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Liberty and Justice for (Not) All

As a computer teacher in an urban Philadelphia Public School, I strive to help my students make good use of today’s ever changing technologies in order to equip them with the necessary skills for 21st Century learning and living. This year I am collaborating with a fifth grade teacher, and together, we are focusing on enhancing our students’ knowledge of history. How did people, events and movements of the past shape their world today? In particular, we are investigating the history of racial segregation and discrimination against African Americans through the lens of landmark Supreme Court cases. We will investigate issues of segregation before and after Brown v. Board and examine other cases involved with race and school choice With many rich resources and interactive activities to help students go beyond the textbook, I hope this unit will stimulate their interest in exploring the past in order to understand the challenges of the present.

This unit is intended for students in Grade 5 who are studying periods of American History from Reconstruction to Civil Rights Era. Along with the fifth grade teacher who will be providing instruction in social studies and literature, I will guide students in using Internet resources and tools of technology to explore topics and issues related to racial segregation and desegregation. Throughout the unit, they will reflect on learning through blog entries. In the culminating projects, students will work collaboratively to demonstrate understanding of content and mastery of skills relevant to the unit.

Rita Sorrentino
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