Sixth grade students are currently reading The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. The unit has been developed by CommonLit and is being shared among the 6th grade Literacy and English classes at Algonquin Middle School.
In addition to reading the book in Literacy, students have read supplemental articles on civil rights in English. In Literacy, students worked together to analyze the song “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye. The song has long been considered a civil rights anthem from the 1960s, and an expression of a desire for peace and love from Marvin Gaye and songwriters, Al Cleveland and Renaldo ‘Obie’ Benson. Students discovered the theme of the song, as well as the ‘groovy’ beat of a Motown original.