Advantages and Disadvantages of Various Mediums: The Montgomery Bus Boycott Speech | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M3B:U2:L4

Advantages and Disadvantages of Various Mediums: The Montgomery Bus Boycott Speech

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums to present an idea. (RI.8.7)
  • I can cite text-based evidence that provides the strongest support for an analysis of literary text. (RI.8.1)

Supporting Targets

  • I can understand different mediums and their advantages and disadvantages.
  • I can use evidence from Dr. King's Montgomery bus boycott speech to support my understanding of the text and build background knowledge of the civil rights movement.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Analyzing Mediums graphic organizer
  • Gist of Montgomery Bus Boycott speech

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

     A. Engaging the Reader: Defining "Mediums" and Previewing Images of Rosa Parks (7 minutes)

     B. Reviewing Learning Targets (2 minutes)

2.  Work Time

     A.  Evaluating Advantages and Disadvantages of Speech and Text (10 minutes)

     B.  Reading for Gist: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Montgomery Bus Boycott Speech (23 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

     A.  Previewing Homework (3 minutes)

4.  Homework

     A.  Reread Dr. King's Montgomery Bus Boycott speech and define any words or phrases that you underlined in your own words.

  • The next three lessons continue to build students' background knowledge of the civil rights era in U.S. history and give students a deeper picture of the powerful forces in play at the time, as the country struggled to live out the meaning of its own ideals.  Now that students understand the Brown v. Board decision, they investigate other events in the Civil Rights movement, beginning with the Montgomery Bus Boycott in this lesson.
  • In Lessons 4-6, students read excerpts from a famous speech by Martin Luther King: "Address to the First Montgomery Improvement Association Mass Meeting" (the "Montgomery Bus Boycott Speech"). This speech can be found in the anthology Ripples of Hope: Great American Civil Rights Speeches. See the Unit 2 overview for details. 
  • Students will continue to study Dr. King's speech in Lessons 5 and 6. In Lesson 5, students will closely read the excerpted speech. In Lesson 6, they will listen to the speech and evaluate the difference between reading and listening to it.
  • Students are already working with two central texts, A Mighty Long Way and Little Rock Girl 1957. Keep in mind that as students read from supplementary sources, transitioning between texts may be difficult, especially for struggling learners. It is important to contextualize each new text for students, remaining transparent about why they are studying each one and how each fits into the larger picture of the module. In today's lesson, it is important specifically to help students understand the purpose of reading Dr. King's Montgomery bus boycott speech of 1955 by connecting it to Carlotta's life, particularly her reflections on Rosa Parks and the bus boycott. Carlotta writes what she thinks about Rosa Parks on page 42 of A Mighty Long Way, reflecting on her character and how she took a "bold stand" that day in 1955.
  • For the sake of brevity, the final three paragraphs of Dr. King's speech have been eliminated. Preview the material Montgomery Bus Boycott speech (Excerpt Guidance and Gist) in advance in order to know how to give students guidance for preparing their text. The excerpts that students will read communicate Dr. King's central ideas about the purpose of the boycott, as well as the doctrine of non-violence that many Civil Rights activists, including the Little Rock Nine, followed.
  • The Montgomery bus boycott exemplifies Dr. King's philosophy of nonviolent resistance, a key strategy used by civil rights advocates. The boycott is a primary example of the movement and will help students understand the ways in which civil rights advocates garnered the attention of their communities and the rest of the United States. The influence of this nonviolent, dignified approach is very evident in Carlotta's experience, and the experiences of the other black students.
  • To build background knowledge about the bus boycott and connect it to their study of photographs in Little Rock Girl 1957, students view photographs of Rosa Parks and discuss the definition of a boycott. Students then read Dr. King's speech with a basic understanding of the boycott, building their understanding as they read.
  • As students engage with various resources, they also examine different mediums that played a role in this struggle, and they work with the important understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums to convey a message. This particular aspect of study also provides preparation for the Mid-Unit 2 Assessment.
  • In this lesson, students are introduced to the idea of different mediums and their advantages and disadvantages in transmitting information. This skill is articulated in RI.8.7. This lesson and the following lessons use the specific language from the standard itself, including using 'mediums' rather than the word "media' (See Opening A).  Students will brainstorm the advantages and disadvantages of written text and speech in preparation for their study of Dr. King's speech, which was just two years before Carlotta's journey began.
  • Dr. King's speech contains a significant number of religious allusions. Clarify for students that Dr. King was a preacher and this speech, like many of his speeches, was delivered in a church. Particularly in the South, black churches often played an integral role in the civil rights movement; they were meeting places where people gathered not only to share in religious teaching and learning, but also to rally around civil rights issues. As always, assess your students' needs with regard to religious themes and ideas in the classroom, remaining transparent about Dr. King's identity as a preacher and the importance of religion in his life.
  • In advance: Prepare copies of the Montgomery Bus Boycott speech.
  • In advance: Prepare images of Rosa Parks, which can be found at the following links:

-   Rosa Parks Was Arrested for Civil Disobedience

-   Taking a stand by sitting down 

Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

mediums, advantages, disadvantages, boycott

Materials

  • Photographs of Rosa Parks (for display; see Teaching Notes)
  • Analyzing Mediums graphic organizer (one per student and one for display)
  • Document camera
  • Analyzing Mediums graphic organizer (for teacher reference)
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott speech (one per student; see Teaching Notes)
  • Montgomery bus boycott speech (Excerpt Guidance and Gist) (one per student)
  • Steps for Getting the Gist (from lesson 1).
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott speech (Excerpt Guidance and Gist) (sample student response, for teacher reference)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Reader: Defining "Mediums" and Previewing Images of Rosa Parks (7 minutes)

  • Invite students to sit with their Chicago discussion appointment partner and share their responses to the first focus question from their homework:

-   "The photographs on pages 6 and 27 of Elizabeth Eckford heckled by Hazel Bryan shaped the world's perception of the integration of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. What thoughts and emotions do you think they may have evoked in newspaper readers around the globe? What thoughts and emotions may they evoke for both white and black southerners?"

  • After students have had the chance to share, introduce the term mediums, and explain to students that you would like them to use this word in their work, discussions, and answers as much as possible. Providing clarity about use of this word is key to the next three lessons.
  • Provide the definition of "mediums"--"different ways of communicating information." Clarify that the word "mediums" is different from media; although the word media suggests television news, newspapers, etc., mediums allows for a wider range of forms of communication such as photographs, speeches, etc. Ask:

*   "How can a photograph, like the photo of Elizabeth Eckford and Hazel Bryan, be a way of communicating information?"

If necessary, remind students of their experience during the Gallery Walk in Unit 1.

  • Call on one or two volunteers to share their thoughts. If necessary, clarify that even though a photograph is not the same as text, it can communicate information by telling a story, showing emotions, revealing a secret, etc.
  • Ask:

*   "What are some other mediums?"

  • Cold call on a few students to broaden the list, which could include television, radio, and speeches. Tell students you will show them some photographs to assess their background knowledge on the topic of today's lesson.
  • Show students the photographs of Rosa Parks. Ask students to turn and talk:

*   "Who is this? How do you know?"

  • If students do not know who is pictured, reveal that it is Rosa Parks. Follow up by asking students to turn and talk again:

*   "What is Rosa Parks known for?"

  • Cold call on one or two students to share what they discussed with a partner. Clarify that Rosa Parks is known for refusing to give up her seat to a white person on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama in 1955. Tell students that people often think Rosa Parks sat in the white section of the bus and refused to move, but she in fact was sitting in the section of the bus designated for people of color. When the bus filled and there was no white seating left, she was ordered to give her seat to a white person. She refused to move. Parks had been fighting for equal rights for African Americans for over 10 years before 1955.
  • Remind students that the texts they have been reading--Brown v. Board of Education excerpts, Little Rock Girl 1957, and A Mighty Long Way--were set in the same time period. Rosa Parks' action was part of a larger social movement tied to the idea that America was not living up to its ideal of equality for all.
  • Remind students that Carlotta mentions Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott in A Mighty Long Way when she shares an anecdote about an acquaintance, Alexine, who stands up to a white bus driver, insisting that Carlotta and her friend Delores stay in their seats instead of giving them up to white passengers. Tell students that the effects of the boycott in Montgomery spread to Arkansas and beyond, giving African Americans such as Alexine the courage to stand up to segregationist rules and laws.
  • Explain to students that over the course of the next few lessons, they are going to learn what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had to say about this bus boycott.
  • To help contextualize Dr. King's speech in terms of its effect on the civil rights movement and the Little Rock Nine, consider reading aloud to students the excerpt from pages 41-42 of A Mighty Long Way in which Carlotta references the Montgomery bus boycott and Rosa Parks.

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Read the learning targets aloud with students:

*   "I can understand different mediums and their advantages and disadvantages."

*   "I can use evidence from Dr. King's Montgomery Bus Boycott speech to support my understanding of the text and build background knowledge of the civil rights movement."

  • Emphasize that today students will begin to think about the different ways mediums can present information.
  • Point out the second learning target. Tell students they will read a speech by Dr. King for the gist. They will continue to study the speech over the next two lessons as well.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Evaluating Advantages and Disadvantages of Speech and Text (10 minutes)

  • Tell students that they now will focus on the different ways people communicated their ideas about desegregation. The mediums they will focus on involve words. Turn and talk:

*   "What is an example of a medium in which words are used to communicate an idea?"

  • Listen for: newspaper articles, poetry, stories, radio, television, etc. Clarify that words can either be written or spoken. In this case, students will be studying a speech, both in its text form and its audio form.
  • Distribute and display Analyzing Mediums graphic organizer on a document camera. Remind students that every medium has advantages (benefits) and disadvantages (drawbacks or downsides). Remind students that the prefix "dis-" means "not" or "opposite from."
  • Ask students to turn and talk:

*   "What are some of the advantages of choosing a written text as a medium to communicate information?"

  • Listen for: "Written text can be shared with a wide audience. It can be copied and carried around, put into a book or newspaper, shared via the internet, sent as a letter, etc.," "It may be taken more seriously than other mediums," "It can be descriptive and detailed," "It can easily be read again," etc. Cold call on some students to share what they discussed and write their ideas on the displayed Analyzing Mediums graphic organizer. Refer to the Analyzing Mediums graphic organizer (for teacher reference) as needed. Invite students to record their responses and those of their peers on their own copies of the handout.
  • Ask students to brainstorm in pairs:

*   "What are some disadvantages of choosing a written text as a medium to communicate information?"

  • Listen for: "It might be harder to show emotion, or how the author intended the information to come across," "It may be hard to contain or keep private, since it is so easy to reproduce or share with others," and "It would be impossible to reach an audience who cannot read." Cold call on additional students to share their thoughts, adding to the displayed organizer. Refer to the Analyzing Mediums graphic organizer (for teacher reference) as needed, and consider offering probing questions. Invite students to record the information on their copy of the graphic organizer as well.
  • Instruct students to complete the same process with their partner, but this time, instead of text, they will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of speech as a medium. Remind students that they will be studying a speech both in its written and spoken form. Assessing the advantages and disadvantages of both forms will give students a great preview of what they will encounter when reading and hearing the words of Dr. King.
  • After about 5 minutes, ask students to wrap up their writing. Call on volunteers to share what they came up with and add to the displayed organizer. Invite students to add any new information they hear from their peers to their own charts.
  • Providing models of expected work supports all students, but especially supports challenged learners.
  • When reviewing graphic organizers or recording forms, consider using a document camera to display the document for students who struggle with auditory processing.

B. Reading for Gist: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Montgomery Bus Boycott Speech (23 minutes)

  • Distribute the Montgomery Bus Boycott speech and the Montgomery Bus Boycott speech (Excerpt Guidance and Gist). Ask:

*   "What does it mean to boycott something?"

  • Call on a volunteer to respond. Emphasize that a boycott means that people are choosing not to support something they find unfair. By boycotting something, people can gain the attention of their communities and, possibly, make change. A boycott is an economic tool; the people involved in the bus boycott refused to ride the buses for a whole year, which took huge amounts of business away from the bus company. That's why the bus company finally listened.
  • Give students some background on the Montgomery bus boycott: The movement was sparked by Rosa Parks in December 1955 and lasted for about a year, when a federal ruling determined that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional. During that time, black citizens of Montgomery refused to ride the bus, choosing instead to walk or take taxis driven by black drivers. The movement gained the attention of the nation and the support of many civil rights advocates. Dr. King was a supporter of the boycott, and as a result, his house was bombed.
  • Mention to students that Dr. King's speech contains some references to religion. Clarify for students that Dr. King was a preacher, and that this speech, like many of his speeches, was delivered in a church to a black audience. Inform students that particularly in the South, black churches often played an integral role in the civil rights movement; they were meeting places where people gathered not only to share in religious teaching and learning, but also to rally around civil rights issues. Tell students that Dr. King's religion played a large role in his fight for justice, but that does not mean that all people of color shared his religious beliefs.
  • Check for students' understanding by asking them to show thumbs-up if they understand what the Montgomery bus boycott was, thumbs-sideways if they understand but need more clarification, and thumbs-down if they do not understand. Clarify as needed.
  • Tell students they will now read the text for gist quietly and independently, and they should follow the four steps to reading for the gist from the previous lesson. Display the Steps for Getting the Gist (from lesson 1).
  • Tell students that for their work in the next few lessons, they will not read the whole speech. The Montgomery Bus Boycott speech (Excerpt Guidance and Gist) explains which excerpts of the speech they are to read by providing the start and end of each excerpt.
  • Explain that they will get a chance to compare their gist with a partner after reading. Remind students that reading for gist means reading carefully and seeking to understand what the text is mostly about. Some difficult words are defined at the bottom of the page for reference. If there are additional words students don't understand, encourage students to underline them. Point out that there are numbers next to each paragraph of the text. These numbers are not relevant for today as they write the gist of each section, but will be used in the next lesson for close reading.
  • Invite students to begin reading and writing the gist of each section on the right-hand side of the page. Circulate and check for understanding.
  • After about 10 minutes have passed, ask students to wrap up their reading and refocus the whole group.
  • Tell students that they will now have a chance to compare and revise their gists with a partner. Invite students to begin comparing what they wrote and making revisions to what they have. Continue circulating and checking for understanding.
  • Cold call on student pairs to quickly share the gist of each section with the whole class.
  • Thank students for their engagement during the reading time. Reinforce the importance of rereading to build a deep understanding of a text, reminding students that they will continue to study this speech over the next couple of lessons.
  • During this Work Time, you may want to pull a small group of students to support in determining the gist. Some students will need more guided practice before they are ready for independent work.
  • As an extension, consider inviting students who find the gist of the excerpts quickly work with the complete speech text to find the gist.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Previewing Homework (3 minutes)

  • Ask students to look at the Montgomery Bus Boycott speech and find the words and phrases that they underlined in today's lesson. Explain that for homework, students should define these words and phrases in their own words. They should write their definitions in the "additional definitions" box, underneath the gist on the right-hand side of the organizer.
  • Invite students to skim back through the text to preview the words and phrases they will need to define. Clarify that they may also define other unknown words and phrases as they reread, adding these definitions to the "additional definitions" boxes as well.

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs
  • Reread Dr. King's Montgomery Bus Boycott speech and define any words or phrases that you underlined using your own words.
  • Some students may benefit from having more difficult phrases defined in the text.

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