Lesson Plan: The Civil Rights Movement (A Web Project)

Date: February/March, 1998 (See Plan Book For February and March, 1998)

Objectives: The students will

I. gain a general historical understanding of the events of the Civil Rights Movement and its context in African-American history.

II. outline the contributions of such figures in African-American history as Martin Luther King, Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcolm X, Jesse Jackson, and many others.

III. develop an original piece of self-expression on the topic of Black History based on research using traditional and on-line resources.
Warm Up Activity (Anticipatory Set): The Bill of Rights and Black History
A) Students will need some background in the history of blacks in America and their status as citizens.

B) Using a history textbook, web site, or CD-ROM, have students create a timeline of the major events in Black History and write a sentence that describes the event in terms of the constitutional status of Blacks in America.
C) If time does not permit, use the matching exercise below by posting it on the overhead projector or on paper:


1) The Declaration of Independence is written (1776).
2) Dred Scott vs. Sanford  (1857).
3) The Emancipation Proclamation is published (1863).
4) Thirteenth Amendment is ratified (1865)
5) The Fifteenth Amendment is ratified 1867).
6) The Fourteenth Amendment is ratified (1868).
7) Plessy vs. Ferguson  (1896).
8) Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka (1954).
9) Rosa Parks refuses to agree to segregation.
10)  The Civil Rights Act is passed (1964).

Effect on Civil Rights

A) Universal Manhood Suffrage is established
B) Discrimination in jobs and housing is outlawed.
C) Slaves are declared property and without rights under the Constitution
D) The Supreme Court upholds the "separate but equal" doctrine.
E) The Supreme Court outlaws segregation in schools.
F) Blacks are given citizenship.
G) Involuntary servitude is outlawed in the US.
H) Montgomery Bus Boycott begins.
I) Slaves in rebellious Southern states are set free.
J) Slaves are left out of the ideas that "all men are created equal."



Alternate: Vocabulary Matching

1) An organization formed in 1909 to protect the rights of blacks.
2) Supreme Court case that overturned the "Separate But Equal" Doctrine.
3) Being treated unfairly because of race or other trait.
4) Members of society who share a common trait or culture.
5) Using passive resistance to test a law that is believed to be immoral.
6) Unfair opinions against a group formed without facts to support them.
7) This event began the modern Civil Rights Movement
8) The defeated South had to ratify these laws that protected the rights of the newly freed black slaves.
9) These "Jim Crow" laws separated blacks and whites in the South after the Civil War.
10) This program was designed to give minorities a chance to make gains in jobs and education.
A) Affirmative Action
B) Segregation Laws
C) The Civil War Amendments
D) The Montgomery Bus Boycott
E) Prejudice
F) Civil Disobedience
G) Minority Groups
H) Discrimination
I) Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka.

Main Activity (Instructional Input): Introduction To The Civil Rights Movement

A) Display the following PowerPoint presentation entitled The Civil Rights Movement by way of web browser or PowerPoint Viewer. Copies of the notes can be distributed to students who need special assistance. the presentation can be downloaded as a PowerPoint animation if the proper plug-in has been installed into the web browser.

B) Library Research Assignments.

Students should be divided into groups of three or four. The groups must choose or be assigned a project format and topic. To see a list of formats and topics, see the project listings of the web site already completed.

Distribute the Scholastic Update Magazine for February, 8, 1998 entitled "What Happened To the Dream?" for students to use in their research if needed.

Additional topics may  include:

The NAACP: Yesterday and Today
The Freedom Riders: Riding Into Risk
Review: Black Like Me
Review: The Invisible Man
Analysis of Poetry of Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen
The Case Against The Klan
The Stars & Bars: Southern Heritage or Symbol of Racism?
Movie Review: Amistad
Movie Review: Mississippi Burning
Oral History: Black History in Your Community
Jesse Jackson: A Presidential Candidate
The Congress of Racial Equality
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Essay: Steps to Racial Harmony In America
What If Martin Luther King had lived?
Who Are The Best Black Leaders Today?
Blacks In Congress
Fiction: Writing a Slave Narrative
Diary: Living Through The Civil Rights Movement
The Influence of Africa on Black Art and Music

Please submit topics if one you know of is not listed on this web site.

Examples (Modeling): Library Research

Have students conduct research on their topics. Each member of the group must contribute to research and web page development. Students must submit a written flow chart or paragraph describing how their web site will be structured.

Students should use the following resources:

Guided Practice:  Web Page Development

Students must complete the goal outlined for the day as specified in the Unit Plan. Students should be given a folder and a copy of the unit plan to keep their materials together on a day-to-day basis.

Web page development will continue until students submit final web page projects on floppy disk to the teacher. The projects will then be posted to the Internet.

Check For Understanding: Sample Essay Questions

Students should be assigned one of the following essay questions. Allow students to complete their essay on computer and saved to disk to be posted on the web site.

1) If King were alive today, what aspects of American society would he feel had become a part of his "dream?"  What aspects of American life would he see as being outside  the scope of his dream?  What suggestions do you think he would make to improve relations between whites and blacks?

2) What methods did Martin Luther King, Jr. use to communicate to the American people the injustice of racial prejudice during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s? Were his methods effective? Would his approach be effective in today's America?

3) Are Blacks still experiencing discrimination in the area of jobs, education, and legal rights? Illustrate your response with concrete examples from data that you have researched. Explain your answer fully.

4) Is there still a need for special programs such as affirmative action when hiring blacks and other minorities? How does American society feel on this issue? Compare and contrast opposing viewpoints.

5) Have you ever been the victim of racism or discrimination by peers or by power-holders in our society (employers, schools, teachers, etc)? Are there times that you are willing to share that you can identify yourself as the victimizer regarding racial discrimination? What were the feelings you experienced in either situation? What social causes may have been at work for you to be at the center of those experiences?

6) Do you agree with the way Blacks and other minorities have been portrayed in television, fiction, and movies during the 1980s and 1990s? Do the television news media portray life in the African-American community accurately? What is right or wrong about how Blacks and minorities are shown through the mass media?

7) Will there ever be a time when Americans will resolve their history and become a "color-blind" society? Is it a desirable state of affairs to be totally "color blind" where race is concerned? In what instances (or under what circumstances) should Americans retain their racial identity?

Homework (Independent Practice): Worksheets On The Bill of Rights and Civil Rights Movement

These resources will be issued to students during the introduction and research phases of the unit.
Wrap-Up Activity (Closure): Discussion On Race Relations Today

A) Have students present the answers to their essays in a roundtable discussion format.

B) Allow for free and frank discussion within appropriate limits. Invite civic and school system leaders to be involved in the discussion. Have students invite political leaders to comment on their positions via e-mail.
Evaluation: The lesson will be evaluated by:

I. the accuracy of student's written responses;

II. student's scores on future tests and quizzes.

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