Monday, October 19, 2015

Taking a Walk Back in History: Segregated Nashville Collaborative Project

Segregated Nashville” is a collaborative lesson I do with another teacher, Joy York (Capstone teacher).  She and I do many collaborative lessons throughout the year.  Several years ago I attended a workshop with the National Endowment for Humanities entitled, “The Problem of the Color Line Atlanta Landmarks and Civil Rights History.”  In this workshop we visited different landmarks in Atlanta, GA that essentially told a story of the development of change regarding the civil rights movement.  I felt the history come alive after visiting the various landmarks and wanted to adopt this same concept with the lesson she and I have been doing with her Capstone students.  So we decided to have her students experience something similar by having them visit Fisk University and the Civil Rights room at the Nashville Public Library Main.  When we visit Fisk University students receive an overview of the Modern Day Civil Rights movement in Nashville, Tennessee from History Professors at the University.  Students are also given a walking tour of Fisk and learn about Fisk’s rich history.  After the visit to Fisk the students visit the Civil Rights room in the Nashville Public Library Main, Downtown.  Here the students sit in a recreated lunch counter and learn about the sit-in demonstrations in Nashville.  They listen to a presentation from one of the Civil Rights room librarians and view different primary resources highlighting key people in the movement.  Students get to spend the rest of the day using the resources at the Civil Rights room for their research. Students have found this project to be very enlightening.  Some of the feedback we received include:

The Segregated Nashville project allowed us to take a look into some of the important history of the city we live in…about places and history markers we see all the time, but never take time to actually notice.”

“What I liked about the Segregated Nashville project was learning stuff about Nashville that I never knew about.  You hear about Birmingham, Alabama all of the time, so hearing about all of the amazing things that happened in Nashville was kind of cool.”

“I never knew Nashville had so much history.”

Image:  Students hearing a presentation in the Civil Rights room    

C. Townsel
MNPS Librarian (HS)

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