Go, Rosa!

Every time I think about how Rosa Parks said, "No," it reminds me of this safety program my kids go through at school where they learn the phrase Stranger Danger, and how to yell, "No!  Stop!  Leave me alone!"  

Rosa wasn't that loud on the day she took a stand by remaining seated, but it was no less powerful.  Her quiet courage led to a human victory that otherwise may have continued to be ignored.  Her story is history and it is certainly worth celebrating.

There are many children's books out there about Mrs. Parks, but this one is my favorite because it's the most kid-friendly I've found.  The children like it because it has the features of a graphic-novel and sort of resembles the style of a comic book with exaggerated illustrations, story boxes, and speech bubbles.  Take a look at some of the pages.  

Could she be cuter?

She shares a little about her childhood.

And how things didn't change much when she became an adult.

Then, there was that famous December day on the bus.

And her unwillingness to be treated unfairly.

I love how the bus company is begging her to ride the bus.  How ironic.

I made this page larger so you could read the text because the message is
clear and empowering for children.

This book is a great read-aloud to help the kids create a base of knowledge about Rosa Parks.  There are also age-appropriate videos for children that will bring her story to life.  You can search for these videos on the internet.  I also have a few of my favorites pinned to my Pinterest board, "Black History Month."

As a follow up activity, I love this Paper Bag Biography project.  It includes several standards-based activities that engage children in discussion, reading, writing, and performing.  (And everything tucks away neatly inside the bag... easy to store... easy to take home and share.)  

It includes:

• "Fun Facts" ... Facts written in cloze-sentences, supporting rereading and comprehension.

• A "Quick Quote" ... A famous quote from Rosa Parks... the children reread it closely, discuss and infer meaning with a partner, and synthesize their ideas in writing on the back of the quote.

• Props for an Oral History Retelling ... The children color and cut out props connected to Rosa Parks' historical story.  The props help facilitate the children's memories as they work together to sequence and retell this important story.

• A "Talk Show Interview" ... This is an ask-and-answer reader's theater script for partners.  The part of the Host is the simpler part, so the stronger reader in each pair should read Rosa's part first.  (Note:  A Rosa Parks "Monologue" has also been included, but it was written at a more difficult reading level.  It's perfect for the child who likes to work solo and has an interest in performing alone.)

If your children love making flip books, check out this easy-to-make flip book for Rosa Parks.  While making this project, children are reviewing important information about her life through a timeline, captions, and fun facts.  (The "Fun Facts" in this project are different than the ones in the Paper Bag Biography above.)

Here's a sample page from the flip book so you can get an idea of the reading level.  

Thanks for reading!

Happy teaching!  :)


  1. I love your paper bag biography--what a great idea! I had to put it in my TPT shopping cart and will prob purchase tomorrow. That book looks really good too, thanks for sharing it.

    1. Thank you, Terri... I really appreciate it. I found that little book in Barnes & Noble and thought the kids would like it. (Rosa's facial expressions in the book crack me up.) If you do a lot of biographies during the year, that same author has others... Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, and more. Have a great weekend! :)


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