Our Gift to You: A Fascinating Story for MLK Day

Kristin Lewis

Happy New Year teachers!


I hope your holiday break was restful and rejuvenating! As you dive into the second half of the school year, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is fast approaching and we wanted to give you a great way to teach your students about an incredible young hero of the civil rights movement: Barbara Johns.

The article "Imagine This Was Your School" tells the story of 16-year-old Barbara Johns, who led a strike in protest of the deplorable conditions at her segregated school. We're giving away this compelling article and companion poem for free. You can download and print a PDF here and share it with your students. Leave us a comment below to us about the vibrant discussions you have!




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I have used the Barbara Johns article for the past three years in conjunction with our study of the novel Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry in which the disparity between black and white schools is apparent. The article really makes the ideas in the novel real to students, and they realize that one person really CAN have an impact on the world. This was a great article when it was published, and I am pleased that you are bringing it back for others who may have missed it!