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Common Core State Standards
HOME GRADES 4-8 CONTEST GRADE 9 CONTEST LESSONS PRINTABLES BOOK LIST
Photo: © AP Images

Lesson 1: What Are Barriers?

Jackie Robinson with daughter Sharon.
Jackie Robinson with daughter Sharon.
Objective: Through reading and class discussion, students will understand who Jackie Robinson was and what the concept of a barrier means.

Materials:
• Printable 1: "About My Father"
Mini-Poster

Time:
One 40-minute class period

Steps:

  1. Distribute the "About My Father" printable, and have volunteers read Jackie Robinson's story aloud.
  2. Ask students what they think a barrier is. Guide them to define it as: a problem or obstacle that stops you from moving forward.
  3. Discuss with students that barriers can be physical or conceptual. A physical barrier is something you can see, such as a fence. A conceptual barrier is something you can't see, such as being afraid of something.
  4. Ask students to suggest different barriers that people face. Ask students to explain why each barrier prevents people from moving forward or accomplishing something. Create a list of barriers on the board.
  5. Have students choose a barrier from the list. Instruct them to write a short paragraph explaining how they themselves would face and overcome the barrier.
  6. Read student paragraphs aloud in class. Encourage students to ask one another questions about the barriers they have chosen.

poster
POSTER DISCUSSION:
 

  • Referring back to the story of Jackie Robinson, what does the quote on the mini-poster signify?
  • Why is it important to face barriers?

ESSAY EXTENSION

Engage students to share their personal stories and how they use Jackie Robinson's values to face their own barriers.

Photos: Jackie Robinson {header}: Bettmann/Corbis. Jackie Robinson with Sharon Robinson: Courtesy of the Robinson Family.

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