Every February, students in Canada are invited to participate in Black History Month festivities and events that honour the legacy of Black Canadians and their communities. Black History Month is an important tradition at Rowntree Montessori Schools (RMS).
Black History Month is a time to reflect, honour, and celebrate the achievements of African American and Black Canadian citizens. At RMS, Black History Month is dedicated to instilling in our students the importance of recognizing the accomplishments of famous African American and Black Canadian individuals.
Recently, our Mayfield Prep-One (SK) students learned about Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks was an African American civil rights activist whose refusal to relinquish her seat on a public bus to a white man precipitated the 1955–56 Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama, which is recognized as the spark that ignited the U.S. civil rights movement.
The Prep-One students read Rosa’s Bus; a book about Rosa Park’s journey on Bus #2857. Bus #2857 was an ordinary public bus until a woman named Rosa Parks, who had just finished her work day as a seamstress, refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. This event sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a key event in the Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr.
After reading about this important historical event, our Prep-One students had an opportunity to re-enact the Rosa Parks Bus Protest and had a chance to present their re-enactments to their classmates. Please watch this wonderful re-enactment by one of our Mayfield Prep-One students.
This lesson allows the children to contextually experience what it is like to stand up for what is right and give them a chance to talk about things that are right and wrong. During this lesson, students learned about civil rights speeches, marches, and protests. This was a great lesson that included history and literature, character and values education, as well as public speaking skills.