Video Writing Prompt: Jackie Robinson and "42"

The TeachHUB Elves

Today, it is common to see people of all races playing together on professional sports teams. But that hasn't always been the case. On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African American in the modern era to play major league baseball when he started at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson's role with the Dodgers marked the end of racial segregation in professional baseball and provided a boost for the growing Civil Rights Movement. The new film “42” chronicles Robinson’s rise through Major League Baseball and depicts the turbulent, racially charged environment he had to play in.

Watch the film's trailer with your class, and ask them to draw on their personal experiences to complete the following writing exercises.

 

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6-8: What is Discrimination?

Today, Jackie Robinson is widely considered one of the greatest baseball players who ever lived. His road to success, however, was not easy - he faced racial discrimination from fans, opposing players, and even his own teammates. While the discrimination Robinson face was race-based, discrimination comes in many forms. Ask students to:

  • Write a paragraph that defines discrimination in their own words
  • Describe a time they or someone they know experienced discrimination

9-12: Embracing Differences

Many experts will tell you that discrimination just doesn't hurt the individual/group being discriminated against - the entire community suffers when one group is excluded. Ask your students to write a three paragraph essay that describes a time they had to work/interact with someone who was not like them. The essay should answer the following questions:

  • How did you overcome your differences?
  • What new things did you learn duing this experience?
  • How will this experience help you face new situations/people in the future?