Reading Like a Historian: Civil Rights Act

Resource ID#: 38057 Type: Lesson Plan

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General Information

Subject(s): Social Studies, English Language Arts
Grade Level(s): 11
Intended Audience: Educators educators
Suggested Technology: Computer for Presenter, Internet Connection, LCD Projector, Speakers/Headphones
Instructional Time: 1 Hour(s) 20 Minute(s)
Resource supports reading in content area:Yes
Freely Available: Yes
Keywords: John F. Kennedy, JFK, civil rights, Civil Rights Act, March on Washington, sourcing, contextualization, corroboration, close reading
Instructional Component Type(s): Lesson Plan Worksheet Video/Audio/Animation Text Resource
Instructional Design Framework(s): Direct Instruction
Resource Collection: General Collection

Aligned Standards

This vetted resource aligns to concepts or skills in these benchmarks.

4 Lesson Plans

Reading Like a Historian: Anti-Vietnam War Movement

In this lesson, students analyze primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Why did many Americans oppose the Vietnam War? First, students view 2 anti-war images and a timeline of anti-war events. They fill out a graphic organizer and formulate a hypothesis that answers the central question; discussion follows. Students then read 2 documents: a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Kerry's testimony before Congress. For both, they complete questions on a graphic organizer. Final class discussion: Why did anti-war sentiment grow? Did only college kinds participate? How do you think supporters of the war might have responded?

Reading Like a Historian: Great Society

In this lesson, students analyze primary and secondary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Was the Great Society successful? Students first read LBJ's "Great Society" speech and answer sourcing, close reading and context questions about it before discussing as a class. The teacher then hands out a list of Great Society programs and asks: Which have you heard of? Which do you think were successful? Students then watch a film clip about the Great Society, streamed via Discovery Education. This is followed up with 2 secondary sources: a "Pro" perspective from historian Joseph Califano and a "Con" perspective from Thomas Sowell. They fill out a graphic organizer in groups and discuss: Which historian is more convincing? What kind of evidence does each use to make his case? How do these arguments still play out today?

Reading Like a Historian: Montgomery Bus Boycott

In this lesson, students analyze primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Why did the Montgomery Bus Boycott succeed? The teacher first introduces the boycott and Rosa Parks by streaming a film clip from historicalthinkingmatters.org. Students then break into 3 groups and look at a textbook account of the boycott and a timeline, making a "claim" as to why the boycott succeeded and sharing it with the whole class. The groups then corroborate with 2 more documents-a letter by Jo Ann Robinson and a memo by Bayard Rustin-and make another claim. Finally, 2 more documents-a letter by Virginia Durr and a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.-are added to the mix, and students formulate and share a final claim. In a final class discussion, students reflect on how their claims did/did not change as they encountered more evidence.

Reading Like a Historian: Women in the 1950s

In this lesson, students analyze primary and secondary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Is the image of the "happy 1950s housewife" accurate? The teacher first introduces the time period and some of its features: the baby boom, the GI Bill, suburbia, Leave it to Beaver. The teacher then shows images of the "happy housewife" from 50s-era publications. In groups, students analyze 2 documents: a Harper's magazine article on suburbia and a passage from Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique. They complete a graphic organizer that includes a hypothesis: does the stereotype seem true? Students then do the same with 2 more documents: secondary source analyses by Joanne Meyerowitz and Alice Kessler-Harris. The class completes the graphic organizer and shares final hypotheses in a group discussion: Should we believe the stereotype? How about the experience of minority women?

Related Resources

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Lesson Plans

Reading Like a Historian: Women in the 1950s:

In this lesson, students analyze primary and secondary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Is the image of the "happy 1950s housewife" accurate? The teacher first introduces the time period and some of its features: the baby boom, the GI Bill, suburbia, Leave it to Beaver. The teacher then shows images of the "happy housewife" from 50s-era publications. In groups, students analyze 2 documents: a Harper's magazine article on suburbia and a passage from Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique. They complete a graphic organizer that includes a hypothesis: does the stereotype seem true? Students then do the same with 2 more documents: secondary source analyses by Joanne Meyerowitz and Alice Kessler-Harris. The class completes the graphic organizer and shares final hypotheses in a group discussion: Should we believe the stereotype? How about the experience of minority women?

Type: Lesson Plan

Reading Like a Historian: Anti-Vietnam War Movement:

In this lesson, students analyze primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Why did many Americans oppose the Vietnam War? First, students view 2 anti-war images and a timeline of anti-war events. They fill out a graphic organizer and formulate a hypothesis that answers the central question; discussion follows. Students then read 2 documents: a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. and John Kerry's testimony before Congress. For both, they complete questions on a graphic organizer. Final class discussion: Why did anti-war sentiment grow? Did only college kinds participate? How do you think supporters of the war might have responded?

Type: Lesson Plan

Reading Like a Historian: Great Society:

In this lesson, students analyze primary and secondary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Was the Great Society successful? Students first read LBJ's "Great Society" speech and answer sourcing, close reading and context questions about it before discussing as a class. The teacher then hands out a list of Great Society programs and asks: Which have you heard of? Which do you think were successful? Students then watch a film clip about the Great Society, streamed via Discovery Education. This is followed up with 2 secondary sources: a "Pro" perspective from historian Joseph Califano and a "Con" perspective from Thomas Sowell. They fill out a graphic organizer in groups and discuss: Which historian is more convincing? What kind of evidence does each use to make his case? How do these arguments still play out today?

Type: Lesson Plan

Reading Like a Historian: Montgomery Bus Boycott:

In this lesson, students analyze primary source documents in an effort to answer the central historical question: Why did the Montgomery Bus Boycott succeed? The teacher first introduces the boycott and Rosa Parks by streaming a film clip from historicalthinkingmatters.org. Students then break into 3 groups and look at a textbook account of the boycott and a timeline, making a "claim" as to why the boycott succeeded and sharing it with the whole class. The groups then corroborate with 2 more documents-a letter by Jo Ann Robinson and a memo by Bayard Rustin-and make another claim. Finally, 2 more documents-a letter by Virginia Durr and a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr.-are added to the mix, and students formulate and share a final claim. In a final class discussion, students reflect on how their claims did/did not change as they encountered more evidence.

Type: Lesson Plan