Civil Rights Movement Teacher Resources
Find Civil Rights Movement educational ideas and activities
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Black Separatism or the Beloved Community? Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Students interpret historical evidence presented in primary and secondary resources. In this African American history instructional activity, students compare and contrast the tactics employed by Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. to combat segregation. Students determine the strengths and weaknesses of each man's vision for ensuring African American rights.
Free at Last: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Students view the "I Have A Dream" speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. They use the Internet to research Martin Luther King's life and work.
A New Generation of Fighters
Students discuss the reasons why people are less likely to take a stand on issues today than they were in the past. In groups, they research the efforts of Kings, Parks and others to end discrimination and racism. They read excerpts of the efforts of children during the Civil Rights movement and choose a campaign from a list to research and take a stand. They present their ideas to the class to end the lesson.
The Power of Protest
Students recognize the power of protest. In this civil rights lesson, students consider the success of Rosa Parks and her protest that sparked the movement. Students study the Montgomery Bus Boycott in depth and reflect on Parks's contribution to the movement.
Sixth graders investigate Civil Rights by participating in role-playing activities. In this U.S. History lesson, 6th graders research the history of slavery in order to portray a story through their debating and acting abilities. Students practice using vocabulary terms from the slavery era.
Looking Back to Move Forward
Young scholars investigate, through interviews, personal reflection and research, the impact on the past, present and future of 20th century historic events in the United States.
Mosaic America on Film: Fact Versus Fiction
Seventh graders define race, ethnic group, and culture. They identify the ways in which words are used in political cartoons and examine the way visual elements in a cartoon determine the meaning of words and enhance their impact. They explain the concept of stereotyping.
Brown v. Board of Education
Ninth graders study the American Civil Rights Movement. In this social justice activity, 9th graders read "Making History," and discuss the decision in the Brown v. Board of Education case. Students then take the provided Civil Rights test.
Boycott Blues - Reinforcing Activity
Students complete activities with the book Boycott Blues by Andrea Davis. In this Rosa Parks lesson, students listen to the story and look at Rosa's contribution to the Montgomery bus boycott. They look at life during segregation and discuss Civil Rights leaders.
Students write about their opinions on civil rights based on their research of the Freedom Riders of 1961. In this Freedom Riders lesson plan, students analyze primary and secondary sources of the people who were often beaten simply because they tried to ride the bus.
You and the Law -- Beating the Odds
Middle schoolers examine the rate of institutional racism in the United States. Individually, they write in their journals about how they can make better choices and increase their self-esteem. Using historical documents, they identify the amendments focusing on human rights and why amendments were needed. In groups, they analyze different amendments and identify the changes brought about because of the Civil Rights Movement.
Eleanor Roosevelt and the Rise of Social Reform in the 1930's
Eleventh graders explore the various roles that Eleanor Roosevelt took on. In this US History lesson, 11th graders analyze the views that Eleanor Roosevelt held as an advocate for social justice. Students evaluate her contributions to this new political role for women.
Walking as Power--A Historical Perspective
Fifth graders explore nonviolent protest walks. In this social movements lesson, 5th graders investigate multimedia sources in order to examine the power of marches that were employed in women's rights, civil rights, and veterans' rights. Links are provided to Library of Congress primary sources as well as other files and documents.
Lena Horne: Race and the American Artist
Students examine how race played a critical role in Lena Horne's life. They conduct Internet research, participate in a class debate, write a letter, and create a presentation based on their Internet research.
African American History Scavenger Hunt
Young scholars study African Americans. In this American history lesson, students play a scavenger hunt game reading and figuring out who each person the clues are describing, research an African American individual who contributed greatly to American society, and write a persusive letter showing how the person has had a lasting impact on American society.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
In this online interactive history worksheet, students respond to 10 short answer and essay questions about the accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr. Students may check some of their answers on the interactive worksheet.
Dr. King's Dream
Learners explore life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr., reflect on section of King's "I Have a Dream" speech, discuss inequities that still exist in the United States, and create picture books about their own dreams of freedom for Americans.
Black History Month - Past to Present
Students complete a unit on Black History Month. They explore various websites, develop a timeline of Dr. King's life, create a travel brochure for the King Center, design a commercial starring Jesse Owens, design a baseball card for Jackie Robinson, and create a poster illustrating an African American woman's accomplishments.
Students brainstorm and discuss what the concept of "fairness" is and how to identify examples of "fairness." They pull from historical fiction and the Civil Rights Movement to explain how individual are affected by, cope with, and create change. Each student focuses in on Dr. Martin Luther King's philosophy on this concept and create an educational poster about the importance of civil rights for all Americans.
Civil Rights Act Lesson Plan
Students learn about civil rights in the 1960's. For this equality lesson, students watch a United Streaming video segment on civil rights and discuss it. Students read a speech by JFK and one by John Lewis and discuss their contents.