Essential Questions- What kinds of methods of protest are used by groups and individuals during the Civil Rights Movement?


MondayHow does Martin Luther King address the concerns of the Southern preachers’ about the pace of change in the civil rights movement? How are students taking a role in desegregating Birmingham?

Music- Southern Man by Neil Young & Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

In Class: Look at our test questions and start organizing responses to each question. We will also review Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham jail and look at what’s happening in Birmingham, AL in 1963.

Tuesday: How do Martin Luther King and Malcolm X differ from each other in their approaches to protest during the Civil Rights Movement? How are they alike?

We are going to spend today looking at the rise of Black Nationalism as it pertains to Malcolm X. How do you reconcile what you’ve heard with what you can discern from primary sources? This will support your question on methods and motivations of protest. Keep two-column notes with Malcolm X on one side and Martin Luther King Jr. on the other.

WednesdayHow does JFK deal with the Soviet Union using Cuba to hold nuclear weapons?

In Class: Finish our discussion on the similarities and differences between Malcolm X and MLK’s views on protest and the way forward in the civil rights movement. We’ll watch these videos on class:

We’ll also start looking at the Cuban Missile Crisis. We’ll look a little at the history of Cuba and the US and see how the Soviet Union gets involved in this 1962 crisis. Check out this website to see the materials we’ll be looking at.


We will look Malcolm X speeches. Who was he?

Friday: Civil Rights Music Day. Look at the progression of the Civil Rights Movement through popular music



Essential Questions: What kinds of methods of protest are used by groups and individuals during the Civil Rights Movement?  How does the government intervene in citizen’s lives? How have the courts become involved in the Civil Rights Movement?


Tuesday: How did students take a leading role in the Civil Rights Movement?

1. Wrap up our discussion of Emmett Till. Read this article on Trayvon Martin, what connections can be made between the 2 cases?

2. Read this speech by Gandhi. What themes do you see? How do they relate to the Civil Rights Movement?

3. Talk about the Greensboro Four. Watch this video to see what happened to these four students in NC.  How did they spark protests across the south?

Wednesday and Thursday:  What is the reaction of different government groups to the Freedom Riders? (executive branch, local gov’t, police etc…?) What constitutes non-violent action?

1. John F. Kennedy is sworn in in January, 1961. Read his inaugural address. What was his policy on enforcing civil rights? How did he win the election? How did he reconcile the competing claims of “Freedom Now!” with “Segregation Forever?”

2. Only 4 months after he is sworn in, JFK is confronted with the Freedom Riders who were determined to confront segregation in interstate busing. The US Supreme Court had ruled in December 1960 (Boynton v. Virginia) that all bus stations and terminals serving interstate travelers should be integrated. The Freedom Riders were to test that ruling.

  • PBS American Experience: Freedom Riders. We watched all of this first part  and through 20:00 of this second part. Complete this viewing guide while watching. (PBS streams this film in its entirety here.)
  • What are your reactions or questions to the documentary? What role does the government play in enforcing civil rights? What are the methods and motivations for protest? How do individuals take on injustice?

Friday: What are the impacts of social protests?

1. Review lecture notes on King’s involvement in the Montgomery bus boycott.

2. Discuss the Birmingham Campaign to desegregate downtown Birmingham through the use of boycotts and other direct non-violent methods. (African Americans made up 40% of the population in Birmingham.)

2.  What tactics should be used in protest? (King’s television interview)

HOMEWORK: Finish the Birmingham article and turn it in on Monday

Related Links:

March on Washington, August, 1963

African American Civil Rights Era timeline (1950s-1960s)

Dr. King’s Righteous Fury (April 15, 2013)

Reparations in Birmingham? Civil RIghts Justice on the Cheap

Trayvon Martin Related Links:

Stand your ground stats from the Tampa Bay Times and  PBS

Here’s an analysis of that data from NPR

Check out this article on Marissa Alexander, another Stand Your Ground case that I mentioned in class.

A collection of articles from the Orlando Sentinel, LA Times, and NY Times.  And here’s some articles on the media coverage itself from the Washington Post and USA Today.

3/24 Emmett Till

Monday- How does Emmett Till’s murder inform your views on the role of the Courts and of the Police? How about his mother’s personal protest?

Monday Music:  by Sam Cooke

1. Watch clip about the murder of Emmett Till (August 1955) from Eyes on the Prize. This is an updated story on the case from 60 Minute) that includes the background of the case.

Consider the impact federal hate crime laws would have had on the case.

Related Resources

  1. Bob Dylan: The Death of Emmett Till


  1. The case of Trayvon Martin (nytimes.com) and Trayvon Martin and Black Manhood on Trial (The Nation)
  2. Trayvon Martin and Emmett Till (newyorker.com)
  3. Willie Reed, witness in the Emmett Till Case, dies at 76 (washingtonpost.com)
  4. Look Magazine article: The Shocking Story of Approved Killing in Mississippi

Essential Unit Question: What is the proper role of government in shaping American society?

MondayHow did the court’s decision in Brown impact US society at the time? How does it impact us today?

Brown v. Board of Education presentations, what did you learn about the Brown case and its relevance today?

music monday-  and  (Happy St. Patrick’s Day!)

Tuesday: ACT day

Wednesday: How is federal vs. state authority challenged in Little Rock?

The Little Rock 9: What happened in Little Rock? Watch these clips to see what happened to the first 9 African American students to attend Central High School in Little Rock

ThursdayWhat methods of protest are used during the Civil Rights movement? Are they successful?

Alabama Bus Boycotts

FridayWhat are Kennedy and Nixon’s views on the role of the Federal government?

Kennedy/Nixon debates and the 1960 presidential election

1. The rise of Richard Nixon to national prominence through the Eisenhower campaign as his VP. (Let’s look at the electoral college numbers from these elections.)Nixon was accused of having a secret fund of contributions from citizens helping him live an extravagant lifestyle. What was his response? How do politicians respond to accusations today?

2. Watch segment from the Kennedy-Nixon debate. What can you derive from their performances? How would you characterize Nixon? Kennedy? What do they offer about their views of government? How does it compare to today’s debates? How important are they?

3. Read Time article on how that night changed the election.

4. How have ads influence campaigns? We’ll look at the early commercials used during presidential campaigns.

Tuesday: UNIT 2 TEST!

Wednesday: Civil Rights Intro. We will look at our new essential questions and think about the role the government, courts, and individuals play in this social movement.

  1. In what ways did the new strategies and goals of the civil rights movement affect social transformation?

  2. How do people challenge and use power?

  3. What is the proper role of gov’t in shaping American society?

  4. When will reform work and when is revolution required?

  5. What’s the best method for success: integration or segregation?

Thursday: Look at Jackie Robinson, Isaac Woodard, and an intro to Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z1StPzACpcQ/UPwF03OA4wI/AAAAAAAACr8/jUnVfBG-C7w/s1600/segregation_map2.jpeg

How do the electoral maps from these elections compare with this map of segregated schools?

Friday: Look more in depth at Brown v. Board of Education. We’ll split into groups to see how the road to Brown got started, and what it meant after the case, and still means today.


1. Pre-Brown. Cases, laws and events leading up to the decision.

2. The Brown v. Board of Education decision itself

3. Post-Brown/Little Rock Central High School

4. Current Implications: Madison in the 1980s and school segregation issues today

Create a presentation between 10-12 minutes that gives the class substantive content from each of your group’s documents. This will be presented to the class on Thursday.

  • Share information from each document in your packet
  • There should be enough content that viewers can take notes on your performance.
  • You should offer a brief context as to where your group fits into the broader picture of Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Related articles

DQ: Who are/were the beneficiaries of the interstate highway systems? Who are/were its casualties?


Music Monday: Lollipop by the Chordettes and Five Satins “In the Still of the Night

In Class:

(Note, plans for the highway system began in the late 1930s. He’s often credited with the creation of it, but there were many years of work prior to its actual creation.)

Related Links:

A theory about how the public bus system took over streetcars decades earlier in Taken for a Ride

Monday: Finish “Race: the Power of an Illusion” in class. Also read this article on Crimea and see how the Cold War can still be seen today.

Homework– Keep working on “Happy Days” looking for evidence of whether or not the 1950’s are really happy.

Tuesday: We’ll look more closely at the GI Bill and housing after WWII and see how the suburbs changed America in the 1950s. How did women’s roles change in this time? And we looked at how African Americans were impacted by housing but what about Latino Americans? Here’s the power point that we used in class and that you can use to help you study for your test.

Homework– Read your textbook pages 598-624 and take notes for Friday.

Wednesday: No class

Thursday: Potluck article day. We’ll look at old newspaper articles on women, the Space Race, Suburbia, racism and more to get a clear picture of society in the 1950s. We’ll complete this worksheet and discuss what you find tomorrow in the discussion. You do not need to fill out the summary section!

Friday: Discussion Day. Were the ’50s really Happy Days? What kinds of intervention have we seen so far? What motivations have we seen for US involvement around the world? Here’s your review guide for your test next Tuesday!

Additional Resources: