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Part One: Remember: The Journey to School Integration


  1. Classroom Activity:  Tell students that they will look at three pictures and do a “free write” in their journals to answer some questions (see below). Show the pictures (in the order indicated) from the following pages 67, 68, and 35 of Toni Morrison’s book Remember. Ask students to write down answers to these questions: a) What might the characters in the picture be feeling? b) What could the characters be saying to each another? Allow children at least 5 minutes to view and respond to each picture. Select students to share their answers with the whole class. Students can also “pair and share.”
  2. Classroom Activity:  Show the companion video to Toni Morrison’s book.  If the video is not available, then read aloud the book’s introduction “The Narrow Path, the Open Gate, the Wide Road.” Share with students the historical background of Brown v. Board of Education. Ask students to use the illustrations and stories from the book and video to provide examples of the impact of the Brown decision.
  3. Activity: Brainstorm with the class about what qualifies as an “important event.” Use the discussion to create a criteria list for determining whether an event is historically significant. Create a poster of the criteria for the classroom. Explain to students that not everyone will agree. In fact, historians themselves often disagree and have various interpretations of the same event. Give an example of different historical interpretations of an event or an example of historians’ disagreements about the significance of a historical event.
  4. Optional Assignment:  Ask students to write down and orally present an important event in their lives, families, and/or community, chosen based on the class’ criteria for what constitutes an important event. Model to the class an example of an expository report on an important event.