All it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to remain silent. I’ve seen variations on this quote for years. I’ve seen it attributed to pretty much every famous figure from the last 100 years or so. Segregation is evil prospering because no one spoke up. As I put this history lesson together for my young kids, I wanted to talk about a hard time in US history, but in such a way as not to freak out my 5-year-old. I think I found a good balance for our Greensboro sit-in lesson.
(Future Ticia 2022 is attempting to update this to a usable post 11 years later, and so I’m adding more information, a few more pictures, and a few more resources)
(there are affiliate links in here)
Greensboro sit-in lesson resources
Freedom on the Menu is about the Greensboro sit-ins that happened during the 1960s. It mainly focuses on a family and the daughter, who is about 7 or 8, and tells it from her point of view.
She talks about how unfair it is to not be allowed to sit at the counter on the swivel chairs and eat an ice cream sunday, and how proud she is of her brother and sister for participating in the protests.
Future Ticia 2022, since the oldest kid in my geography group as we studied North Carolina was all of 8 years old, that’s all we used then. To make this a bit more useful, here are a few more resources if you’re teaching this lesson to older kids (I’m about to teach this same lesson again to my high schoolers)
But first, I found a video of the book being read!
All right, I looked at a few videos, and one was just a robotic voice recounting events, another was a bunch of talking heads talking about how it was important, but not the events, and then I found a video with some of the actual people involved.
Primary source is the gold mine for a history lesson.
Future Ticia 2022 popping in very quickly, this is the topic I’m researching right now for our history lessons next month, so I’ll be adding in more resources as I find them, but there was a brief mention of this as I looked up Martin Luther King jr.
Greensboro Sit-in lesson
This led to some great discussions in our group, about what is fair, and what isn’t. How can you protest something unfair without being violent or disrespectful?
A good discussion question for older kids, how far is too far? Especially with the last few years of protests, says Future Ticia 2022.
Supplies for our Greensboro sit in craft
After talking for quite some time, I asked them to think of something they wanted to protest.
Future Ticia 2022, from their illustrations I think they were primarily protesting vague “people being mean.” I’m not quite sure what they were thinking.
Afterwards we made protest signs with index cards and popsicle sticks. I could tell they really got it when they started their own protests.
All in all, they seemed to really understand the lesson, and were enthusiastic in their participation in the craft afterward.
Snow Doggy joined in too.