SWBAT explain how rioting is a form of protest.

To achieve this objective, students will contextualize and investigate an alternate perspective about what why people riot or resort to violent behavior as a protest strategy, two methods of inquiry that are challenging for fifth graders. 


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 Students pose relevant questions about events they encounter in historical documents, eyewitness accounts, oral histories, letters, diaries, artifacts, photographs, maps, artworks, and architecture.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

  • DC riot map and pictures
  • tool kit 

Warm Up

Students are asked to watch the video and turn and talk wtih their tablemates to answer the question, why do people riot.

1968 D.C. Riots with resident's response

New Material

So is rioting a form of protest?

Let's divide ourselves into groups -- If you think it is stand on my left.  If you think it is not, on my right.  Remember you have to be ready to explain your stance.  So take a moment to talk with the people who have chosen to stand with you.

Discuss responses.

We are going to source a map today and I want you to pay close attention because it's important that you use it along with the sourcing of the photographs to determine whether rioting is a form of protest since that's our objective for today.

With students develop a interrogating device for the DC damage map. 

Map of damage for 1968 DC Riot

14th St NW Corridor Damage Map and Photograph


Students source D.C. riot photographs using their tool kit.


Students debate violence vs nonviolence as a strategy for change.

Closure and Reflection

We discuss the points students on each side of the debate made and how they all felt about whether their points were substantiated from our readings and sourcing. Students reflect as to whether we achieved our objective.

Homework: Students locate an newspaper article about a civil rights movement in another country and read an article about the 1963 March on Washington http://www.infoplease.com/spot/marchonwashington.html