SWBAT identify types of nonviolent protests and the impact they had on the Civil Rights Movement and why by investigating types of nonviolent protests.

To ensure mastery of the skills required of a historian, students practice source work for each lesson, not only demonstrating their ability to interrograte the source, but also working toward mastery of using their evaluation tools to analyze the signifcance of the source  and to make meaning of historical events and people. 


Economic Growth and Reform in Contemporary America (1945-Present)

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

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 Students pose relevant questions about events they encounter in historical documents, eyewitness accounts, oral histories, letters, diaries, artifacts, photographs, maps, artworks, and architecture.

4. Students use nontext primary and secondary sources, such as maps, charts, graphs, photographs, works of art, and technical charts. 


Source Pack:

  • protest songs
  • vocabulary word sort
  • tool kit
  • graphic organizer

Warm Up

Students with their tablemates source photographs of lunch counter sit-ins, an article about sit-ins at the White House, photographs of the children's march in Birmingham, and a poster to boycott Safeway stores in D.C.

They share what they conclude are different about each. 

New Material

Students review slide show depicting types of nonviolent protest.  They stop and jot with questions/reflections, and turn and talk to help formulate questions and reflections.  The presentation highlights the following types of nonviolent protests:

  • Marches
  • Sit-ins
  • Economic boycotts
  • Strikes
  • Petitions
  • Picketing
  • Vigils 

Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round

Performed by Sweet Honey & The


Inside/Outside Circle Vocabulary Game

  • Students arrange themselves in two concentric circles 

  • one circle has the vocabulary terms, i.e. types of nonviolent protests

  • The other circle moves to discuss the term with the person across from him/her

  • Students continue moving until all terms are discussed

  • Move the terms to the opposite circle and start over 


Students use new item in their tool kit, which allows them to contextualize by determining as a protester what type of nonviolent protest strategy they would chose and what would they take to the protest. 

A Protester's Backpack

Download this file

Closure and Reflection

We began by listening to a protest song. Close your eyes and listen to another song and jot down on an index card how this song makes you feel. You may write whatever you like. For those of you having trouble expressing your feelings, think about what emotion you feel as you hear the song. Does it evoke feelings of anxiety or action?  

Homework:  Students are reminded to continue to collect information on other protests around the world.