As the first African-American player in the major leagues of baseball, Jackie’s actions helped to bring about other opportunities for African-Americans. (SOL 2.11) The resources given below will help a 2nd grade student learn about the life and times of Jackie Robinson. There are sources that highlight his career and its milestones, and others that focus on what Jackie Robinson meant to the civil rights movement. Through his accomplishments on the field and his strides to improve the lives of African-Americans in all walks of life, Jackie Robinson can be seen through these resources to be a very influential individual in American history.
Scholastic News Video
This video takes place on Jackie Robinson Day at Citi Field in New York and is an event for children. There are several interviews in which children learn about Jackie’s contribution to not only baseball but civil rights as a whole. People who are interviewed give their views on Jackie Robinson as a person and enunciate the ways in which he influenced others.
Jackie Robinson Game Footage
This video gives students a primary source of Jackie Robinson’s game-day exploits. Along with seeing his prowess as a baseball player, there is also a song that regales Jackie’s accomplishments and shows his influence into popular culture. Students will have a better understanding of the time period Jackie Robinson lived in and what the atmosphere of a baseball game was like during that era.
Jackie Robinson Biography
This biographical site gives kids a ton of information about Jackie Robinson’s career and firsts as an African-American baseball player. There is a timeline on which his career highlights are put in chronological order. There is another timeline that enumerates special events in the life of Jackie Robinson. There are also links near the top of the page to a photo gallery and a video of Jackie Robinson’s last public appearance.
Jackie Robinson At Bat Craft
Crayola provides directions at this site on how to build a three dimensional paper replica of Jackie Robinson. Included in the craft are several aspects of the time period surrounding Jackie Robinson’s baseball playing days. This craft is meant to be a commemoration of the first African-American to play professional baseball.
Jackie Robinson on Britannica Kids
Here, Jackie Robinson’s life and career are laid out as an encyclopedia entry. Facts are given that begin with his birth date and place and continue through to his death. Included are facts about his playing career and contributions to society based on his work for civil rights. An extremely helpful aspect of this web page is an interactive dictionary provided by Merriam-Webster. if a child does not understand or recognize a word used in the encyclopedia entry, double-clicking on the word will open a small window in which the word is defined as in a dictionary.
Testing the Ice
Written by Sharon Robinson and illustrated by Kadir Nelson
This true life story is written by Jackie Robinson’s daughter and includes paintings to enhance the action of the book. Upon retirement, Jackie Robinson moves his family to Connecticut where his children play with other kids in and around the nearby lake. Jackie curiously does not go near the lake because, unbeknownst to his family, he does not know how to swim. After making the rule that the children cannot go onto the frozen lake in the winter without having an adult first check its stability he finds himself faced with a dilemma. He musters up his courage and, as a metaphor to his career, Jackie walks out to the middle of the frozen pond and okays it for the children.
Time For Kids
Written by Editors of Time for Kids and Denise Lewis Patrick
This reading offers a detailed biography of the first African-American baseball player to play professional baseball, describing the hardships and racial barriers he had to overcome to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers. This is an easy read to older kids and gives great information when read to younger children. The text informs readers about complex issues, such as segregation, while remaining relevant to grades 2-4. Also included in this reading are pictures from the Time-Life collection that depict Jackie Robinson’s career.
Time For Kids Website
As an add on to the above reading, this website gives teachers an additional resource to pull activities from. Included in this site are open ended questions, vocabulary words, journal questions, and extended readings. This is a educator focused site and has links to many other educational opportunities for teachers.
Written by David A. Adler and illustrated by Robert Casilla
Recounts the life and career of Jackie Robinson, the first African-American baseball player in the major leagues. Easily read text is complimented by full and double page water color paintings. There are images from his childhood, his days as a collegiate athlete, as a major leaguer, and finally includes his contributions to civic equality. This book is a good introduction to the life of Jackie Robinson.
This is a website for young children to navigate. It includes simple, basic facts of Jackie’s life, a timeline of important events, and other facts. With large writing and only one or two links, this website is set up for young elementary school children to use.
Written by Burleigh and illustrated by Mike Wimmer
In 1955, during the World Series, Jackie Robinson did the impossible: stole home. This book recants this legend in great detail, using extremely vivid imagery through very descriptive writing. Along with the elegantly described story, there are biographical boxes throughout the book to add background information. Oil Paintings enhance the story and are presented on each two page spread. Potentially, this book can be read to or with a wide range of children; the facts included in the baseball card style boxes are good for older readers and the pictures with the main story can be read to younger children.
News for You
A short read, this page allows students to get the information fast. Important facts are given about Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball, but the main purpose is to help the child relate to the feeling of exclusion. A vocabulary word bank is given as is an open ended question at the end of the reading. This reading is targeted at younger elementary aged students.
He Led the Way
Written by April Jones Prince and illustrated by Robert Casilla
This book is a biographical depiction of Jackie Robinson’s life that is written to be read by children. It is a level 2 in the All Aboard Reading series and includes smaller words and sentences that enable young readers. There is a mixture of paintings and pictures that go along with the words to assist children in reading He Led the Way. While learning valuable reading skills and practicing phonetic concepts, children acquire knowledge about Jackie Robinson.
Jackie Robinson, A Black Hero
Within this website are a lesson plan, quiz, and a list of the academic standards per state. This particular lesson plan was written for a Catholic elementary school, but can be used in the public domain as well.