Sylvia Mendez
by 20th Street Elementary School

To the tune of “Yankee Doodle”

Sylvia Mendez went to school, they told her that she couldn’t
They said to follow racist rules, her family said they wouldn’t
Orange County had a law to segregate the children
One school for the white kids and another for the Mexicans
Separate is never equal, let the story warn ya
Sylvia fought injustice for the kids of California

Sylvia’s father went to school to ask a lot of questions
Learned about their policies and made a few suggestions
Asked the other parents if they’d join a coalition
“No quieremos problemas, we won’t sign your petition.”
Separate is never equal, let the story warn ya
Sylvia fought injustice for the kids of California

Sylvia’s father then decided he would hire a lawyer
David Marcus was a real social justice warrior
Three long years of trials to oppose the segregation
Set a fine example for the states across the nation
Separate is never equal, let the story warn ya
Sylvia fought injustice for the kids of California

Sylvia’s family fought so we could all have better schools
Go to the same restaurants and public parks and pools
Sylvia’s example couldn’t make it any clearer
Don’t give up when someone tries to make you feel inferior!
Separate is never equal, let the story warn ya
Sylvia fought injustice for the kids of California

Notes

Third Grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.2: Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.3: Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.5: Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.8: Describe the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in a text (e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/third in a sequence). CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.8: Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.

Fourth Grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.2: Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.5: Explain major differences between poems, drama, and prose, and refer to the structural elements of poems (e.g., verse, rhythm, meter) and drama (e.g., casts of characters, settings, descriptions, dialogue, stage directions) when writing or speaking about a text. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2 Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.4.3a Use combined knowledge of all letter-sound correspondences, syllabication patterns, and morphology (e.g., roots and affixes) to read accurately unfamiliar multisyllabic words in context and out of context. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3d: Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.

Fifth Grade: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.5.7 Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem). CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.4: Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.5.3a: Use combined knowledge of all letter-sound correspondences, syllabication patterns, and morphology (e.g., roots and affixes) to read accurately unfamiliar multisyllabic words in context and out of context. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.1a Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.