Second Grade - American Civilization/Geography - Overview

Teacher Background

American Civilization Lessons 29 and 30 deal with the rights of groups of people. They should be sub-divided and used throughout the entire month. They are so interrelated that no individual activities are suggested, rather the activities included encompass all individuals and groups. These are listed in Lesson 28.

Select the activities that you feel will be most beneficial to your students. Spend several days on an individual or a group if you desire, but be certain to cover at least one representative for each of the rights. You may even wish to cover two individuals at one time, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., for example. If you have filmstrips, videos or tape recordings regarding the people studied in this unit, use them to make the people appear as "alive" and relevant as possible.

Because the American Civilization lessons for this month direct the teacher and students to reference locations on the map, specific Geography lessons that would merely duplicate are not included. Instead, the lessons that are included provide a brief review of information already learned and further opportunities to use this information.

Geography Lesson 11 should be used at any time during the American Civilization Lessons; Geography Lesson 12 should be used at their completion.

Books that you may also wish to use in this unit that are not listed in the individual lessons:

Troll First Start Biographies K-2 are available for the following people:

Young Clara Barton

Young Rosa Parks

Young Jackie Robinson

Young Martin Luther King, Jr.

Troll Easy Biographies for Grades 4-6 (selections may be shared) are available for:

Jackie Robinson

Clara Barton

Harriet Tubman

Rosa Parks

Young Eleanor Roosevelt



Second Grade - American Civilization - Lesson 28 - Civil Rights



Remind the students that all the way back at the beginning of the school year they learned about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Ask if anyone remembers learning about the rights that these documents (papers) promised like the right of free speech, the right to practice or belong to any religion, the right to a trial, the right to privacy, etc. The men who wrote these important papers wanted to make sure that all people had the same rights or freedoms.

Tell the students that while this was a wonderful idea, the rights and freedoms were really not for all people. There were slaves in America who had no freedom, and women and Native Americans could not vote or even make legal decisions.

Say: The people we will be learning about in upcoming lessons helped to make sure that all people in our country did get those rights and freedoms. Ask the students if they can recall the names of any famous people who worked for the rights of others (Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln). Can the students recall the war that was fought that had slavery as an issue?

Talk about how important our rights and freedoms are and how we would feel if we lost them. Explain that many of the people included in this unit made great sacrifices in order to gain important rights and freedoms for others.

Write the words Civil Rights on the board and explain to the students that they will be hearing more about them in relation to the people in this unit. Say that these are the same rights that are written in the Constitution that are guaranteed by law. Tell the students that we use these words especially when we are saying that all people, regardless of their race, sex or religion have the right to be treated the same.

Be certain that the students understand what is meant by race and sex. Explain that many people were refused certain rights because of the color of their skin or the fact that they were women. Explain that these will be the two areas that they will learn about in this unit.

You may want to list the four amendments listed below for use as you continue the studies this month.


13th - 1865 - makes slavery illegal

14th - 1868 - protects the rights of all American citizens, regardless of race or color

15th - 1870 - guarantees all male citizens the right to vote

19th - 1920 - guarantees women the right to vote

Time Line

Make a very simple time line with the students that highlights the dates of the individual's births or the dates their achievements were recognized. In some cases you may wish to make a time line of an individual life. Even while keeping the format very simple, students should be able to see the many years that passed from Harriet Tubman's first actions until Rosa Parks' bus ride.


Second Grade - American Civilization - Lesson 28 - Civil Rights



Discuss with the students the idea that while a symbol represents something else, usually a large concept, it is possible to think of symbols that represent the people in this unit. Ask them to help you brainstorm and come up with a symbol or symbols for as many as you can. Tell the children that when they see that symbol it should help them to immediately think of the person (and idea) that it represents.

They might suggest a bus to represent Rosa Parks' statement, a Brooklyn Dodger's baseball cap for Jackie Robinson, or a voting ballot for Susan B. Anthony. Afterward you may wish to flash the symbol and see how quickly the students will be able to identify the person.

Commemorative Stamps

Many of the people studied in this unit have had a commemorative stamp made in their honor. You may wish to contact the U.S. Postal Service to obtain them or find out if posters might be available.

Students may certainly design their own, and the stamp patterns included in American Civilization Lesson 14 can be used.

Happy Birthday

List the birth dates of the people in the unit and make a graph. Check to see if more of these famous people were born at one time of the year rather than another.

Have a month (year) long celebration of birthdays, having the students design cards for the famous people.

Thank You

Have the students write a simple thank you note to one of the famous people indicating how that person made the student's life better. Discuss the long range impact of the actions of these people so that the students can see the true significance of the actions.


Second Grade - American Civilization - Lesson 29 - Equality Regardless of Color

Mary McLeod Bethune

Greenfield, Eloise. Mary McLeod Bethune. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1977.

Lengthy but excellent source for information.

McKissack, Patricia and Fredrick. Mary McLeod Bethune: A Great Teacher. Hillside, N.J.: Enslow, 1991.

Very basic biography, well written and age appropriate.

Cobblestone: The History Magazine for Young People, February 1996, Volume 17, Number 2.

Issue devoted to Mary McLeod Bethune; for use as reference and source of photographs, not read aloud.


$1.50, a book

Signs that say "Enter to Learn" and "Depart to Serve" (optional)

U.S. map


Mary McLeod Bethune

You may wish to introduce Mary McLeod Bethune by showing the children a book and telling them that many years ago (1875) in South Carolina, a little girl named Mary helped make her family's life better by going to school and learning to read, write and do arithmetic. Tell the students that Mary McLeod's mother and father were slaves and that she was the first of their children (the fifteenth!) to be born free.

Explain the hardships Mary faced having to walk five miles in each direction on schooldays and how she came home each day to work on her parents' farm. Mary's biggest job was to teach her family what she had learned each day.

Tell the children that Mary was able to continue her education because a lady named Mary Chrissman paid her tuition, which was the money that was charged to attend a school. Mary McLeod was able to complete her education and become a teacher. Tell them that she married a man named Albertus Bethune and that they had a son named Albert.

Next, show the children one dollar and fifty cents and identify the amount. Ask: What do you think Mary McLeod Bethune did with $1.50? Tell the children that it was a pretty amazing thing, something that would be very difficult to do today. After they have made several guesses tell them that Mary started a school. Tell the children that Mary traveled to Florida and convinced the owners of a house to let her pay $1.50 of the $11.00 rent to start a school there. On a map of the United States point to South Carolina and Florida to show Mary McLeod Bethune's birthplace and the state where her school was located. Remind the students that in the South there were few schools for African American students; Mary McLeod Bethune provided a wonderful opportunity by opening her school.

Write the words "Enter to Learn" and "Depart to Serve" on the board, or on sentence strips. Show these to the children and explain where they were positioned in the school building. Ask the children to tell why they think Mrs. Bethune put up those signs.

Show as many photographs or illustrations as possible to familiarize the students with Mary McLeod Bethune and her life. Tell them that the little school that Mrs. Bethune started

eventually merged with another school, Cookman Institute, and Bethune-Cookman College was formed.


Second Grade - American Civilization - Lesson 29 - Equality Regardless of Color

Tell, and list on the board or on chart paper, some of the other accomplishments of Mary McLeod Bethune's life.

President of the National Association of Colored Women

Founder of the National Council of Negro Women

Advisor to presidents Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover regarding child welfare

Director of the Division of Negro Affairs of the National Youth Administration

Advisor to the Secretary of War under Franklin Deleano Roosevelt

Recipient of the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP

Discuss each of the accomplishments briefly, telling the students that Mrs. Bethune was considered to be a very wise lady, whose opinion was quite important. You may wish to have the students tell what they think she would consider to be her greatest accomplishment.

Tell the children that a memorial in Washington, D.C. is dedicated to Mary McLeod Bethune and that she was the first African American woman (or man) to be honored this way. Mrs. Bethune lived at Bethune-Cookman College until her death on May 18, 1955.

Jackie Robinson

Adler, David A. Jackie Robinson: He Was the First. New York: Holiday House, 1989.

Lengthy read aloud, may take more than one day to complete; excellent choice.

Childcraft--1989 Annual: People to Know. Chicago: World Book, Inc., 1989.

"We Need You Now!" recounts Jackie Robinson's home run against the Phillies in a read aloud.

Greene, Carol. Jackie Robinson: Baseball's First Black Major-Leaguer--A Rookie Biography. Chicago: Children's Press, 1990.

Basic biography that highlights events in Robinson's life.

Golenbock, Peter. Teammates. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Jovanovich, 1990.

Photographs and illustrations accent this account of Robinson's professional life and friendship with "Pee Wee" Reese. Good read aloud.

Westridge Young Writers Workshop. Kids Explore America's African-American Heritage. Santa Fe: John Muir, 1993.

Highlights contributions of African Americans to American Culture; authors are students in grades three through eight.


Baseball cap, baseball equipment

U.S. map

Jackie Robinson

Display the cap and equipment and ask the students to name the sport that is associated. Ask them to name some favorite players and their positions. Talk briefly about the importance of the players working together as a team.

Tell the students that the man you are going to tell them about was the first African

American baseball player to be in the major league. Today that doesn't seem unusual, but years ago it was something that didn't happen.

Tell the students that Jackie (Jack Roosevelt) Robinson was born on January 31, 1919, in BCP DRAFT HIST 75

Second Grade - American Civilization - Lesson 29 - Equality Regardless of Color

Cairo, Georgia (point out on map). His family lived there for only a year and then moved to Pasadena, California (point out on map). Jackie's father left the family and his mother had to find work.

Jackie's family was very poor and Jackie felt proudest when he could help his mother. Ask the students why they think he felt that way. He did some jobs in the neighborhood whenever he could to earn money. Unfortunately, Jackie became involved with a group called the Pepper Street Gang. They got into a lot of mischief and it began to look like he was headed in the wrong direction. A man named Carl Anderson who worked nearby Jackie's home convinced Jackie to leave the gang. He told Jackie that it would take courage. Jackie showed that he had courage; he quit the gang. Discuss briefly how difficult it can be to not go along with the crowd.

Jackie continued his education and entered college. He was an average student whose real love was sports. He was the first student at the University of California at Los Angeles to earn letters in baseball, basketball, football and track (explain that receiving a letter is an important recognition). Ask the students how they think Jackie's mother felt about that. Ask if they think Jackie was glad at this time that he had quit the Pepper Street Gang.

Continue the story, telling that in his third year of college Jackie quit school and went to play for a team named the Los Angeles Bulldogs. He later worked in Honolulu, Hawaii (locate on map) and played football for the Honolulu Bears. Ask the students if they can name any other person who has played both football and baseball professionally (Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders).

In 1942 Jackie was drafted into the army where he spent the next two years. He continued to participate in sports when possible but he could not play on teams with white players. In 1944 he left the army and joined the Kansas City Monarchs (locate Kansas), a professional black baseball team. Remind the students that black players and white players were not on the same teams anywhere then. They had separate leagues and didn't even play against each other.

While Jackie was playing for the Monarchs, a man named Branch Rickey came to see him. Branch Rickey was the president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers (show New York). His scouts had seen Jackie play and he wanted Jackie to join his team. Jackie knew that it would be very hard to be the first African American to join a previously all white team. Jackie asked Branch Rickey if he expected that Jackie would not fight back when he was mistreated. Rickey told Jackie that he was looking for a man who could fight back, but had guts enough not to. Jackie again proved that he had courage. Discuss briefly how the impact of Jackie's behavior would influence the future of integrated sports. Ask the students if they can tell what integrated means.

In 1945, Jackie joined the Montreal Royals, the top minor league team of the Dodgers. The next year he married Rachel Isum, a woman he had met in college. The Royals won the pennant and the Little World Series. Jackie and Rachel's first child was born and Jackie formally joined the Dodgers. Everything seemed to be going well! Talk about how Jackie felt and how his family probably felt. If you have photographs or illustrations of Jackie Robinson, share them with the class.

Tell the students that everything did not continue to go well. Now Jackie was playing in the major league. When he went out on the field people yelled rude things and threw things at him. Members of his own team refused to play if he was on the team. Other teams refused to play against the Dodgers. Jackie did not fight back, but he did not give in. He knew that people were BCP DRAFT HIST 76

Second Grade - American Civilization - Lesson 29 - Equality Regardless of Color

judging him without knowing him. They were only looking at the color of his skin. Ask: Does the idea of judging someone because of the color of his skin remind you of anything else you've learned about? (Don't judge a book by its cover.)

Say: After some tough first years Jackie won the respect of his fellow players and the fans. Remind the students that people respected Jackie's skill and his behavior. The National League made statements of support for him and some members of his team stood up for Jackie and his place on the team soon after he joined. The Dodgers went on to win pennants and the World Series.

When Jackie finally retired from baseball in 1957, he had opened the door for the many African American players who would follow. Ask the students if they think that Jackie planned to do that when he first started playing baseball as a young boy. Say: Five years after that he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ask the students what they think that said about the way people felt about his baseball skills.

Tell the students that Jackie Robinson remained active in the years after his retirement, speaking out for Civil Rights. Explain that unfortunately his health was poor, and diabetes and heart disease were responsible for his death at the age of fifty. The students may enjoy knowing that Jackie Robinson and his wife had three children.


Rosa Parks

Childcraft--1989 Annual: People to Know. Chicago: World Book, Inc., 1989.

"I Won't Give Up My Seat" recounts the event in read aloud.

Igus, Toyomi, ed. Book of Black Heroes, Volume Two, Great Women in the Struggle. Orange, NJ: Just Us Books, 1991.

A Reading Rainbow Book, contains short, concise biographical sketches and photographs (or drawings.)

Marzollo, Jean. My First Book of Biographies: Great Men and Women Every Child Should Know. New York: Scholastic, 1994.

Colorful illustrations by Irene Trivas with single page biographies.

Turner, Glennette Tille. Take a Walk in Their Shoes. New York: Penguin Books, 1989.

Biographical sketches accompanied by brief skits. Some of the skits with minor modifications can be used with younger students


U.S. map

Photograph, drawing, or toy model of a bus

Rosa Parks

Tell the students that the woman you are going to tell them about is still living today. She

is sometimes called "the mother of the civil rights movement." Show the picture or model of the bus and ask the students if anyone knows this woman's name. Ask students who wish, to share

what they know about her.

Tell the children that Rosa McCauley was born on February 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama (locate on map). She lived there with her mother, a teacher, and her father, a carpenter. Later she moved around the state living with relatives while she attended school. Ask the


Second Grade - American Civilization - Lesson 29 - Equality Regardless of Color

students if they think that Rosa's parents thought that education was important. Why?

Say: Rosa married Raymond A. Parks and they settled in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Parks was a barber, and Mrs. Parks, after having worked as an insurance salesman and doing clerical work, took a job as a tailor's assistant. Discuss the amount of close handwork and machine work that would be done in this kind of work. It required close attention and was tiring.

Remind the students that at this time in history all people did not have the same rights. In the South there were separate seats for blacks and whites in movie theaters and trains as well as separate restaurants, schools and even drinking fountains. The city buses in Montgomery were divided into a colored section and a whites-only section. Black people were not allowed to sit in the whites-only section, but if the white people ran out of places to sit in their part of the bus, they could make the people in the colored section get up and give up their seats. Discuss briefly why this could never be fair.

Tell the students that one day in December Rosa Parks was riding home on a city bus. She was tired from having worked all day. She was happy to get a seat on the bus. Then something happened; there were no more seats in the white section and Rosa and some other people sitting in the colored section were told to move and give up their seats to white people. Rosa did not move. She politely said that she had paid her fare, was tired and was not going to get up. The bus driver called the police and Rosa Parks still did not move. She was arrested and taken to jail.

Discuss with the children how Rosa must have felt when she said that she would not move. Stress how difficult it can sometimes be to do what you believe is right. Tell the students that as the result of what happened to Rosa Parks, the black people in the south decided they needed to do something.

Say: The leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, for whom Rosa had once worked, and many religious leaders, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., urged black people to boycott public transportation. Tell the students that a boycott is when people protest (or say they don't like something) by refusing to buy a particular thing. The black people stopped buying tickets and riding the busses. For more than one year, black people walked or went by car wherever they needed to go. None of their money went to pay for busses on which they might not even be allowed a seat. This was difficult for many people because it meant that they had to get up very early to walk to work and they would get home very late. They were determined to have white people listen however, and finally that happened. The busses in the south became integrated; people of any skin color could sit anywhere they wanted.

Remind the students that the actions of Rosa Parks and the people who participated in the boycott were nonviolent. Discuss with the students how Rosa Parks must have felt about the results of her actions on the bus that day, and the message about nonviolence that it gives us.


Martin Luther King, Jr.

Childcraft--1989 Annual: People to Know. Chicago: World Book, Inc., 1989.

"Making a Promise" presents an account from King's childhood that would forever affect his life; good read aloud.

Lewis, Shari. One-Minute Stories of Great Americans. New York: Doubleday, 1990.

Brief biographies highlighting accomplishments; wonderful illustrations by Robert Barrett.


Second Grade - American Civilization - Lesson 29 - Equality Regardless of Color

Marzollo, Jean. Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King. New York: Scholastic, 1993.

Beautiful illustrations by Brian Pinkney enhance this picture-book biography.

________. My First Book of Biographies: Great Men and Women Every Child Should Know. New York: Scholastic, 1994.

Schlank, Carol Hilgartner and Barbara Metzger. Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Biography for Young Children. Mt. Rainier, MD: Gryphon House, 1990.

Wonderful first biography, beautiful illustrations by John Kastner.

Turner, Glennette Tille. Take a Walk in Their Shoes. New York: Penguin Books, 1989.

Biographical sketches accompanied by brief skits. Some of the skits with minor modifications can be used with younger students

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Because of the information available and the age appropriate biographies, there is not a biographical sketch included for Martin Luther King, Jr.

As you read or tell about Dr. King's life be sure to talk about the events of his youth that

influenced his nonviolent attitude. Help the students to see how the early examples of his parents

and grandmother helped him choose the way to lead his life.

You may also want to reference the song "We Shall Overcome" and its use during the Civil Rights movement.

Cesar Chavez

Concord, Bruce W. Cesar Chavez: Union Leader. Chelsea House Publishers, 1992.

A Junior World Biography; good reference, not a read aloud.

Marzollo, Jean. My First Book of Biographies: Great Men and Women Every Child Should Know. New York: Scholastic, 1994.

Provensen, Alice. My Fellow Americans. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1995.

Portraits and simple lines about Americans who influenced America's growth.


Pictures of grapes, lettuce

Pictures of people planting or harvesting by hand

Classroom maps of North America, the United States

Cesar Chavez

Display the map and ask students to identify the country that is located to the south of the United States (Mexico). Have students identify the states that share a border with Mexico (Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California). Tell the students that the ancestors of Cesar Chavez came to the United States from Mexico. Be sure to explain to the students that ancestors are the members of a family who lived long ago, like a grandfather's father.

Tell the students that Cesar Chavez was born in Arizona and lived there with his family until he was ten years old. He was born on March 31, 1927, and by the time he was ten the United States was going through a difficult time. People lost their jobs and went to banks to borrow money. Then the banks could not get back the money they had loaned. People could no longer pay their bills and the banks and the government took everything they had. This is what BCP DRAFT HIST 79

Second Grade - American Civilization - Lesson 29 - Equality Regardless of Color

happened to the Chavez family and they were forced to go to live with Cesar's grandfather in California. Unfortunately, Cesar's grandfather soon lost everything, too.

Explain that at this time it was hard to find jobs, so the Chavez family became migrant

workers. That meant that they traveled from farm to farm planting and picking crops. The work was hard and there was very little pay. Sometimes the bosses cheated the workers by saying that what they had picked weighed much less than it really did, and therefore was worth less money. Because many of the workers did not speak English they didn't know that they were being tricked. The workers were forced to live in broken down shacks without electricity and running water. The place where they lived was called Sal Si Puedes; in English this means get out if you can. Ask the children how they think the Chavez family felt.

Tell the students that in spite of the terrible conditions the Chavez family continued to work. Cesar's mother gave advice to him saying that when someone mistreats you it is better to "turn the other cheek" and to not give in to the poor behavior of others because "it takes two to fight." Remind the students that other famous Americans were influenced by their mothers in this way also. Have the students speculate about how his mother's advice would affect Cesar in his adult life.

As Cesar Chavez grew older he became more aware of the mistreatment that the farm workers received. He realized that the farm workers needed someone to speak for them and organize them into peaceful actions. He became that person.

Tell the children that Chavez always remembered what his mother had told him. He told the farm workers that they must act peacefully. He organized strikes. When people strike, they refuse to do something until certain people give them what they want; for the farm workers this meant that they would not plant or pick crops until the bosses gave them better housing and higher pay. Discuss the wisdom of nonviolence for all the people concerned and the respect that it gained for Chavez.

Explain that sometimes when strikes were not successful, Chavez also organized boycotts. The boycotts involved people all over the United States. Sometimes he asked people to not buy lettuce, sometimes it was grapes. This sent a message to the owners and bosses when they could not sell their products. Once again this was a nonviolent action.

A very important thing that Cesar Chavez did was organize a group that would continue to represent the farm workers' best interests. This union of people would meet with the owners and help decide fair wages and good working conditions. This group was first called the National Farm Workers' Association and later it became the United Farm Workers.

Tell the students that Cesar Chavez died in 1993, but the good work that he started still goes on.



Second Grade -American Civilization - Lesson 30 - Women's Rights and Roles

Clara Barton

Childcraft--1989 Annual: People to Know. Chicago: World Book, Inc., 1989.

"I Can't Walk" provides a glimpse of Clara Barton's early interest in nursing.

Kent, Zachary. Cornerstones of Freedom: The Story of Clara Barton. Chicago: Children's Press, 1987.

Too lengthy for a read aloud, this is a great reference book.

Lewis, Shari. One-Minute Stories of Great Americans. New York: Doubleday, 1990.

Brief sketch of Barton's adult life.

Quackenbush, Robert M. Clara Barton and Her Victory Over Fear. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995.

Much too long for a read aloud, but useful source for information and selected readings.


Sign of the Red Cross

Map of the U.S.

Clara Barton

Display the Red Cross sign and ask the students if they have ever seen the sign before. If so, where have they seen it and what does it mean? Ask: Have you ever heard of the Red Cross? Take a few moments to discuss the work of the Red Cross. Explain that the Red Cross helps people when there are terrible disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods; but tell that the Red Cross also helps families who have a fire and lose their homes. It helps America keep a supply of blood available for people who might need it.

Tell the students that Clara Barton is the woman responsible for the Red Cross being in America. Explain that many years ago there was an International Red Cross only. Ask if anyone could explain what international means.

Say: Clara Barton was born on December 25, 1821, in Massachusetts (locate on map). When she was a young girl, her older brother David had a terrible fall. He could not walk and was very sick. Clara took care of him and decided that this was what she wanted to do all her life--take care of people.

Years later, Clara got the chance to care for injured people; the Civil War began. Clara gathered medical supplies and food in a wagon and set out to help the wounded soldiers. She traveled down to the southern states bringing whatever help she could. She changed bandages, fed people, wrote letters to their families, and sometimes crawled across the battlefield to hold the hand of a man as he lay dying. She was called the "Angel of the Battlefield" because she seemed to just appear wherever she was needed.

After the Civil War, Clara helped mark the graves of 12,000 men buried at the National Cemetery at Andersonville, Georgia. Ask the students why they think this would be important to the families of the dead soldiers.

Later, another war broke out in Europe and Clara went there. She worked in the fields and hospitals helping the soldiers, and here she learned more about the International Red Cross. Clara brought the idea back to America and in 1882, the American Red Cross was started. Clara was its first president.


Second Grade -American Civilization - Lesson 30 - Women's Rights and Roles

Tell the students that she stayed busy during the next years of her life by traveling to help people in need and setting up new Red Cross centers. She settled in Glen Echo, Maryland (locate on map) and there she died April 12, 1912, at the age of ninety-one. Discuss with the students what an accomplishment it was for a woman to do the things that Clara did. Remind them that at this time in America's history, women were not allowed to vote or own property. Women's ideas were usually not taken seriously.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Adler, David A. A Picture Book of Eleanor Roosevelt. New York: Holiday House, 1991.

Brief account of Eleanor Roosevelt's life, very nicely done with many colorful illustrations by Robert Casilla.

Cooney, Barbara. Eleanor. New York: Viking, 1996.

Childhood of Eleanor Roosevelt beautifully enhanced with lovely artwork.

Marzollo, Jean. My First Book of Biographies: Great Men and Women Every Child Should Know. New York: Scholastic, 1994.

Includes very brief biographical note in conjunction with her husband.


"Tomorrow is Now" and "You Must Do the Thing You Think You Cannot Do" written on sentence strips

Classroom size maps of the world, U.S.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Display the two mottos and ask the students to read them out loud. Ask them to speculate about what the mottos mean. After discussing the meanings briefly, ask the students to speculate about the person who wrote them. Have them consider whether it might be a man or a woman, and whether the person lived a long time ago or recently.

If it is at all possible, read the Barbara Cooney book, Eleanor to the class. It presents Eleanor Roosevelt's early life in a way that the students can easily understand and appreciate. If you are unable to obtain the book, tell the following.

Eleanor Roosevelt was born on October 11, 1884, in New York (locate on map). When she was only two and a half the ship that she and her parents were sailing on was hit by another ship. Eleanor had to be dropped over the side to a lifeboat. It was a long way down and for the rest of her life, Eleanor was afraid of heights and the ocean. Ask the students if they think she had a good reason for her fear.

Tell the students that by the time she was nine, both of Eleanor's parents had died. She went to live with her grandmother and led a very lonely life. Her happiest childhood memories were of the times she went to visit her aunt and uncle and their six children. Her uncle was Theodore Roosevelt, who later became president of the United States.

Every year Eleanor went with her grandmother at Christmas to trim a tree for babies in the hospital. When her father had been alive she had gone with him to serve Thanksgiving dinner to poor newsboys. Tell the students that Eleanor got to see many people who had much less than she did. Ask them if they think that would make a difference in how she felt about people when she was grown.


Second Grade -American Civilization - Lesson 30 - Women's Rights and Roles

When Eleanor was fifteen, she was sent to a boarding school in England (locate on map). You might ask the children how they think Eleanor got there since it was all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. French was the only language spoken at the school and Eleanor, who had learned the language from her nurse when she was very young, felt right at home. In fact, she became very good friends with the headmistress and traveled to many places with her. Tell the children that speaking another language and being comfortable traveling to many different places would be prove to be very useful in Eleanor's life. Ask the students if they have any idea what else Eleanor Roosevelt did in her life. Discuss their speculations.

Tell the children that Eleanor married Franklin Deleano Roosevelt who became president of the United States. He was elected to four terms as president, so they spent many years in the White House. Ask: Where is the White House located? Who can find Washington, D.C. on the map?

Eleanor and Franklin had five children, so Eleanor was very busy. But she was also busy because she helped her husband so much. President Roosevelt had a disease called polio and he had to be in a wheelchair almost all the time; Eleanor did a lot of his traveling and visiting for him. Even though Eleanor was busy doing very important things for her country, she never forgot about people. She traveled all over the world to visit American soldiers who were injured in war, and she gave to the poor any money she received for speeches or her writings. Ask the students if they can think of why she would do these things. What did she learn as a child?

After her husband died, Eleanor stayed very busy. She worked with women's organizations and youth movements, she fought for the rights of minorities, she worked to reduce unemployment and improve housing for the poor. Ask: Can you remember the name of the woman fighting for education who became a good friend to Eleanor and Franklin? (Mary McLeod Bethune)

Tell the students that Eleanor Roosevelt died on November 7, 1962, at the age of seventy-eight. She is remembered as a caring lady who worked very hard for the rights of others.


Susan B. Anthony

Blumberg, Rhoda. Bloomers. New York: Bradbury Press, 1993.

Story of how bloomers helped Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Bloomer and Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the cause of women's rights. Colorful illustrations by Mary Morgan.

Clinton, Susan. Cornerstones of Freedom: The Story of Susan B. Anthony. Chicago: Children's Press, 1986.

Too lengthy for a read aloud; good reference.

Lewis, Shari. One-Minute Stories of Great Americans. New York: Doubleday, 1990.

Highlights of Anthony's adult life and accomplishments.

Marzollo, Jean. My First Book of Biographies: Great Men and Women Every Child Should Know. New York: Scholastic, 1994.

Included in a very brief biographical sketch with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott.


Classroom size map of the U.S.


Second Grade -American Civilization - Lesson 30 - Women's Rights and Roles

Pictures of people voting, voting booth, ballot

Susan B. Anthony silver dollar

Susan B. Anthony

Ask the students if they have ever gone along with their parents to vote. If possible, show the pictures of the voting booth, the ballot and people voting. Remind the students that if you are an American citizen, you are allowed to vote once you have had your eighteenth birthday. Tell the students that if it weren't for Susan B. Anthony and some other people who helped her, a lot fewer people would be voting.

Tell the students that Susan Brownell Anthony was born on February 15, 1820, in Massachusetts (locate on map). She grew up during a time when women had very few rights. Not only did women have few rights but slavery existed in the United States, so African Americans who were slaves had no rights either. Susan was very concerned about this.

Susan met other women and men who also thought that slaves should be free and that both they and women should have more rights. Susan and another woman named Elizabeth Cady Stanton, traveled from door to door and town to town, trying to convince people that the laws were unfair. Ask the students what they think Susan and Elizabeth said to the people they met. If possible, read the book Bloomers to the class.

Tell the students that after slavery was ended, Susan went to work trying to get voting rights for women. Men did not want to listen to Susan's ideas. They thought that women had no reason to vote, that women belonged at home and that men should run the government.

Say: Susan B. Anthony worked all her life to get suffrage. Ask the students if they can tell what the word suffrage means, and why the women who worked with Susan were called suffragettes.

Susan B. Anthony died on March 13, 1902. In 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment was passed and women were given the right to vote. Ask: Did Susan B. Anthony ever get to vote? Do you think that she would be happy to know the results of all her hard work? What do you think she would want everyone to do after they turn eighteen? (vote)

Tell the students that Susan has been honored by America in two ways. The Nineteenth Amendment is called the Susan B. Anthony amendment, and she is the first woman in history to be pictured on any kind of money. If possible, display a Susan B. Anthony dollar and tell the students that in 1978 this coin was minted in her honor.

Sally Ride

Childcraft--1989 Annual: People to Know. Chicago: World Book, Inc., 1989.

"A Ride in Space" gives brief sketch of Sally Ride in the space program.

Ride, Sally and Susan Okie. To Space and Back. New York: Lothrop, 1989.

A journey into space on the shuttle is beautifully photographed in this book for older students. Younger students may enjoy seeing a book authored by Sally Ride.


Classroom map of the U.S.

Pictures of Sally Ride, the Challenger

Photographs from space


Second Grade -American Civilization - Lesson 30 - Women's Rights and Roles

Sally Ride

If possible, show a picture of Sally Ride and ask the students if anyone recognizes her. Tell them that this famous American was the first American woman to travel in space. Tell the students that this wasn't an airplane ride that she took, but a ride on the space shuttle, Challenger.

Say: Sally Kristen Ride was born on May 26, 1951, in California. She grew up always being interested in science and finally decided to study astrophysics, which is the science that studies stars and planets. She heard about the space program in America and decided to apply to be an astronaut. Eight thousand people applied for the job and thirty-five were chosen. Ask the children if they can imagine how many eight thousand is! Relate the number to the number of pupils in your school (That's enough people to fill twenty schools just like ours!).

Tell the students that Sally had to study hard and learn about what it would be like to be in space. She had to learn about weightlessness and floating in the air. She had to learn how to prepare her food so it wouldn't float away. But Sally already knew something that would be very important to her space mission. She knew how to operate a giant robot arm called a remote manipulator.

On June 18, 1983, the Challenger took off and Sally was aboard. Ask the students how they think she felt. Tell them that she said it was like one of the best rides at Disneyland.

Tell the students that Sally continued to work with the space program for several years and was part of the team that tried to find the reason for the Challenger explosion in 1986. Today Sally works at Stanford University. Ask the students what they think Susan B. Anthony would have to say about a woman in space!