By the end of this lesson students will be able to:

  • Identify  factors of physical resistance
  • Discuss (compare and contrast) physical violent and non violent protest
  • Evaluate the escalating patterns and outcomes of physical protests


12.DC.10.2Describe disturbances resulting from racial tensions.
12.DC.10.3Explain how African American leaders resisted discrimination.


March 1963

King Riots

Newspaper articles

NPS March on Washington
Creator: Abbie Rowe
Source: http://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/civilrights/intro.htm
Date: August 1963

Atlas Theatre
Creator: NPS file
Source: http://www.nps.gov/resources/site.htm?id=19004
Date: Recently Renovated

King being arrested
Creator: Bettman/Corbis
Source: Martin Luther King Jr. Being Arrested: Martin Luther King Jr is arrested by two white police officers in Montgomery Alabama on September 4, 1958- Corbis.com
Date: September 4, 1958

Warm Up

As a follow up to Lesson #1- Students will break into groups and collectively list ways African Americans have historically resisted discrimination which led to some form of march or boycott. Afterward, class will reconvene and discuss their findings in depth.

New Material

Class will read first hand accounts  about the non-violent 1963 March on Washington and the violent 1968 King Riots in Washington, DC. Students will evaluate newspaper articles, letters, pictures and share their findings (notably regarding what the images and documents infer.)

History Frame

Download this file


Students will examine images from the March on Washington and the damage in the neighborhood surrounding the Atlas Theatre to get a feel for:
A. the number of people who participated,
B. the sentiment of the masses,
C. the many diiferent types of people who were involved in each event and
D. the enormity of the effort in regards to organization/ chaos at that time.

Search the web and classroom resources for more information on the following:
A. Ordinary individuals who traveled from afar to attend the March and why.
B. Search for stories about local participants and find old newspaper articles from the place where the person was from
C. Identify interesting less known facts about the March/ King Riots 

*Students will report their findings to the class.


KWL Chart

oWhat more do you care to know, and what avenues will you take to find out?

Closure and Reflection

List the characteristics of physical resistance

Review the similarities and difference between the 1963 and 1968 protests


Come prepared with a news article or image (internet ok) to discuss a current protest movement and answer the following questions:

1, Who is protesting?

2. Why?

3. Where?

4. What form of protest are they using?

5. What do the protestors hope to gain?

 Homework: Research and find a person who attended the March on Washington and create a poster with newspaper clippings, images, and other text to document their journey and experience.