The Story of Us

Using Picture Books to Understand Diversity, Inclusion and Equity:

Rigorous, relevant and engaging lessons that help students explore deep questions about equity while developing reading and writing skills aligned with Common Core Strategies for grades 5 – 8 [State Frameworks: K-6 CCCS ELA Standards].

Content Area/Primary Focus: Language Arts, Social Studies, Character Development

Using picture books from a variety of sources, including Learning for Justice formerly Teaching Tolerance, the Windham-Willimantic NAACP Education committee will provide the classroom teacher with remote classroom activities. The material includes a read-aloud by a member from the NAACP’s Speakers Bureau, and standard-based lessons in Close Reading. The lessons will guide students to apply close reading strategies while exploring essential and guiding questions relevant to the book, and historical and current racial and social justice issues.

Our Speakers Bureau is comprised of professional people of color who can share their experiences of racial injustice with students.


” The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Poster: The Story of Us
Click on poster to download PDF copy.

PILOT LESSON I: THE OTHER SIDE by Jacqueline Woodson

Lessons and activities are included.

The Other Side
By Jaqueline Woodson

The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson will be read aloud in this session by a member of our Windham-Willimantic NAACP Speakers Bureau via a virtual platform. The education committee will assist the teacher in the initial lesson. Students may ask the reader questions after the reading and follow-up dialogue between the reader and teachers.

Written from the point of view of a Black child, this book uses a powerful symbol – a fence – to emphasize the racial division in a southern town. Two young girls, Clover who is Black and Annie who is white, have both been instructed by their parents not to go on the other side of the fence because it is not safe. Eventually the story finds both girls and all their friends sitting on the fence together. “Someday somebody’s going to come along and knock this old fence down,” Annie says. What a great metaphor the author has created for knocking down old beliefs and barriers that keep people apart. This book is a great way to show that change can happen little by little – one child at a time.

If you are interested in this program please complete our contact form to book the performance, classroom workshop, preparation, and follow-up materials. The classroom workshop will be presented by NAACP education committee members.

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Fill out this form to request information on our education programs for your school. While we primarily service the schools and districts in our jurisdiction, we may consider bringing our programs to a wider audience as our time and resources allow.

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