Learning History with American Girl (Civil Rights Movement)

There is a brand new American Girl movie coming out based on their “Melody” doll. Melody’s story is set in Detroit during the Civil Rights Movement and examines the joyful life and troubled times of an irrepressible 10-year-old African-American girl whose vivid imagination and creativity reinforce her optimism. When shocking national events threaten her sense of security, Melody must find inner strength to restore her hope for a better world.

Even though we’ve never purchased the actual American Girl dolls – we are big fans of their stories! Both of my kids (5 year old girl and 11 year old boy) enjoy reading about the lives of the girls and the times they lived in. I think it brings history “home” when kids see other kids their age living their lives in different historical times! We have a couple of the non-fiction books (“Welcome to Kit’s World, 1934: Growing Up During America’s Great Depression” and “Welcome to Molly’s World, 1944: Growing Up in World War Two America“) that teach kids about specific time periods (with lots of photos!) I’m hoping that they come out with one for Melody also!

Until then – here are some books for kids about the Civil Rights Movement and the 1960’s:

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Also, here are a couple lesson ideas for teaching about Civil Rights:

  1. Civil Rights Activity Book via Teaching Tolerance
  2. Civil Rights Movement for Kids (.pdf file)
  3. Civil Rights Lesson Ideas via BrainPOP

Don’t forget! An American Girl Story – Melody 1963: Love Has to Win premiers on Amazon on 10/21!

* This post contains affiliate links – affiliate links help pay the bills! However, the ideas, opinions and text are all mine.