A Famous Kansas Child

Grades K-6: Fairness & Equal Treatment 
A Famous Kansas Child 
by Carol Roach

Learner Results

Students will read about a Kansas child involved in a famous United States Supreme Court case. They will think critically to form opinions about equality, segregation, and integration. Students will distinguish between fact and opinion.

Also includes: reading, research, vocabulary, reporting, drawing, map skills, role-playing, writing; authority, property, freedom, diversity.

Materials Needed

One teacher copy or student photocopies of A Famous Kansas Child (4 chapters); drawing supplies; research materials; photocopies of Which Is It?


This lesson can be used by the classroom teacher alone, or by a teacher and resource person working together. A story has been written on the elementary level about Linda Brown and the Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education. The story is divided into four short "chapters," with questions or activities provided at the end of each.

If used by the teacher alone, all of the story may be covered in one day, or it may be broken by chapters into several days’ lessons. The story can be read to the children by the teacher, or it can be duplicated and used in place of a reading assignment from the basal text. Any of the questions or activities can be used to stimulate discussion and critical thinking.

The teacher might choose one of three ways to use these materials: 1) the teacher reads the story to the students and may choose only some or all of the questions and activities for student participation; 2) students receive photocopies of the story to read themselves, but questions and activities are not included in the photocopies. Teacher chooses those questions/activities students should address; or 3) students receive photocopies of story and questions/activities, thus participating in all suggestions given.

A resource person can use this lesson by reading the story to the children, interrupting the text with the discussion questions at the end of each chapter. The teacher can use the other suggestions as follow-up activities. If time does not allow covering the whole story in one day, the teacher could do the first chapter (or two chapters) and activities in advance, then the resource person can finish the story with the children and explain the Supreme Court process and its decision.

In either case, it should be pointed out to the children that the Supreme Court’s decision affected not just the students in Topeka, Kansas, but in all of the United States.

Present any necessary vocabulary words to the students before reading each chapter. Suggested vocabulary words include:


Chapter 1 – Oliver, Leola, troupers, welders, solemn, pastor
Chapter 2 – Monroe, weathervane, sculpture, Sumner
Chapter 3 – podium, situation, organization, Advancement, segregation/segregated, testified, integration
Chapter 4 – Amendment, guaranteed, previous, criticized

This is a true story about a little girl in Topeka, Kansas, who didn’t really know that anything special was happening in her life. And yet her name became known by people all over the United States. Her name, and facts about her life, introduced one of the most important cases ever to be decided by the Supreme Court.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Activity: Fact and Opinion - Which Is It?