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How to Teach This Book
- Before Sharon’s ride on the carousel, African Americans weren’t allowed to visit the Gwynn Oak Amusement Park. Talk with students about segregation and the laws that separated Black and white people in daily life—at restaurants, water fountains, schools, hospitals, parks, and more.
- Discuss how people protested these laws and businesses that treated people differently because of the color of their skin. Protesters believed these laws were unjust, and like Sharon, thought that people should treat others the way they want to be treated. Ask students to think about something they think is unfair or unjust and share it. Why do they think these problems or issues exist? What ideas do they have to solve the problem? How could a protest help solve the problem? Have students develop a statement about the injustice or issue that is important to them, then ask them to make a protest sign or a sidewalk chalk message to get others thinking, talking, and moving toward change.
Questions for Discussion or Reflective Writing
- What is segregation? Why was the amusement park segregated?
- What happened to make Sharon’s ride possible?
- What is a protest? What were people protesting in the book? Where else have you read or heard about protests?
- How can a protest help solve a problem? What changed because of the protest at the park?
- What is the Golden Rule? How do you want to be treated, and how will you treat others?
Additional Resources for Teaching About Civil Rights
- A Ride to Remember discussion and activity guide
- Author talk with Sharon Langley and Amy Nathan from DC Public Library
- Take a virtual ride on the Smithsonian Carousel Ride on the Washington D.C. National Mall
- StoryCorps: I Couldn’t Buy a Movie Ticket
Black History Month Lessons & Resources
Integrate Black history into your classroom in February and all-year long, with this selection of lesson plans that cover a variety subjects and can be adapted to fit multiple grade levels.
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