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Justice Campfire Sing-along

Justice Campfire Sing-along

The power and passion of our 5th grade were on full display in the protest songs they wrote and shared this week at the Justice Campfire Sing-along. The students were introduced to the history of protest songs through their novel study of One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. The book takes place in Oakland, California, in 1968 and provides young readers with insight into the social movements of that era. Our students were invited to write their own lyrics, either with a partner or independently, on an issue close to their hearts. Topics were wide-ranging and clearly spoke to the current era: climate change, gun violence, equal rights, Black Lives Matter, immigration, access to housing and healthcare, and our collective responsibility to care for those in need. 

Why do we refuse to love
Cries of those who are struggling
Why do we refuse to love 
Those who need our support
Why do we refuse to love
We fear instead of giving
When will we ever change,
When will we ever change

(sung to “Where Have all the Flower Gone”)
Lyrics by Hadley and Hadar

We all belted out the songs as we sat around the beautiful campfire that the students built together. The campfire was a creation that arose out of the current novel that the class is reading, How I Became A Ghost — A Choctaw Trail of Tears Story by Tim Tingle. The question was posed to the students: How do we move on after bad things happen to us? Their answers to that question are written on the logs that became the campfire. That campfire is at the center of the circle every time they are reading and discussing the novel. It is a reminder that we are always moving forward and that there are people, ideas, and actions to help us create a positive future for ourselves and others.  

If it weren’t for my family
I wouldn’t be here 
Singing this song
Trying to make a change
I’ll help other people
To live in peace
I’ll help the world
And make it better 
For everyone
doo doo doo doo doo doo

(sung to “If I Had a Hammer”)
Lyrics by Alexis