Activities to Teach Students About Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks was an iconic figure in American history who played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement. Her refusal to give up her bus seat to a white person in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955 sparked a chain of events that led to the desegregation of public transport and other public facilities. Teaching children about Rosa Parks at an early age is essential to help them understand her contribution to American democracy and the importance of standing up for their rights. Here are some activities to teach students about Rosa Parks.

1. Read Aloud a Picture Book about Rosa Parks

Reading aloud a picture book about Rosa Parks is a fantastic way to introduce her to young children. There are numerous books about her life available in libraries and bookstores. Teachers can choose age-appropriate books that highlight Parks’ courage and determination in refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. The book can be read aloud in class or given to kids to read in their leisure time.

2. Create a Rosa Parks Timeline

Creating a timeline of Rosa Parks’ life is another fun and creative activity for students. They can research and compile the significant events in Parks’ life, starting with her birth in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1913, all the way to her death in Detroit in 2005. Children can use different materials, including pictures, drawing, and writing, to create a visual timeline.

3. Write a Rosa Parks Biography

Ask your students to write a biography of Rosa Parks. This can be done individually or in groups. The biography should include key facts about her life, her family background, the bus boycott, and her role in the civil rights movement. This activity helps improve children’s writing skills while developing their understanding of Parks’ life and contributions.

4. Explore the significance of Rosa Parks’ Bus Seat

The Montgomery bus boycott is an essential event in American history, and it all began with Parks’ refusal to give up her seat. Teachers can organize a class discussion on the significance of her bus seat and why it became a symbol of resistance against segregation. Students can share their thoughts on how they would have acted in a similar situation, and what lessons they can learn from Parks’ bravery.

5. Watch Videos about Rosa Parks

Watching videos about Rosa Parks is a fun and engaging way of teaching students about her life and contribution. There are numerous documentaries, interviews, and short clips available on the internet that provide insight into Parks’ activities. Teachers can show these videos in class and ask students to write a brief summary or reaction paper afterwards.


Teaching children about Rosa Parks is a crucial part of American history education. By learning about her life and her contribution to civil rights, students develop a deeper understanding of the struggle for equality and the importance of standing up for their rights. The above activities are perfect for getting students engaged in learning about Rosa Parks and making the lessons interactive, fun, and informative.

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