Grades K-6: Fairness & Equal Treatment
A Girl Named Linda
Through listening to a story and discussing a series of photos, students will begin to understand how the education of Linda Brown resulted in one of the most important cases ever to be decided by the U. S. Supreme Court.
Read the insert on Brown in the Planning Guide and become familiar with the story. Think about how to tell the story using grade-appropriate language.
Locate some historical photos that illustrate Brown or other aspects of the struggle to desegregate schools. You'll find some online at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, and even more at the Brown Foundation site. Or you can use the photos on pages 6, 12, 18, 26, 36, and 42 of the Law Day Planning Guide. Secure the photos on stock paper to facilitate viewing.
Ask the students if they have heard the story of Linda Brown. Because this is an anniversary year, it is possible that students are aware of Linda Brown and/or Brown v. Board of Education.
Retell the story at a grade appropriate level. Remember to make the story brief and interesting because of the students' short attention span.
As an example, start by saying, "I am going to tell you a story of a little girl named Linda Brown. Linda was a normal little seven-year old girl who liked to play games with her sisters. Linda had to go to Monroe Elementary School because she was African-American. To walk to Monroe each day was sometime difficult, especially in the cold weather. Linda's father decided that Linda should be allowed to go to Sumner Elementary School because it was very close to her home. (continue the story)
Use the photos you've found. As you hold up each photo, ask the following questions. By moving from broad to specific in the questioning process, the students will grasp a better understanding.
- What do you see in the photo?
- What do you think the people in the photo doing?
- Why was it important for the people in the photo to be doing what they are doing?
Bring closure to the activity by asking students to think about how our country insures that all individuals are treated equally.
Dialogue on Brown v. Board of Educationis an excellent background reference. It contains everything a person needs to make a presentation on Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.
The Brown Foundation for Educational Equality, Excellence, and Research has an activity booklet containing printable interactive activities focusing on Brown v. Board of Education.
A Famous Kansas Child focuses on the Brown story written for the elementary level. The story is divided into four short "chapters" with questions and answers provided at the end of each.