Eliot-Hine MS 7th grade students capped off their recent English Language Arts cornerstone unit, My Warrior Self, with a trip to the Newseum to see the civil rights exhibit about the tumultuous events leading up to 1968, when Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Cornerstones are powerful lessons that students engage in through the DCPS units of study. This particular cornerstone unit involved reading the memoir Warriors Don’t Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals, exploring what makes a warrior and how their own definition has shifted, preparing a display about a “warrior” they know, and visiting the civil rights exhibit at the Newseum.
In Warriors Don’t Cry, the 7th graders learned about the nine teenagers who were chosen to integrate Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957. The memoir describes the dignity and courage the nine teenagers showed throughout their year at Central High School when they were on the front lines of the efforts to integrate our nations’ schools. To relate the book to their own lives, the students chose a “warrior” they know, and prepared a display board describing how their “warrior” took a stand to fight for what is right. At the Newseum, the students watched and discussed a documentary about how civil rights activists harnessed the power of the news media to bring about social change. All of the activities in this unit are intended to provide the students with insights about how to be resilient, and persevere through inevitable challenges they will face in life.
We love to see Eliot-Hine students making real-world connections through engaging in rigorous content! To learn more about the DCPS Cornerstones Initiative, check out their website which includes libraries of examples for each subject,