Posters, Marches, and Change: Letting young voices be heard

Since the 1960s, protesters have used their rights to speak freely and to assemble, guaranteed by the First Amendment, by marching in Washington, D.C. and across the country. Of the five largest protests in American history, four have taken place in the last two years: the 2017 Women’s March, the 2018 Women’s March, the national student walkout on March 14, and the March for Our Lives on March 24. It’s worth noting that two of them were started by students. (See more at the Washington Post here or read a HuffPost article here.)

There is no doubt that young people are passionate about their convictions and open about their views. And while protest marches are loud and visible ways to express one’s opinion, there are many other things that children and teens can do to make their voices heard. Check out the books below for your students that are interested in activism.

Photos are from this USA Today article.

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

IF YOU'RE GOING TO A MARCH  PEACEFUL FIGHTS FOR EQUAL RIGHTS  SPREAD YOUR MESSAGE!  WE RISE, WE RESIST, WE RAISE OUR VOICES  WHAT CAN A CITIZEN DO?

If You’re Going to a March by Martha Freeman (ill. by Violet Kim). 9781454929932. 2018. Gr K-2.
With many children attending marches with their parents, they might have questions. This book provides information on what to bring and how to behave at a march—including what to do if they need to use the restroom!

Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights by Rob Sanders. 9781534429437. September 2018. Gr 1-3.
A to-do list for fighting peacefully is broken down into easy-to-understand steps for young readers: Inquire. Invite. Inform. Imagine. Join with others.

Spread Your Message! (Be the Change! : Shaping Your Community) by Heather Leaderstorf. 9781538220153. 2018. Gr 3-6.
Text and graphics inform older elementary students about how to spread the message about what they are passionate about, including social media platforms, public speaking, and writing.

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices edited by Wade Hudson & Cheryl Willis Hudson. 9780525580423. 2018. Gr 4-6.
In this collection of poems, letters, personal essays, art, and other works, fifty diverse children’s authors and illustrators answer the question, “In this divisive world, what shall we tell our children?”

What Can a Citizen Do? by Dave Eggers (ill. by Shawn Harris). 9781452173139. 2018. Gr 1-3.
This picture book uses a bit of humor with a powerful message for children on how they can be a citizen.

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL

CAN YOUR CONVERSATIONS CHANGE THE WORLD?  PUTTING PEACE FIRST  SOCIAL ACTIVISM : WORKING TOGETHER TO CREATE CHANGE IN OUR S  YOU ARE MIGHTY : A GUIDE TO CHANGING THE WORLD

Can Your Conversations Change the World? (Popactivism) by Erinne Paisley. 9781459813090. September 2018. Gr 6-9.
This latest in the Popactivism series focuses on how to use one’s conversations with friends and classmates to talk about feminism. Paisley discusses the origins and history of the movement and what it means to be a feminist and an activist now. She also warns that not everyone will agree with your opinions.

Putting Peace First : 7 Commitments to Change the World by Eric David Dawson. 9781101997338. 2018. Gr 5-8.
Twenty-five years ago, Eric David Dawson, then 18, believed that young people shouldn’t have to wait to change the world—they could do it now. He founded Peace First to teach them how to work toward peace in the world. This handbook explains seven different ways to make a difference, highlighting young people who created peacekeeping projects that changed their communities.

Social Activism : Working Together to Create Change in Our Society (Spotlight on Civic Action) by Beatrice Mortmain. 9781508163985. 2018. Gr 4-8.
Students will learn about protests and activism by studying the history of social activism in America, from the Progressive movement in the late 19th century through protests again racial profiling and for LGBTQ rights.

You Are Mighty : A Guide to Changing the World by Caroline Paul (ill. by Lauren Tamaki). 9781681198224. 2018. Gr 6-9.
Teach middle schoolers how to be social activists by proving how impactful young people can be. This book suggests concrete ideas, such as changing one’s own habits, making protest signs, and staging a sit-in, and also provides examples of young people who have engaged in each of these activist protests.

 

HIGH SCHOOL

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PROTESTS AND PUBLIC ASSEMB  POWER OF PROTEST : A VISUAL HISTORY OF THE MOMENTS THAT CHAN  STEAL THIS COUNTRY : A HANDBOOK FOR RESISTANCE  WE MATTER : ATHLETES AND ACTIVISM

Everything You Need to Know about Protests and Public Assembly (Need to Know Library) by Philip Wolny. 9781508179207. 2018. Gr 7-12.
Young people need to know that, as concerned citizens, they should be take part in the protests that are sweeping their communities and nation. While describing the history of protests in America, this book also examines their civil rights and duties as well the rules regarding their behavior during protests and assemblies.

The Power of Protest : A Visual History of the Moments That Changed the World by Brenda Griffing. 9781492660347. 2018. Gr 7-Adult.
American history is full of protests that made sweeping changes to the nation. The examples in The Power of Protest are meant to encourage young people who want to make changes in their society.

Steal This Country : A Handbook for Resistance, Persistence, and Fixing Everything by Alexandra Styron. 9780451479372. 2018. Gr 7-12.
This practical guide to standing up and being seen and heard is for young people who are advocating for change. It covers the issues of climate change, immigration, women’s and LGBTQ+ rights, racial justice, and religious tolerance. Suggestions include sit-ins, boycotting products, talking and writing to one’s representatives, and blogging.

We Matter : Athletes and Activism by Etan Thomas. 9781617755910. 2018. Gr 9-Adult.
Former basketball player, now a MSNBC commentator and activist, Etan Thomas interviewed dozens of athletes, media figures, and more on the subject of race in America. This collection of stories and opinions supports the right of athletes to speak out on matters of racial profiling, gender inequality, mental health issues. Thomas encourages fans as well as athletes to discuss these issues and get involved.

Blogger: Tracey L