Students complete a diagram of the Montgomery bus that carried Rosa Parks into the history books. Work sheet included.
|Return to Five Lessons in Black History|
Rosa Parks, Black History, African American, Montgomery, bus, boycott, role play, drama
In this activity, students listen to or read a selection describing the events of December 1, 1955. Then they read the rules that people had to follow on the bus. They label an illustration of the bus to reflect those rules.
Read aloud to students a book about Rosa Parks. If you are unable to locate a book, you can read the story that follows:
Rosa Parks was a seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama. One December day, almost 50 years ago, Rosa got on the bus to go to work. She took a seat in the first row of the section in the back of the bus that was reserved for black people like Rosa.
A short time later, the bus stopped to pick up another passenger. A white person wanted to get on the bus, but there no more seats at the front of the bus, which was reserved for white people. The driver asked Rosa to move to the back of the bus so the white person could sit down. But Rosa would not move.
News of Rosa's refusal to give up her seat spread quickly through Montgomery. Just a few days later black people across the city stopped riding the bus. They walked to work instead. The bus company lost lots of money because only white people rode the bus.
Black people in Montgomery walked to work for almost a year. Finally, the rules were changed. The new rules let black people sit in any seat on the bus. Black people in Montgomery had Rosa to thank for the new bus rules.
After sharing Rosa's story, distribute to each student a copy of the Rosa Parks Changed the Rules work sheet. Have students read the text at the top of the page that tells about the rules that were usually followed on buses in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. Then call on students to read those rules aloud. Discuss the rules in relation to Rosa's story, and have students do the activity on the work sheet.
Check students' work sheets to see if they made proper inferences and followed directions.