Students in Maggie Donovan's 1st-grade classroom learn about the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In traditional classrooms, the story of the Bus Boycott is presented as a solitary and spontaneous act by Rosa Parks. Donovan's students learn through their study of the life of Rosa Parks that this was not a spontaneous act and that in fact Parks had been involved with the Movement for many years. Nor did Rosa Parks act alone. Students learn about the many people who had been organizing in Montgomery and preparing for a bus boycott.
Students prepare a play to demonstrate what they have learned and the film includes excerpts from the play itself. In preparing the play, Donovan makes connections to the students' families and introduces literacy skills.
This film is ideal for professional development as a powerful example for how to introduce a multicultural and civics education in a way that goes beyond a heroes and holidays approach, and shows how to develop academic skills while introducing socially relevant content.
Filmed at Ezra H. Baker Elementary School, West Dennis, Massachusetts.
Production by David Hopwood. Funded by LEARN, a federally funded PT3 Project.