Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, and addresses the standard of explaining the significance of key civil rights victories. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Display this image from the BrainPOP movie. You can find it at the start of the movie or at timecode 1:00. 

Say to students: This image shows an example of school segregation. Based on what you see, what do you think segregation means? 


  • Read the description on the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Assign Related Reading articles. Have students read one of the following articles: “Famous Faces” or “Real Life” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS

Assign Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Challenge and Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Students express what they learned about Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.  

  • Make-a-Movie: Create a documentary-style movie that tells the story of a civil rights activist involved in the events leading up to the Brown v. Board of Education decision. 
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map that identifies the events that led to Brown v. Board of Education, and the effects of its verdict. 
  • Creative Coding: Code a museum with artifacts that represent Brown v. Board of Education and the effects of its verdict. 
  • Primary Source Activity: Read excerpts from a 1963 speech and cite details to answer the accompanying questions 

More to Explore

Time Zone X: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka: Place historical events in chronological order in this interactive timeline game.

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of U.S. civil rights history with these topics: Civil Rights, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jim Crow.

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments