Stanford University The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute
Letter from Birmingham Jail
Part Four: The Children Shall Lead
  Activity/Instructions  
 
  1. Begin with discussion prompts or quick write prompts: Would you be willing go to jail to challenge an unjust law? Would you let your child go to jail in an effort to overturn an unjust law?
  2. Teenager/Parent Negotiation role play. One student plays a 16 year old student who wants to participate in the mass meetings at the 16th Street Baptist Church. The second student plays the parent who wants the child to “stay out of trouble.”
  3. Continue with Eyes on the Prize. Watch the scenes of students in Kelly Ingram Park and of the mass arrests of students. Have students focus on the lyrics of the singing students. Ask students, “Did the adults ask the students to go to jail or did the students decide for themselves?” You may need to rewind and have students listen a second time.
  4. Using the images from Eyes on the Prize and/or photos from Kelly Ingram Park, ask students to create a Photo Gallery Poem.
 
 

Materials/Links

 
  Handouts:     Resources:  
       
  Assignment Options:        
  • Journal Entry
  • Research the oral histories from the BCRI
  • Have students discuss with their parent/guardian the role play. Have students ask their parents if they would have allowed them attend the demonstrations. Why or why not?
  • Begin work on the culminating project
 

Questions:
In Birmingham did the children or the adults lead the strategy to fill the jails through civil disobedience?

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