Remember : The Journey to School Integration

Last updated Monday, February 24, 2020

Author: Toni Morrison
Date of Publication: 2004
ISBN: 061839740X
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jul. 2004

Synopsis: This unusual blend of archival photographs, historical background, and fictional narrative brings to life the experiences and emotions of the African-American students who made the tumultuous journey to school integration.

Note to readers:
•  Note to volunteers: This book, chosen by a teacher, contains real photographs from a difficult and troubling part of our history. A member of the curriculum committee will be at each school to discuss this book with you, should you have any concerns. General guidance: discover first what the children know about segregation, integration, and civil rights, and lead discussion from that place rather than trying to do too much in a limited time. Books can invite discussion without having to be a strict learning experience; this book allows for that discussion and active reading. The book consists mainly of pictures, and one way to go through the book will be to stop with each picture and ask questions about it - what is going on?, why do you think it is happening?, how do you think that feels?, What would you do in that place?

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you know about segregation? Integration? The civil rights movement?
•  Have you ever been told you can?t do something someone else can? How did that make you feel?
•  How does change make you feel?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Use questions listed above throughout the book.
•  How would you feel if you were one of the people in the pictures?
•  How do you feel about the pictures in the book?
•  What might the people in the pictures say to each other today?

Craft ideas:
•  Write a newspaper article about one of the pictures in the book. Tell the story from your perspective.
•  What comes to mind when you think of "togetherness?" Draw a picture of that.
•  Draw the "magic man" (page 69), and the problems he can and can?t fix.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!