In first grade, the kids were struggling to understand the complex and evolving situation in Baltimore. We wanted our students to have a historical perspective on the rich history of non-violent protest in the civil rights movement. We read Rosa by Nikki Giovanni and Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport. Then we used protest signs as a medium for speaking our own big words. The experience was powerful and engaging for my students and is just one example of the intersection between leadership and academic learning at New Song.