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Davis students learn about civil rights while having fun with Legos

Davis Middle School seventh grade English language arts teacher, Rachelle Chambers, has found a unique way to teach her students. 

Over a two-week period, the students have been reading and studying a nonfiction text, Samuel Wilbert Tucker: The Story of a Civil Rights Trailblazer and the 1939 Alexandria Library Sit-In.  Chambers said her students have been actively participating in discussions and responded to questions that reinforce the ongoing skills studied in English language arts.  She said the students have gravitated toward the book and are all very excited to continue reading as they enter the classroom each day.  She was especially pleased to see students who were not normally readers or actively engaged, were excited about the book.

As a part of the assignment, the students transitioned to a Nonviolent and Violent Protest Research Activity in the library.  Students were given the opportunity to think of a word pertaining to the activity for the Lego Wall.  Students were challenged to think of words that had not already been used and were then given the opportunity to explain why they used the word.

“It was very rewarding to see my students think critically and come up with a variety of words to put on the wall,” said Chambers.  “I have enjoyed the experience and growth of my students.  They have even applied some of the problem solving, discussions, and language in daily conflicts that we may face as a class.  I also plan to take a picture of the finished word wall and use as a writing prompt in the classroom.

Some of the words that students used are as follows:

Peace -  “Dejah said he chose the word peace because he thinks we need peace and equality for all nations.

Relax – “Gary chose relax because he said it makes no sense to overreact on little stuff.’

Students also stated that they enjoyed doing the activities with Legos because it helps them to be creative and it builds character.

The books used in the lesson were funded by a Hampton Education Foundation Grant, received by teacher librarian, Nancy Terrell.



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