What is Justice?

Students begin to explore African American history and the civil rights movement, serving as a launch for further discussions around discrimination, justice, and valuing individuals.



Unit 6


Unit Summary

In this unit, students begin to explore African American history and the civil rights movement. Students will begin the unit by thinking about the ways in which people are similar and different, including skin color, and how those differences should not define who we are or how we are treated. In the second part of the unit, students will learn about the discrimination and injustices faced by African Americans leading up to and during the civil rights movement and why it was necessary to fight for change. They will learn about how communities came together to organize and stand up to injustice. Students will also explore how Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.’s influential leadership influenced and inspired others to fight for change. It is our hope that this unit will help instill the values of diversity, justice, and action, and that it will serve as a launch for further discussions around discrimination, justice, and valuing individuals.

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Texts and Materials

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Core Materials

Supporting Materials


This assessment accompanies this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep

Intellectual Prep

Unit Launch

To learn more about how to prepare a unit, internalize a lesson, and understand the different components of a Fishtank ELA lesson, visit our Preparing to Teach Fishtank ELA Teacher Tool.

Essential Questions

  • What makes us different? What makes us the same?
  • Why was the civil rights movement important?

Writing Focus Areas

Sentence-Level Focus Areas

  • Produce simple sentences orally or in writing.
  • Use the conjunctions “because” and “so” orally.
  • Use correct ending punctuation.
  • Use statements, questions, and exclamations orally or in writing.

Informational Writing Focus Areas

  • Name the topic they are writing about. 
  • Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to include some information about the topic. 



boycott brave courageous custom deny diversity dream enforce freedom hopeful injustice inspire justice neutral nonviolent race racism segregation similarity threaten unique unequal vicious

To see all the vocabulary for Unit 6, view our Kindergarten Vocabulary Glossary.

Supporting All Students

In order to ensure that all students are able to access the texts and tasks in this unit, it is incredibly important to intellectually prepare to teach the unit prior to launching the unit. Use the intellectual preparation protocol and the Unit Launch to determine which support students will need. To learn more, visit the Supporting all Students teacher tool.

Content Knowledge and Connections

This unit builds a deeper understanding of the following Social Justice Standards: The Learning for Justice Anti-bias Framework (Learning for Justice):

  • Identity 1: I know and like who I am and can talk about my family and myself and name some of my group identities.
  • Identity 2: I can talk about interesting and healthy ways that some people who share my group identities live their lives.
  • Diversity 7: I can describe some ways that I am similar to and different from people who share my identities and those who have other identities.
  • Diversity 8: I want to know about other people and how our lives and experiences are the same and different.
  • Justice 12: I know when people are treated unfairly.
  • Justice 13: I know some true stories about how people have been treated badly because of their group identities, and I do not like it.
  • Justice 14: I know that life is easier for some people and harder for others and the reasons for that are not always fair.
  • Justice 15: I know about people who helped stop unfairness and worked to make life better for many people.
  • Action 17: I can and will do something when I see unfairness; this includes telling an adult.
  • Action 20: I will join with classmates to make our classroom fair for everyone.

To prepare for this unit, we recommend reading the following resources.

Lesson Map

Common Core Standards

Core Standards


Supporting Standards

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