Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1968

Teacher Name: Darryl Carr Grade Level(s): 9-12 Course: Social Studies

Preparation: Divide the classroom into two sections; label one section “red” the other “blue”

Anticipatory Lesson:

412879304_o[1]_(2).jpg"Eisenhower Blues," by J.B. Lenoir, (1954)

radio.jpg Georgia Governor Herman Talmadge on school segregation, 4/14/54

radio.jpgThurgood Marshall on Segregation, 1954

Type of classroom activity to be performed:
This lesson will be a cooperative learning activity using primary sources, principles and processes of governance systems in relation to social and historical change in structural organizations. It will explore the constitutional rights human beings.
This lesson will allow students to know historical and contemporary examples of citizen movements seeking to expand liberty, to ensure the equal rights of all citizens, or to realize other values fundamental to American constitutional democracy (e.g., the suffrage and civil rights movements. Additionally, understand the concept of a constitution, the various purposes that constitutions serve, and the conditions that contribute to the establishment and maintenance of constitutional government.

Required time frame: 4-6 regular class periods.

Lesson Objectives—the student will be able to demonstrate knowledge in reference:
· Understand the concept of civil rights and civil liberties
· understand and evaluate the roles played by President Lyndon B. Johnson, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and J. Edgar Hoover during the American civil rights movement;
· understand the roles of these three men in the context of the times in which they lived Discuss what influenced
· experience discrimination
· become familiar with “Jim Crow” laws
Primary Sources:
· Reference materials on the 1960s, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover
· The Civil Rights Act of 1964
· Writing material
· *· Red and blue index cards
· Colored duct tape
· Bites sizes candies
A Short History of the FBI

Secondary Materials:
The Civil Rights Movement: A Photographic History, 1954-68.

Technology Required:
Computer to assess assigned web links

Fully describe the activity or assignment in detail. What will both you and the students do?
As students enter the room, hand each one a card. Do not tell them what it is about and if they trade, that is permissible. A note on the blackboard should read “Quiz today.” Using the colored index cards, count out enough cards so each student will have one card; mix the colors so there is more of one color than the other. Example: If the class has 30 students, have 22 blue cards and 8 red cards mixed in a pile. As students enter the room, hand each one a card. When they enter, they will see the board and either start looking over notes or complain about the quiz. Tell them they should look over their notes.

Next, have all the students with a blue card move to the back of the room. If you want, you can move desks around so there are not enough desks for all the students. When they are finished moving, take the duct tape and put up a barrier between the blue students and the red students. Ask if they are ready for the quiz, when the blue students begin to complain, treat them with indifference. Say, first you are going to have a vote. "All those in favor of the red students getting a candy bar raise your hand." Of course, all the red students will raise their hands and the blue students will complain again, and again treat them with indifference. Then take another vote "All those in favor of getting a candy bar, raise your hand." When all the students raise their hands, only count the red students' vote. The blue students will complain, at this time you can explain that they have not passed the voting test and until they do, their votes do not count. Some students may want to take the voting test. Say "hold on" to them (put them off).

Instruct the students to take out a sheet of paper for the quiz. Remind them to put their name on their paper and number the paper 1-10. When this is completed, mark the red students' papers with an "A" and collect all the papers. The blue students will ask what grade they are going to receive and you can tell them a” D” or “F” which ever you want. Then have another vote "All those in favor of the red students receiving an ‘A’ raise your hand" The blue students will probable want the voting test.

Now for the voting test, you can use many different things. I used the Constitution. I addressed the blue group that whoever could recite the 11th amendment, word for word, then explain to me what it meant, could not only vote but also move up into the red student section. Do not let them use their books. When they realize that no one can do this, they will begin to complain again. Tell them that you will give them one more chance. Ask them who could tell me what the 13th amendment accomplished, most, if not all, will be able to answer this one. When they have successfully answered, explain that even though slavery ended in 1865, Jim Crow laws came into effect and discrimination against African Americans remained. Next, ask the students how they felt when they were being discriminated against. Have them brainstorm ways to combat discrimination and list them on the board. Ask if any of them heard of Brown v. B.O.E., the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Freedom Rides, the sit-ins, or any other event. Have the students discuss what they already know, and instruct them on other aspects of Civil Disobedience, and Non-Violent Demonstrations.

On the next class period, give the students the following scenario: Two students are talking quietly, but seriously, to each other. A third student, standing at the next locker, overhears the conversation, which happens to be about an act they have committed in violation of school rules. The third student shares the conversation with two other students, one of whom reports the incident to the principal's office. The principal searches the lockers of the first two students, locates some incriminating evidence, and suspends the students in accordance with school policy. Have the students discuss whether
· The first two students have a right to privacy
· The third student has a right to freedom of speech
· The other student are morally and legally obligated to report the incident, and
· If the locker search can be conducted without a warrant
Now initiate a more general discussion of civil rights and liberties. Explain to students that civil rights are the rights to personal liberty guaranteed to all U.S. citizens by the 13th and 14th Amendments and by acts of Congress. Civil rights ensure equal opportunity to citizens regardless of race, religion, or sex. Civil liberties refer to the freedoms one has from arbitrary governmental interference and are guaranteed in the United States by the Bill of Rights to the Constitution. Civil liberties include freedom of speech and press and freedom to practice religion. Ask students to consider the following:
What rights are guaranteed and protected under the Constitution?

Now organize the class into several groups of three to five students to research each of the historical figures: Martin Luther King, President Lyndon Baines Johnson, and J. Edgar Hoover. Assign each group a figure or allow groups to choose which person they would like to learn more about. Tell students they will be conducting an investigation of each man's responsibilities, roles, and actions during the period from 1963 to 1969—and how they related to the Civil Rights Act. Provide students with reference material and resources related to the period, as well as suggestions for collecting biographical data.
When the class meets again, restructure student groups so that they comprise three students each who have researched Johnson, King, and Hoover. Have students share their research with the group and discuss the roles each man played in the context of the times in which he lived.

Next, lead a class discussion using some of the following questions:
  • Why was it important to Lyndon Johnson to have the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed by Congress?
  • Why was J. Edgar Hoover interested in discrediting Martin Luther King Jr.? Why did he use the specter of communism as a reason for having Dr. King under surveillance?
  • Why was Lyndon Johnson taping as many conversations as possible?
  • Why didn't Dr. King realize that he could have been under surveillance?
  • Why did Lyndon Johnson extend Hoover's tenure beyond the mandatory retirement age?
  • What is each man's legacy?

For homework, pass out copies of the Take-Home Activity Sheet. Explain to students that they must use the information they have collected to compose a letter from the man they have researched to his family. Tell students that the letter they compose should explain why the individual performed important work pertaining to civil rights and how that work contributed to his legacy. Remind students that they are writing to explain this particular person's view of himself, not to portray a balanced historical perspective.

Each student will be assessed on their written letter to the family member they researched. The letter will be comprised of no less than 4-5 paragraphs. Additionally, each group will present a 10-minute discussion on their study of civil liberties. What civil rights legislation has been passed since the 1960s? What other work remains to be done? What issues will affect them, as they become adults? Have students work in groups as investigative reporters to prepare a 10-minute piece updating civil liberties for an evening news feature.