Students will be able to: 
  • explain what segregation is by providing an example in their own words.
  • sequence the civil rights events that led to school desegregation by creating a timeline.


5.14 Students describe the key events and accomplisments of the Civil Rights movement in the United States. 

  • 5.14.4 List and describe the steps toward desegregation 

RI.5.1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

RI.5.2 Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.


[Here, you should include a list of primary and secondary sources as well as other materials you will be using in the class. Attach all handouts and readings you will use for this lesson to the curricular unit.]

New Material Slideshow

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Warm Up

Using a KWL Chart, both an individual one in student notebooks and a larger one for the class, students will have five minutes to write everything they Know or Want to Know about the Civil Rights Movement.  Once the five minutes are up, students will share one item with the class by writing it on a Post-It and placing it on the larger class KWL chart.  Teacher will share out certain ones as an opening to the subject of Civil Rights and segregation. Note teacher may choose not to do a whole class KWL chart and just have students make own individual.  

Warm-Up Image

New Material

During this time students will be introduced (reintroduced) to the concept of segregation.  Using a slideshow of pictures and a lecture/discussion students will be expected to write the definition of the following three terms in their handouts:

  • Segregation
  • De Facto
  • De Jure
  • Plessy v. Ferguson 
  • Brown v. Board of Education 

Student Terms Handout

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During this time students will work in small groups or in pairs to come up with their own brief definition for the following terms:

  • Lemon Grove Incident
  • Balling v. Sharpe
  • Mendez v. Westminster
  • Little Rock Nine
Students will be using primary sources including pictures and newspaper articles as well as brief summaries to come up with their own definitions.  After 10 minutes the class will come back together to discuss student findings and to adjust student definitions to actual definitions.   

Bolling v. Sharpe

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Lemon Grove Incident

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Little Rock Nine

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Mendez v. Westminster

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Exit Ticket: 

  1. What was the civil rights movement?
  2. What is segregation?
  3. What is an example of segregation?
  4. Organize the following events in chronological order:
  • Brown v. Board of Education
  • Plessy v. Ferguson
  • Lemon Grove Incident 
  • Mendez v. Westminster
  • Little Rock Nine
  • Bolling v. Sharpe   

Closure and Reflection

To conclude the class students will be asked to complete a quick write answering the questions:

  • Do we still have segregation today? Why or why not? Use at least two pieces of evidence from today to support and defend your answer.