Students will be able to: 

  • Explain the causes and effects that resulted in banning of school desegregation (at Central High School, Little Rock, Arkansas).


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.

RI.5.6Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.

RI.5.7 Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.

RI.5.9 Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

DCPS Social Studies Standards

5.6.4Describe the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments and African American political and economic progress. (P, E)
5.14.1Describe the proliferation of the Civil Rights movement of African Americans from the churches of the rural South to the urban North. (G, P)
5.14.4List and describe the steps toward desegregation (e.g., A. Philip Randolph?s proposed 1941 March on Washington, Jackie Robinson and baseball, Truman and the Armed Forces, Adam Clayton Powell and Congress, and the integration of public schools). (P, S)
5.16.2Describe the lives of African Americans, including an explanation of their early concentration in the South because of slavery, the Great Migration to Northern cities in the 20th century, and ongoing African immigrant groups (e.g., Ethiopians, Nigerians, and Ghanaians), and where they have tended to settle in large numbers. (G, S)


[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.]

Eyes on the Prize

PBS Documentary (begin at 5:10 to begin with the Little Rock Nine case, stop at 32:02)

Warm Up

Answer the questions in complete sentences:

  • What is happening in this picture?
  • Who is involved?
  • What emotions are present? 

Elizabeth Eckford attempting to walk into Central High, followed by a white mob

New Material

We will begin the class by once reviewing some key events leading up to the Little Rock Nine attending Central High School. When examining these events we will look at them from a cause and effect perspective. 

  • Ex. Brown v. Board of education was the cause of Arkansas developing their school integration plan.  


As a class, students will watch excerpts from "Eyes on the Prize" and identify different causes and effects presented in the movie.  

After watching the movie, in pairs or small groups they will reflect on the movie and identify 3 additional causes and effects surrounding school desegregation.  

Cause and Effect Organizer

For student use while finding examples of causes and effects surrounding school desegregation.

Download this file


Brief constructed response:

Explain the causes that led to the school closure in Little Rock, Arkansa in 1958. 

Closure and Reflection

Mini class discussion:
Was school desegregation a simple thing, meaning did it involve one cause and one effect, or was it more complicated?