Lesson Plan

Breaking the Code: Actions and Songs of Protest

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This Breaking the Code: Actions and Songs of Protest lesson plan also includes:

Ezell Blair, Jr., David Richmond, Franklin McCain and Joseph McNeil changed history. Their sit-in at the lunch counter of the Woolworths in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 1, 1960 became a model for the nonviolent protests that launched the American Civil Rights Movement. As part of a study of this movement, class members view the FEBRUARY ONE video about the Greensboro Four, examine the lyrics of Bob Dylan's song, and write their own protest song about sit-ins.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Include in a study of sit-ints, the Greensboro Four, protest songs, or of recipients of the Nobel Prize for Literature
Classroom Considerations
  • Learners should have a basic knowledge of the 1960's civil rights movement
  • While the link to Dylan's lyrics is not working, the lyrics are readily available on the Internet
  • Due to Dylan's idiosyncratic singing style, consider having class members read the lyrics first before listening to a recorded version of the song
  • The seven-page packet includes a detailed plan, links to related Web sites with information about Emmett Till, Jim Crow Laws, and the PBS Web site for the Independent Lens
  • Minimal scaffolding is provided for the song writing assignment