Saturday, February 7, 2009


Rosa by Nikki Giovanni

Summary: The book, Rosa, tells a real historical event that happened in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. Mrs. Rosa Parks, an African American woman, was arrested for refusing to give her seat to a white passenger on a bus. The injustice to Mrs. Parks encouraged Women’s Political Council to take actions for making a change to their community. They first send out stencil posters to encourage “colored” people in Montgomery to boycott the buses by walking. Through this peaceful movement and the courage of Mrs. Rosa Park, many people felt that they were united together to say “no” to all the social injustice that they suffered. After one year of walking, the supreme court of the United Stated ruled that any kind of segregation was illegal including segregation on the bus. This story book vividly describes and illustrates this powerful revolutionary event in our history.

Stages of Social Justice Education:

Exploring issues of social justice: Students will be able to look at the social injustice that Rosa Parks was facing at that time. They will compare with our current situation with Rosa Park’s every life to see how we live differently or similarly. Then ask students to explore if our society is really as perfect as many people think. Encourage students to look at current social injustice issues by comparing with Rosa Park’s bus incident.

Social Movements and Social Change: Students will be able to learn from Rosa Park and people in Montgomery, Alabama that they have ability to make a change. However it is also important to know that we should take peaceful, never violent, action to protest.

Reflection and Use: I chose this book for our book club because I believe that students should remember what happened in our history and how people stood up together to against social injustice. I could use this book for a unit study of “Civil Rights Movement.” It could be used as a read-aloud book. However, teacher need to provide historical background information before the lesson and students can also do further research after the lesson. This book can also be used for book club. Students will compare Lisa's story with the other book clubs to find how different people react differently or similarly to the same issue. From this unit, students will learn how people in the past united to say “No” to social injustice through peaceful but brave movements, and finally brought justice to our society. I also want my students to learn that they have models to follow from our history and none of us is alone.

To purchase:
To learn more about Rosa Parks, or more teaching resources:

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