What’s Happening This Week
There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.
Looking for age-appropriate book recommendations, author interviews, and fun activity ideas? Check out our podcasts.
In 1939, Marian Anderson was denied permission to sing at Constitution Hall.
|Grades||7 – 12|
|Calendar Activity Type||Historical Figure & Event|
Marian Anderson planned on singing at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC, which was owned by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). They refused to let her perform because she was African American. Eleanor Roosevelt, outraged by this show of prejudice, arranged for Anderson to sing at the Lincoln Memorial instead.
When Eleanor Roosevelt learned that Marian Anderson had been denied permission to sing at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC, she decided to resign her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). Show your students her resignation letter, along with the letter from Mrs. Henry M. Robert, Jr., president general of the DAR, responding to Roosevelt's resignation (pages one and two). Students may have difficulty reading the handwritten text so, after viewing the original documents, you may want to transcribe them.
Ask your students to write a letter to a newspaper editor explaining their feelings about a present-day social injustice. Invite your students to compose their letters with the Letter Generator.
- A Voice of Hope
Read or listen to this PBS report on Anderson's life, which includes audio of Anderson's singing and comments by Anderson, her family, and her friends and colleagues.
- Marian Anderson: A Life in Song
This resource is from the Annenberg Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The site offers video and audio excerpts of Anderson's concerts and interviews.
- Marian Anderson Performed at the Metropolitan Opera
These pages from the Library of Congress' America's Story site provide information about Anderson for elementary students.
- Marian Anderson Returns to Constitution Hall on U.S. Postage Stamp
This DAR press release describes the Marian Anderson commemorative stamp release and includes a biography of Anderson.
Grades 3 – 5 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Students are invited to confront and discuss issues of injustice and intolerance in response to reading a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts.
Grades 6 – 8 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Students select, read about, and report on a hero and then identify how their hero matches certain criteria and characteristics. Hero reports are then compiled into a class book.
Grade 9 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Students research, evaluate, and synthesize information about the Harlem Renaissance from varied resources, create an exhibit, and highlight connections across disciplines (i.e., art, music, and poetry) using a Venn diagram.
Grades 6 – 8 | Lesson Plan | Unit
Students analyze the concepts of identity, stereotyping, and discrimination by reading picture books; identify how these concepts are dealt with in each book; and discuss concrete actions to stop discrimination.