Students will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast the Mendez v. Westminster with the Lemon Grove Incident  


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

5.1.6Describe the continued migration of Mexican settlers into Mexican territories of the West and Southwest. (G)
5.1.8Relate how and when California, Texas, Oregon, and other Western lands became part of the United States, including the significance of the Texas War for Independence and the Mexican-American War. (G, M)
5.6.4Describe the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments and African American political and economic progress. (P, E)
5.13.4Describe the Mexican Bracero program and the unprecedented migration of Puerto Ricans to take part in the invigorated industrial economy. (E.S)
5.14.3Identify key leaders in the struggle to extend equal rights to all Americans through the decades (e.g., Mary McLeod Bethune, Ella Jo Baker, César Chávez, Frederick Douglass, Rodolfo ?Corky? Gonzales, Charles Houston, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Carlos Montes, Baker Motley, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Eleanor Roosevelt, Reies López Tijerina). (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)
5.16.5Distinguish between waves of immigrant Latino groups and identify the push and pull factors that stimulated their transnational movement (e.g., Cubans in the 1960s and 1980s; Central Americans in the 1980s; Caribbean peoples, especially Haitians and Dominicans, in the 1990s). (G, S)


Slideshow for warm up

Warm Up

Students will be given the pictures of the schools involved in the Lemon Grove Incident and Mendez v. Westminster.  They will have to:

  • Determine how they are similar
  • Determine how they are different
  • What can you tell from the background of the school? Where are they located? What type of place is it? 

New Material

Students will participate in a gallery walk where they will be presented to different newspaper articles surrounding desegregation in California.  Students will also have the opportunity to listen to different audio recordings surrounding the cases. 

Sylvia and Sandran Mendez Duran speak about the case: 


Before Brown v. Board of Education (NPR): http://www.npr.org/player/v2/mediaPlayer.html?action=1&t=1&islist=false&id=1784243&m=1784244 

Los Angeles Racial Housing

Download this file

Los Angeles School Appeals

Download this file

Historian John Valdez and Lemon Grove


Once students have completed the gallery walk, they participate in a classroom discussion surrounding the question:

  • How were the Lemon Grove Incident and the Mendez v. Westminster case similar and different?

 Optional Question: 

  • How was this form of segregation different from the segregation occurring in the south and east? 
Students will be given 10 minutes to prepare for the discussion, they should be encouraged to create a venn diagram or other organizer and consult their work.  This should be a student led discussion, students should be provided with accountable talk sentence frames. 


Brief constructed response: 

Explain how segregation existed in other parts of the country by comparing the Lemon Grove Incident to the Mendez v. Westminster case.  Use evidence from the discussion to support your answer. 

Closure and Reflection

We have examined segregation in schools in Arkansas, and other parts of the east, as well as California.  Next we move to our own neighborhods.  Create two hypothesis to about how segregation impacted schools in DC since Brown v. Board of Education.