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 Summary

As part of the upgrade to Fishtank Plus, this unit was revised in January 2021. See which texts and materials have changed as part of the revision in this guide to our Kindergarten text adjustments. If you are looking for the previous version of this unit, you can find it in our archives here.

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

See Text Selection Rationale

Assessment

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

Unit Prep

Essential Questions

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

Writing Focus Areas

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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.

Vocabulary

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Text-based

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

Related Teacher Tools:

Content Knowledge and Connections

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This unit builds a deeper understanding of the following Social Justice Standards from 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

1

  • All Are Welcome

    RI.K.7

    RI.K.8

    SL.K.1

    L.K.6

Identify reasons to support the author’s point that all are welcome.

2

  • Let’s Talk About Race

    RI.K.7

    RI.K.8

    SL.K.1

    L.K.6

Explain two reasons the author includes to support the idea that “Beneath the skin we all look alike. You and Me.”

3

  • All the Colors...

    RI.K.7

    RI.K.8

    SL.K.1

    L.K.6

Explain what the author means that children come in all colors of the earth.

4

  • Just Ask!

    RI.K.7

    RI.K.8

    SL.K.1

    L.K.6

Explain two reasons why the author says, “Each of us grows in our own way.”

5

Writing

    W.K.2

    W.K.5

    W.K.8

    L.K.1

    L.K.2

Create an All About Me poster to highlight key aspects of identity.

6

  • The Other Side

    RL.K.2

    RL.K.3

    SL.K.1

    L.K.6

Retell what happened in The Other Side.

7

  • Freedom Summer

    RL.K.2

    RL.K.3

    SL.K.1

    L.K.6

Explain how segregation impacts Joe and John Henry’s friendship.

8

  • This Is...

    RI.K.7

    RI.K.8

    SL.K.1

    L.K.6

Explain how life changed for Black people in the South after the civil rights movement.

9

  • Rosa pp. 1 – 14

    RI.K.3

    RI.K.7

    RI.K.8

    SL.K.1

    L.K.6

Explain why Rosa Parks does not get up with the policeman asked her to.

10

  • Rosa p. 15 — to end

    RI.K.3

    RI.K.7

    RI.K.8

    SL.K.1

    L.K.6

Explain how the whole community made the Montgomery Bus Boycott a success.

11

  • Martin's...

    RI.K.3

    RI.K.7

    RI.K.8

    SL.K.1

    L.K.6

Explain why Martin Luther King Jr. was important.

12

  • We March

    RI.K.3

    RI.K.7

    RI.K.8

    SL.K.1

Explain how people came together during the March for Freedom.

13

  • A Sweet...

    RI.K.3

    RI.K.7

    RI.K.8

    SL.K.1

Explain how Minnie and her sister showed courage.

14

  • I Have...

    RI.K.3

    RI.K.7

    RI.K.8

    SL.K.1

Describe the dreams that Martin Luther King Jr. had.

15

  • Be a King

    RI.K.3

    RI.K.7

    RI.K.8

    SL.K.1

Explain what it means to Be a King.

16

2 days

Writing

    W.K.2

    W.K.5

    W.K.8

    L.K.1

    L.K.2

Write about what you can do to Be a King.

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Assessment

Common Core Standards

Language Standards
  • L.K.1 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • L.K.2 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • L.K.6 — Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts.

Reading Standards for Informational Text
  • RI.K.2 — With prompting and support, identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

  • RI.K.3 — With prompting and support, describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

  • RI.K.7 — With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).

  • RI.K.8 — With prompting and support, identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

  • RI.K.9 — With prompting and support, identify basic similarities in and differences between two texts on the same topic (e.g., in illustrations, descriptions, or procedures).

Reading Standards for Literature
  • RL.K.2 — With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.

  • RL.K.3 — With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.

Speaking and Listening Standards
  • SL.K.1 — Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

  • SL.K.2 — Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.

  • SL.K.6 — Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.

Writing Standards
  • W.K.2 — Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.

  • W.K.5 — With guidance and support from adults, respond to questions and suggestions from peers and add details to strengthen writing as needed.

  • W.K.8 — With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

Spiral Standards

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L.K.1.f

L.K.4

RI.K.1

RI.K.10

RI.K.4

RI.K.5

RI.K.6

RL.K.1

RL.K.10

SL.K.3

SL.K.4

SL.K.5