LESSON

Exploring the History of Latino Civil Rights

Use these activities to help students gain a deeper understanding of Latino Civil Rights and explore their own personal timelines.
Grade Level
3-5

Materials

Teaching Tolerance's Latino Civil Rights Timeline

Create personal timelines. 

So children can see they too have lived history and have the power to shape it, ask children to create personal timelines. Beginning with their date of birth, students should list key events in their lives chronologically. Then have students add the events from the Latino Civil Rights Timeline to their personal timelines. Next, students should envision the future, creating a timeline of goals for themselves for 2006-2011, and for the struggle for Latino civil rights.

Play a card game. 

Break students into diverse groups of six and have them create illustrations for one event from each decade represented on the Latino Civil Rights Timeline. The illustrations should not include text. Gather the student drawings, and distribute a different set to each group, making sure the drawing sets are delivered in non-chronological sequence. Referencing the timeline, students should try to match the illustrations with events and put them in chronological sequence. Ask each group to share the story portrayed by the illustrations, illuminating ways the events build on one another.

Explore the "superpowers" of everyday people. 

Ask students to name some superheroes (e.g. Superman.). What kinds of powers do they have? (Superman can fly.) Whom do they protect? (Superman protects the people of Metropolis.) What do they protect people against? (Superman protects the people of Metropolis from bad people like Lex Luthor.) Next, ask students to name historical icons who are Latino (i.e. Cesar Chavez and Delores Huerta). What did they do? (Cesar Chavez and Delores Huerta organized a union.) Whom did they protect? (They organized a union to protect farmworkers.) What did they protect people from? (The union protected farmworkers and migrants from exploitation by their employers.) Next, direct students to entries on the Latino Civil Rights timeline describing the actions of everyday people (i.e., 1968, 1970, 1986, 2006). What did they do? (They marched, protested, boycotted.) Whom did they protect? (They marched, protested, boycotted to protect themselves and/or Latinos.) What did they protect people from? (They marched, protested, boycotted to protect themselves and/or Latinos against injustice, exploitation, abuse.) As a closing activity, have students create illustrations or write essays about how they can be "heroes" for equal rights.