Hi, I'm Erin, and I teach English. This portfolio chronicles my educational accomplishments. You can e-mail me at ekkross@gmail.com.


Warriors Don't Cry Lesson Plan

Everybody Hurts, Everybody Cries (Even Warriors), Sometimes

Date: 28 November 2006

Time: 40 minutes

Setting: C&I 403 classroom. Students will arrange desks to form three groups.

  1. Through discussion, students will be able to evaluate and give evidence of how the integration of Central High School in Little Rock affected Melba as an individual, the community of Little Rock, and the NAACP's connection to the nation.
  2. Students will be able to apply information from this text to current incidents of racism.

Students have read Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Patillo Beals. Students have basic knowledge of U.S. history. This lesson is situated in a larger context of learning about multicultural literature.

5 minutes:
Introduce video/watch video (Andy)
2-5 minutes:
Discuss reactions to video (Liane)
10 minutes:
Break into three groups of five students, each group discusses one question provided for them related to a theme in the book. They must assign one person to take notes to turn in at the end of class. (Katelyn)
Discussion questions:
  1. How does the integration facilitate Melba's development from a child to a young adult?
  2. Was the NAACP irresponsible in ensuring the children's safety? What are your thoughts on the use of children to bring about political change?
  3. 3. How did the events at Central High School impact the community? The state?
10 minutes:
Class will meet for a large group discussion. Each small group will present their question and answer and ask the other classmates for feedback and comments. (Stacey)
10 minutes:
Wrap-up. Discuss current problems with segregation/integration; move beyond black/white relations to other ethnic and religious groups, students with special needs, issues involving sexual orientation, etc. Encourage (but not require) personal experiences. Possibly show KKK website. (Erin)
Discussion Ideas:

Ask students to describe their experiences with segregation in schools.

Bilingual/ESL and Dialect Accommodations:

There are no students in this class who require accommodations.

Special Education Accommodations:

There are no students in this class who require accommodations.


Students will turn in the notes from their group discussion as evidence they participated in the activity.

Extension Ideas:

Extend lesson to student's lives, having them list times when they acted as a bystander, perpetrator, and victim of a crime; then, students can write a story about one of the instances and act it out in groups (see teaching materials for source). Read sequel to Warriors Don't Cry.

Source of Activity:


Resources and References:
Illinois State English Language Arts Goals and Learning Standards:
1.B.5a Relate reading to prior knowledge and experience and make connections to related information.
The students will be using prior knowledge from U.S. history classes about the Civil Rights movement in order to make connections to the novel.
1.B.5d Read age-appropriate material with fluency and accuracy.
Students will have read a novel appropriate for their age and skill level, with comprehension assessed during class discussions.
2.B.5b Apply knowledge gained from litera┬Čture as a means of understanding contemporary and historical economic, social and political issues and perspectives.
Students will apply what they've learned in the novel to their own lives and to current problems with segregation in the wrap-up discussion.

As with any group project, we struggled with scheduling time to meet and staying focused during our planning sessions. We all came to the project with different ideas, and we had to constantly compromise in order to produce a cohesive lesson.

If we could have done this over, we would have gone into the first meeting more prepared. We would have also given ourselves more time to find media sources for the video portion of the lesson.

Communication Rationale