Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Civil Rights Lesson Plan

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Civil Rights, and supports the standard of examining the judicial actions and legislative achievements of the Civil Rights Movement. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of  projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Display images that illustrate examples of civil rights, like people voting or someone giving a speech. Ask students: What rights do people have in America? 

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read aloud the description on the Civil Rights topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding.
  • Have students read one of the four Related Reading articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: ENGAGE
Students express what they learned about civil rights 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 mini-documentary about one major event in the Civil Rights Movement, like the March on Washington or Brown v. The Board of Education. Explain how that event advanced the cause.  (Essential Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas)  
  • Make-a-Map: Make a timeline that sequences major events of the Civil Rights Movement. (Essential Literacy Skill: Summarize key details)
  • Creative Coding: Code a museum with artifacts that represent the contributions of different Civil Rights activists. (Essential Literacy Skill: Make logical inferences from explicit details)
  • Primary Source Activity: Analyze a photo and a document from the Civil Rights Era and cite details to answer the questions. (Essential Literacy Skill: Integrate content from diverse media)

Step 4: APPLY & ASSESS 

Apply: Students take the Civil Rights Challenge, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Civil Rights Quiz.

Step 5:  EXTEND LEARNING

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of civil rights with these topics: Jim Crow, Martin Luther King Jr., and Brown v. Board of Education Topeka.

Additional Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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