Just recently I took some time to view portions of two of the many videos available in the collection, American History in Video, thinking that I might find some interesting resource material for use during Black History Month. American History in Video provides the largest and richest collection of video available online for the study of American history. The collection allows students and researchers to analyze historical events, and their presentation over time, through commercial and governmental newsreels, archival footage, public affairs footage, and important documentaries. American History in Video was named a Library Journal 2009 Best Reference, in addition to being named as Booklist Editors’ Choice: Reference Sources 2009 winner. You can access it from our website using your teacher library card number.
The 8 minute Universal Newsreel from August 29, 1963 shows events during the march on Washington D.C. in stark black and white footage. I could see the hundreds of thousands of people crammed onto the mall and hear the words of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Showing this news clip to your entire class by using a SmartBoard or a projector puts students in that moment in time. You might also want to pair it with a picture book for older readers such as, I Have a Dream, which presents the eloquent speech in its entirety as seen through the eyes of 15 African American artists who have won the Coretta Scott King Award or received a Coretta Scott King honor book designation.
Another possibility for classroom use is a longer video, American in the 20th Century: The Civil Rights Movement, Reconstruction to Redemption (Media Rich Communications) which puts the civil rights movement in historical context and is appropriate for middle school students. Consider pairing this video with Freedom Walkers; The Story of the Mongomery Bus Boycott by Russell Freedman. This ALA Notable Book for Children combines an attractive photo-essay design with writing that allows the reader to almost experience the events so compellingly described. Another photo-essay, Reaching for Freedom by Elizabeth Partridge, winner of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award as well as the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and a National Book Award Finalist documents the role children played in the movement’s progress and eventual success.Posted under Audio-Visual, Books & Reading, Databases, Teachers