WASHINGTON: Play ball! Educators have a new resource to help teach young and old alike about segregation and baseball history. The National Park Service’s Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) has published A Field of Dreams: The Jackie Robinson Ballpark lesson plan about the historic ballpark in Daytona Beach, Florida, where Jackie Robinson “broke the color barrier” in baseball during Spring Training in 1946.
A Field of Dreams: The Jackie Robinson Ballpark is an online lesson plan developed by the National Park Service and is free to download. The featured site, Jackie Robinson Ballpark, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and continues to be used by the Daytona Beach community. The lesson plan is available at https://www.nps.gov/subjects/teachingwithhistoricplaces/lesson-plan-162_robinson-ballpark.htm.
Students will learn about Jackie Robinson’s early career, the challenges he faced on and off the field, and the community-building role of spaces like ballparks. They will do this by examining documents about Daytona Beach and Jackie Robinson to identify instances where people of color faced racism “de jure” and “de facto,” exploring how laws and norms are sometimes used together to oppress individuals and whole groups of people.
A Field of Dreams was written by Jean West, an education consultant, and was edited by the NPS Cultural Resources Office of Interpretation & Education. It is the 162nd Teaching with Historic Places online lesson plan. This National Park Service series uses places listed in the National Register of Historic Places to enrich traditional classroom instruction and other educational programming in history, social studies, civics, and other subjects. Find lesson plans, professional development, and resources to use historic places in education at http://www.nps.gov/subjects/teachingwithhistoricplaces/.
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