Monday, May 21, 2012

Meal-Time Activities: Topic Mobile

By: Deborah Pace Rowley

Dinnertime is the perfect time to discuss topics you want to share with your family. Fix a delicious meal and you have a captive audience because no one will leave. Last night, I hung a topic mobile from the light above our kitchen table. Included on the mobile were 7 pictures related to Civil Rights. I wanted the opportunity to openly discuss my feelings about discrimination and racism with my children.

First I asked each family member to tell me what the pictures had in common. It wasn’t easy to identify one topic that every picture shared. I had a picture of the letter K and a drinking fountain and a school bus. At first the kids thought the topic had to do with school. But the mobile also included a black panther, a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. and a noose. The K actually stood for the KKK. The bus stood for Rosa Parks. The drinking fountain stood for the segregation that existed in every aspect of society. Once the family identified the topic of civil rights, we talked about how the black panther represented Malcolm X and his group of Black Panthers who were willing to accept violence to bring about change. We talked about how this view contrasted with Martin Luther King Jr and his peaceful protests. Then we talked about how ironic it was that both men were assassinated for their beliefs.

This led to a great discussion of The Help, a movie we had watched together. We also talked about the tragedy of Emmett Till, a story one of my children has been studying in school. I asked my children if Martin Luther King’s dream has been realized in their lives. “Not yet,” most of my children responded, so I ended our discussion with this question, “What are you going to do about it?”

Now I think I will leave the mobile up for a few days in the hopes that we will continue our conversation. I might ask my children to find different pictures to add to our mobile and expand on this theme. If you want to make a mobile for your dinner table, any topic will work. Just do a computer image search for 4 or more pictures on your topic that you can hang from a hanger or tape to some string dangling from the light above your kitchen table. Then let the discussion begin. If you are interested in using the pictures related to Civil Rights that I used on my topic mobile, you will find them on the link below.

Click HERE to print the Civil Rights Pictures
Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blogging tips