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TPS Quarterly

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Jackie Robinson: "This I Believe"


Students work in groups to analyze and assemble unidentified phrases from a speech by Jackie Robinson entitled "This I Believe" to make predictions and inferences about the complete text. In this speech, Robinson attributes his success and the prospect of limitless opportunity for all Americans to the United States' status as "a free society." Students write and compare predictions and inferences before reading and analyzing Robinson's entire speech. Through this activity, students will continue building their reading skills and develop a richer understanding of the Civil Rights Movement. As part of a Civil Rights Movement unit, this activity could begin the process of helping students understand the diversity of individuals, groups, and viewpoints surrounding the struggle for civil rights.


After completing this learning activity, students will be able to:

  • Apply the literacy skills of prediction and inference
  • Analyze examples of effective writing
  • Discuss the role of Jackie Robinson and his views in the context of the Civil Rights Movement

Time Required

One to two class periods

Grade level



African American History


Postwar United States, 1945-1968


McREL 4th Edition Standards and Benchmarks

Language Arts

Standard 5. Uses the general skills and strategies of the reading process
Standard 7. Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts

United States History

Standard 29. Understands the struggle for racial and gender equality and the extension of civil liberties


Adapted from an activity by TPS-Loyola University based on the "tea party" pre-reading strategy presented in the following book:
Beers, Kylene. When Kids Can't Read: What Teachers Can Do: A Guide for Teachers 6-12. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2003.

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