Learning about Rosa Parks on the bus is an important part of history. Get activities on Rosa Parks, Rosa Parks worksheet packs, and Rosa Parks resources — all great ways to learn about and honor an important woman in history on Rosa Parks Day, Women in History Month and Black History Month lessons and activities that inspire learning for students.
LESSONS AND ACTIVITIES FOR ROSA PARKS ON THE BUS AND BEYOND
What happened to Rosa Parks on the bus?
Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man and move to the segregated section of the bus. Her actions in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1951, what happened to Rosa Parks on the bus and the Rosa Parks bus boycott were defining moments in the Civil Rights Movement and American history.
Rosa Parks at the time of the incident was 42 years old. She was arrested for “disturbing the peace” for refusing to move from her seat after working a long day at a department store.
Because of Parks arrest, African Americans started boycotting the bus line, walking to work instead of riding, all while facing harassment from police officers. Leading the boycott was a young minister named Martin Luther King Jr., who had recently moved to Montgomery.
Because of Rosa Parks, the Montgomery Bus Boycott started and lasted for 381 days and lead to additional protests and actions in the Civil Rights Movement. The Montgomery Bus Boycott ended with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that segregated seating on public buses was unconstitutional, violating “the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
What was Rosa Parks famous quote?
Rosa Parks famously said about the bus incident, “The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”
When is Rosa Parks Day?
Two dates are celebrated as Rosa Parks Day. February 4, Rosa Parks birthday, is celebrated in some states like California. Other states (like Alabama) observe Rosa Parks Day on December 1, which is the date that she was arrested and the Montgomery Bus Protests began.
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Rosa Parks Facts
What did Rosa Parks do throughout her life?
- Rosa Parks was born Rosa Louise McCauley in Tuskegee, Alabama on February 4, 1913.
- She attended a segregated elementary school. After elementary, her schooling took place in a one room school with other black students. She learned this way through ninth grade, when she had to quit to take care of sick family members.
- Rosa Parks worked as a seamstress, housekeeper, and childcare provider.
- In 1937 Rosa married Raymond Parks. Rosa Parks husband was active in civil rights work that included being an advocate for equal education.
- Before she refused to give up her bus seat, Rosa Parks was already involved in civil rights work. She became a secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP.
- When did Rosa Parks sit on the bus? Rosa Parks bus incident took place in 1951, at the height of racial tension during that time.
- Rosa Parks received many honors for her role in the civil rights movement including the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal for outstanding achievement by African Americans, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.
- Parks received honorary degrees from more than 40 institutions, including elite institutions like Princeton University and Dartmouth.
- Rosa Parks lived in Detroit, Michigan for many years and then moved to the suburbs of Detroit. She lived there until her death.
- How did Rosa Parks die? Parks died October 24, 2005, at the age of 92 due to natural causes.
- You can visit the famous Rosa Parks bus at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, and learn more about Rosa Parks on the bus and even sit in the famous seat!
Rosa Parks Children’s Books To Read
- National Geographic Readers: Rosa Parks (Readers Bios)
- So Other People Would Be Also Free: The Real Story of Rosa Parks for Kids
- Rosa Parks: A Kid’s Book About Standing Up For What’s Right (Mini Movers and Shakers)
- I am Strong: A Little Book About Rosa Parks (Ordinary People Change the World)
- A Picture Book of Rosa Parks (Picture Book Biography)
- Rosa’s Bus: The Ride to Civil Rights
- The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks (good for high school)
19 Rosa Parks Lesson Ideas and Activities for Kids
- Read a Rosa Parks biography for kids
- See a timeline of Rosa’s life
- Read background about Rosa Parks
- Take a virtual field trip to the National Women’s History Museum to learn about Rosa Parks
- See Rosa Parks portrait in the National Portrait Gallery and learn more about her
- View an official diagram of where Rosa Parks was sitting on the bus
- Get free Rosa Parks: Civil Rights Activist lesson plans
- Grab free Rosa Parks printables coloring sheets.
- Learn more about the Spingarn Medal and create your own medal
- Download free Rosa Parks worksheet packs
- Write an essay on: How did Rosa Parks change the world?
- Download a free lesson: The Rebellious Lives of Mrs. Rosa Parks
- Need Rosa Parks activities for kindergarten or preschool? Do a helping hands craft and read about how Rosa Parks actions helped others
- Do some Rosa Parks hands on activities and see how you can get involved in civil rights issues right in your own community!
- Get a free lesson plan: How did Rosa Parks work to end segregation in America?
- Listen to the Teaching Hard History podcast about Rosa Parks (best for middle school and high school lessons on Rosa Parks)
- Get resources for “Bus Boycott: Historical Documents Highlight Integration Milestone”
- Learn about: The Politics of Children’s Literature What’s Wrong with the Rosa Parks Myth
- Get a lesson idea for “Riding with Rosa: A photo prompt helps students experience history” (Grades 3-8)