take care of each other very well." Hmmmm...I'll work with him more tomorrow, but I realize that he is coming at this from a very interesting background. His mother, interestingly, was crippled with polio as a child and walks with a terribly painful limp. She is a specialist in autism, yet said, "I don't like my child being in a school with children who have physical and mental disabilities. He won't learn as much here."
I will photograph the quilt later and show you! We're using cool transfer paper to get images onto quilt squares! Way cool!