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BLAST Elementary
Freedom on the Menu

Freedom on the Menu: The Greensboro Sit-ins

Freedom on the Menu
Written by Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue

The 1960 civil rights sit-ins at the Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, are seen through the eyes of a young Southern black girl.


Open-Ended Questions

These questions can be used during an interactive read aloud to engage student interest.

  • Who is Dr. King?  What kind of change will he bring? (page 6)
  • Why are the boys sitting at the counter when they know they’re not allowed?   (page 12)
  • What do you think will happen to them? (page 12)
  • How do you think Connie feels?  How would you feel?  (page 14)
  • Why do you think Connie is not allowed to go to the protest? (page 19)
  • Why wouldn’t Sister want to be let out of jail? (page 22)
  • Why are they all dressed up?  What does this mean to them? (page 29)

Vocabulary Words

  • Scold
  • Protest


Hurray For a Hero!

What makes a hero?  Chances are, if you observe students engaged in play you will see them pretending to be their hero or heroine.  Show students portraits of various heroes throughout history and discuss the character traits that made them heroic.  Have students locate photographs of their hero or heroine and describe character traits that make that person a hero.  Create a Hero Hall of Fame to display in the classroom that showcases the students' heroes and allow them to discuss their heroes with the class.

Money Talks

What made the Montgomery Bus Boycotts and the Greensboro Sit-Ins so successful? Discuss these non-violent protests for civil rights with your students. Integrate math by providing a chart showing how much the boycotts affected business profits. Split the class into groups, assigning a boycott to each group. Have the groups create lines graphs illustrating the decline in profits during the months of the boycotts.


Journal Questions

  • Describe a time when someone said you were too young to do something you really wanted to do. How did that make you feel?
  • Use a Venn Diagram to compare the students in Freedom on the Menu with Rosa Parks, or another civil rights hero you admire. Explain how they are similar or different

Extending Books

Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation

Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation
Written by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrated by Brian Pinkney

Illustrations and rhythmic text recall the December, 1955 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama.


Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Written by Doreen Rappaport
Illustrated by Bryan Collier

A picture book biography introduces the ideas and accomplishments of a gifted and influential speaker by using some of his own words to tell the story.


Freedom Summer

Freedom Summer
Written by Deborah Wiles
Illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue

In 1964, Joe is pleased that a new law will allow his best friend John Henry, who is black, to share the town pool and other public places with him. However, he is dismayed to find that prejudice still exists.


The School Is Not White!: A True Story of the Civil Rights Movement

The School Is Not White!: A True Story of the Civil Rights Movement
Written by Doreen Rappaport
Illustrated by Curtis James

The Carter family stuggles to integrate an all-white school in Drew, Mississippi, in 1965.


Bessie Smith and the Night Riders

Bessie Smith and the Night Riders
Written by Sue Stauffacher
Illustrated by John Holyfield

Black blues singer Bessie Smith single-handedly scares off Ku Klux Klan members who are trying to disrupt her show one hot July night in Concord, North Carolina.
* Includes historical note