I finally got the chance to see Selma over the weekend. And afterwards, I tweeted out that it’s a “must see.” Having had a chance to digest a bit and talk with others who’ve seen it, I’m still convinced. The movie does a great job of creating a sense of the period, the overt racism and violence, the need for supporting the right to vote, the courage of everyday individuals, and of the thought process behind events.
While some have questioned, perhaps rightfully so, the film’s depiction of President Johnson’s relationship with Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement, the message of Selma remains – that the quest for equality and dignity in the United States was difficult and dangerous. And that the work of ordinary folks such as John Lewis, Jimmie Lee Jackson, and Amelia Boynton Robinson still isn’t finished.
The question for many of us is how to best approach such a topic as part of our instructional design. Part of the answer to that question is the sweet – and free – resources over at Teaching Tolerance.
Founded in 1991 by the Southern Poverty Law Center, Teaching Tolerance is dedicated to reducing prejudice, improving intergroup relations, and supporting equitable school experiences for our nation’s children.
They provide free educational materials to teachers and other school all over the U.S. and Canada. Their free self-titled magazine is sent to 450,000 educators twice annually, and tens of thousands of educators use their free curricular kits. More than 5,000 schools participate in the annual Mix It Up at Lunch Day program.
Their teaching materials have won two Oscars, an Emmy, and more than 20 honors from the Association of Educational Publishers, including two Golden Lamp Awards, the industry’s highest honor. So the goodies you can get are all top-notch.
And if you’re looking for specific Selma and March to Montgomery teaching resources, the Teaching Tolerance folks have got you covered. Start with their Bridge to the Ballot page with a ton of lessons, teacher guides, and additional resources that specifically target those events. Then head over to the Bridge to the Ballot video and teaching kit page.The film focuses on teachers and students who were involved in the protests in Selma, giving you a perfect connection to your own kids. Click the link to get the video and kit for free.
Free? Yup, free.
And once you’ve ordered the free Selma resources don’t forget to head over to their Classroom Resources page for more goodies and the Film Kits page to see what other video-related resources they offer.
And do not forget the excellent graphic novel series, perfect for middle and high school, titled March by John Lewis.