- Learn about the concept of values and how they are used to face barriers
- Values and Barriers printable
- Optional: Values and Barriers Digital Interactive
- Optional: Computers for student use
- Optional: Breaking Barriers Poster and Teaching Guide (includes vocabulary lists, writing prompts, paired-text reading suggestions, and Common Core State Standards)
- Optional: Breaking Barriers Essay Contest printable
Make a class set of the Values and Barriers printable.
Step 1: Start the class by asking students what the word “values” means. Guide them to define values as: Beliefs that are important to you and that help to guide your life.
Step 2: Divide the class into nine small groups and distribute the Values and Barriers printable to each group. You can also have students read the digital version by loading the Values and Barriers Digital Interactive on student computers or assigning the reading as homework. Assign each group one of the values from Values and Barriers. Have students discuss their assigned value, drawing on the text and making inferences from it to respond to these questions:
- Explain the meaning of your assigned value in your own words.
- Why is this an important value for people to have?
- How could this value help people face and overcome a barrier? Provide an example.
Step 3: After students finish their discussions, ask groups to share their answers with the class.
Step 4: Move on to Lesson 3: Breaking Barriers Essay Organizer: Writing About Your Barriers for Grades 4–8 to help students organize their topics and main ideas for writing their essays.
Breaking Barriers Essay Contest
Encourage students to write essays about barriers they have faced in their own lives, and how they have used Jackie Robinson’s values to face those barriers. Students can enter their essays in the Breaking Barriers Essay Contest.
Distribute copies of the Breaking Barriers Essay Contest printable to students for contest guidelines.
Video Extension Activity
You can also read synopses of the video clips.
While students are watching the clips, ask them to look for any of the values Jackie Robinson demonstrated in the clips.
After students have viewed the clips have them discuss how Jackie Robinson followed any of the nine values in the following events shown in the video clips:
- His first week playing in the Major Leagues
- His encounter with Ben Chapman’s taunts when he came to bat during the first games he played
- His cofounding of the Freedom National Bank after he left baseball
Additional Extension Activities
- Discuss the concept of character, which can be defined as the features and traits of an individual that reflect the sort of person he or she is. How do values reflect a person’s character? How do a person’s actions display his or her values and character? What does it mean when a person is described as having “strength of character”?
- Have students research and discuss contemporary examples of individuals who have broken barriers, and values that they relied upon in facing barriers. (Examples might include Sonia Sotomayor, Malala Yousafzai, or someone in their local community.)
- Encourage students to conduct interviews with family and friends to discuss any barriers they have faced, as well as the values they have called upon to overcome these barriers.
- Teach the Learning About the History of the Negro Leagues for Grades 4–9 lesson to build student understanding of important milestones in the history of the Negro Leagues.