Intermediate & Middle School Activity
Meet Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney, husband-and-wife team and author and illustrator of ‘Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood up by Sitting Down,’ 2011 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award honor title for younger children.
Read a summary of the book
Sit-in energetically combines sweeping, fluid artwork and poetic prose, full of engaging, inventive food metaphors and punctuated with short potent quotes from Martin Luther King, to tell the story of the 1960 Greensboro, North Carolina lunch counter sit-ins. The story lays out the injustice of segregation represented by the refusal of a simple request for food at a Whites Only counter and shows the solid determination of the students who sat and waited to be served. The students’ quiet patience, despite taunts and threats, demonstrates to children the challenge and the power of non-violent civil disobedience.
AND WATCH THE BOOK TRAILER:
CLICK BELOW TO SEE PAGE SPREADS FROM SIT-IN…
NOW EXPLORE THE HISTORY OF THE GREENSBORO SIT-IN AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT FURTHER VIA HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPHS AND REAL ARTIFACTS FROM THE EVENT…
JUST FOR FUN! LISTEN TO ANDREA TALK WITH CHILDREN’S BOOK ILLUSTRATOR GRACE LIN ABOUT WHAT THEY ALWAYS WANTED TO BE WHEN THEY GREW UP. GUESS WHAT, ANDREA DID NOT WANT TO BE A CHILDREN’S BOOK AUTHOR!
Now Let’s Get to Next Steps!
Guiding questions for your reading, writing, thinking and acting:
- Think deeply about the following two sets of questions. Maybe go back and look through the book spreads and the history website while you do. Then write a detailed paragraph for each set. 1.What did you learn from your exploration of the book Sit-In and the history of the 1960 Greensboro, North Carolina protest that truly surprised you? Why were you surprised? 2.What did you learn that you wish everyone knew and understood? Why is this so important? You are welcome to share your thoughts in our comment section (comments will be approved & posted within 24 yours) or on social media #socialjusticelearnanddo
- Andrea says they wanted readers of Sit-In to see that no matter how old you are you can make a change in the world. The students of Greesboro were seeking to make important change with a non-violent protest. As the book says, “Hold the hate and leave off the injustice!” Though segregation officially ended with the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, there remains injustice and unequal treatment all around us, though perhaps in different forms. How can we, no matter how old we are, make a change in this world? What is most challenging to you—imagining it is possible that you can help make a change or imagining how you might go about making a change in the world? We all have those feelings and, no doubt, so did the four friends in Greensboro along the way! Let’s encourage ourselves, just as they must have had to encourage themselves. Make a poster with an encouraging message about your ability to make a change in the world. Hang it where you will see it everyday. Be open to possibilities and see what happens over time!! You are welcome to share your encouraging message in our comment section below (comments will be approved & posted within 24 yours) or on social media #socialjusticelearnanddo