Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy students took the civil rights journey of their choice during an Integrated Language Arts and Social Studies (ILASS2) class where they studied everything from the Chinese Exclusion Act and Women's Liberation through Fashion to the Mass Deportation of Mexican Immigrants in the 1930’s.
“We wanted the students to be invested in what they were learning,” said ILASS2 Instructor Julie Muhlenfeld. “They all wanted to study some sort of civil rights issue. So, this was the most creative way for them to choose their own civil rights journey. We allowed them to choose which civil right’s issue to study. Then, each student presented on their issue.”
Students say it was interesting to learn about the civil rights struggle of various cultures.
“This was a great learning experience because usually when we think about civil rights we only think of African-American history,” said PMSA Sophomore Herbert Huston, who chose to study the Indian Citizenship Act of 1974. “Doing this project made me realize that there were lots of other groups fighting for their rights.”
PMSA Sophomore Bernice Beltran chose to study the Selma to Montgomery Marches of 1965.
“I learned that it took very strong people to make America what it is today,” said Beltran. “What they did back then has taught Americans to stand up for their rights today.”
At the end of the students’ civil rights study, they compiled a text and picture scrapbook on their various subjects. As the final project, students displayed their knowledge of specific topics by hosting a Civil Rights Exhibition.
Some of the exhibitions explored: Japanese Internment Camps, The Age Discrimination Act, Labor Union Strikes, and the Movement for Gay Rights.