SWBAT explain what are civil rights and summarize the U.S. Civil Rights Movement by reviewing a videos that gives an overview of the Movement.  They also read an article summarizing the era between 1950 and 1970.

During the video, they will stop and jot and turn and talk to formulate any questions they have and write their reflections of the events and people.


 Historical Research, Evidence, and Point of View

3. Students pose relevant questions about events they encounter in historical documents, eyewitness accounts, oral histories, letters, diaries, artifacts, photographs, maps, artworks, and architecture.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.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


Source Pack:

  • vocabulary cards with envelopes
  • student tool kits
  • Civil Rights video
  • Civil Rights article
  • construction paper

Warm Up

Each table of students receives an envelope with vocabulary associated with the concept of change and the U.S. Civil Rights Movenment.  They will have the opportunity to create two sorts -- one where they sort for words they know and one that gives them the chance to use the words they do understand to create a short paragraph or list about the Civil Rights Movement.

Students share what they know about the Civil Rights Movement; and we create a list of the words they do not know, which we can continue to refer to throughout the unit to ensure students understand them. 

New Material

Students will have an opportunity to watch a You Tube video that gives a brief history of the Civil Rights Movement.  They will stop and jot questions and reflections they have about the video as well as turn and talk with tablemates to help formulate questions and reflections.

This activity ensures that students have a fundamental understanding of the Civil Rights movement, and its milestones. The method of inquiry is questioning.

History of the Civil Rights Movement


Working with their tablemates, students use their notes to create timelines, with 5 of the events or people that they think summarizes the Movement.


Students create a wordle demonstrating they understand civil rights and know the highlights of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.

Closure and Reflection

Students share their wordles and timelines and reflect as to whether we achieved our objective.

Homework:  Students read the article http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/civil-rights-movement-overview