Living the Story: The Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky
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Lesson Plan: Social and Cultural Issues in the Civil Rights Movement

Suggested Grade Level

Middle

This lesson could be taught within a unit on history, government, economics, sociology, or psychology.

Academic Expectations

1.11 Students write using appropriate forms, conventions, and styles to communicate ideas and information to different audiences for different purposes.
1.13   Students make sense of ideas and communicate ideas with visual arts.
1.14   Students make sense of ideas and communicate ideas with music.
1.2   Students make sense of a variety of materials they read.
2.14   Students understand the democratic principles of justice, equality, responsibility, and freedom and apply them to real-life situations.
2.15   Students can accurately describe various forms of government and analyze issues that relate to the rights and responsibilities of citizens in a democracy.
2.16   Students observe, analyze, and interpret human behaviors, social groupings, and institutions to better understand people and the relationships among individuals and among groups.
2.17   Students interact effectively and work cooperatively with the many ethnic and cultural groups of our nation and world.
2.18   Students understand economic principles and are able to make economic decisions that have consequences in daily living.
2.20   Students understand, analyze, and interpret historical events, conditions, trends, and issues to develop historical perspective.

Program of Studies

    6th Grade:
  • Analyze the physical and human characteristics of places and regions.
  • Interpret current events in the United States and the world from a geographic perspective.
  • Analyze how governments reflect and impact culture.
  • Examine the relationship between governments and the rights of individuals.
  • Analyze social interaction, including conflict and cooperation, among individuals and individuals and groups around the world.
  • Describe the characteristics of artworks representing various cultures, purposes, styles, and time periods.
  • Express openness and sensitivity to differences and commonalities among diverse cultures, purposes, styles, and time periods.
  • Describe how factors such as time, place, and belief systems are reflected in music.
  • Understand the characteristics and elements of different literary genres (e.g., novels, essays, short stories, poetry, and drama).
  • Select and read materials for enjoyment.
  • Write a transactive piece (writing produced for authentic purposes and audiences beyond completing an assignment to demonstrate learning) based on personal experiences, reading, listening, observing, and/or inquiry.
  • 7th Grade:
  • Examine the essential roles of government in early civilizations (establishing order, providing security, achieving common goals).
  • Investigate the development of human rights prior to 1500 A.D.
  • Examine cultural aspects (e.g., language, art, religious beliefs) of major past civilizations.
  • Give examples of cooperation, conflict, and competition that resulted from the interaction of cultures.
  • Describe the significance of the artist’s role in society.
  • Communicate the influences of time, place, and personality on art forms and practices.
  • Develop an increased understanding of diversity of cultures, periods, and styles.
  • Compare and contrast how factors such as time, place, and belief systems are reflected in music.
  • Compare and contrast music compositions and/or performances from diverse cultures, periods, and styles.
  • Respond to and analyze meaning, literary technique (e.g., figurative language, foreshadowing, characterization), and elements (e.g., characters, setting, conflict/resolution, theme, point of view) of different literary genres (e.g., novels, essays, short stories, poetry, drama).
  • Select and read materials for enjoyment.
  • Write transactive pieces (writing produced for authentic purposes and audiences beyond completing an assignment to demonstrate learning) based on inquiry and/or personal experience that show independent thinking and incorporate ideas and information from reading, listening, observing, and inquiry.
  • Write personal pieces to communicate ideas.
  • 8th Grade:
  • Use a variety of tools (e.g., primary and secondary sources, data, artifacts) to explore the interpretive nature (how perceptions of people and passing of time influence accounts of historical events) of United States history.
  • Develop a chronological understanding of the early history of the United States (early inhabitants to Reconstruction).
  • Recognize cause-and-effect relationships and multiple causes of events in United States history.
  • Examine the impact of significant individuals and groups in early United States history.
  • Analyze the social, political, and economic characteristics of eras in American history to Reconstruction (land and people before Columbus, Age of Exploration, colonization, war for independence, young republic, westward expansion, industrialism, and Civil War).
  • Understand the development of democratic thought in early America.
  • Examine patterns of human movement, settlement, and interaction in early American history and investigate how these patterns influenced culture and society in the United States.
  • Explore reasons behind patterns of human settlement across the United States that resulted in the diverse cultures of the United States.
  • Analyze economic systems and economic institutions that developed in early United States history.
  • Recognize that government regulation impacts the economy in decisions about productive resources (e.g., natural, human, human-made).
  • Understand how the desire to earn profits influenced the establishment and growth of economic institutions in early United States history.
  • Understand how the American political system developed through examining colonial roots of representative democracy, reasons for creating an independent country, and purposes of government.
  • Investigate the political process established by the U.S. Constitution, including a system of separation of power with checks and balances and division of power among the states and national government.
  • Understand how the U.S. Constitution has changed over time to adjust to different needs and situations.
  • Examine the rights and responsibilities of individuals in American society by analyzing democratic principles (e.g., liberty, justice, individual human dignity, and the rule of law) as expressed in historical events, historical documents (e.g., the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution), and American society.
  • Examine how culture in the United States has been influenced by language, literature, arts, beliefs, and behavior of people in America’s past.
  • Investigate how social institutions addressed human needs in early United States history.
  • Analyze social interactions among diverse groups and individuals in United States history.
  • Analyze social interactions, including conflict and cooperation, among individuals and groups in United States history.
  • Analyze and interpret how culture, purpose, style, and history influence the way artists express ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
  • Analyze characteristics and purposes of art that represents various cultures, historical periods, and artists.
  • Analyze contributions of various cultures and periods to the visual arts.
  • Analyze influences of time, place, and personality on art forms and practices.
  • Apply an understanding of literary elements (e.g., characters, setting, conflict/resolution, theme, point of view), techniques (e.g., figurative language, foreshadowing, characterizations), and styles to interpret different literary genres (e.g., novels, essays, short stories, poetry, drama).
  • Select and read materials for enjoyment.
  • Write transactive pieces (writing produced for authentic purposes and audiences beyond completing an assignment to demonstrate learning) that demonstrate independent thinking about literature, issues, and events relevant to students’ lives.
  • Write personal pieces to communicate ideas.
  • Develop an increased understanding of the diversity of cultures, periods, and styles.
  • Analyze, interpret, and evaluate how factors such as time, place, and ideas are reflected in music.
  • Analyze, interpret, and evaluate music compositions and/or performances from diverse cultures, periods, and styles.

Core Content

  • SS-M-1.1.2
  • SS-M-1.1.3
  • SS-M-1.3.1
  • SS-M-2.1.1
  • SS-M-2.2.1
  • SS-M-2.3.1
  • SS-M-2.4.1
  • SS-M-2.4.2

Objectives of Lesson

  • To explore cultures, cultural conflicts, beliefs, views, and values that existed during the period of racial segregation.
  • To examine the social dynamics that created the civil rights movement in America.

Assessment

Students can take a matching quiz on the terms and their definitions. Students can write a position paper on the issues, conflicts, or art of the era. Students may do additional research on an issue, person, or artistic production.

Materials Needed for Lesson

  • Videos:
    Living the Story: The Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky
    Eyes on the Prize (PBS)
    Africans in Kentucky (KET)
    Africans in America (PBS)
  • Publication:
    Kentucky’s Black Heritage. Published by the Commonwealth of Kentucky: Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, Frankfort; © 1971.

Description of Lesson

The class will define the following terms:

  • segregation
  • desegregation
  • integration
  • society
  • culture
  • discrimination
  • prejudice
  • bigotry
  • hatred

The class will look at the video Eyes on the Prize and listen to speeches from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Following the speeches, students will analyze and discuss speech handouts.

Students will use excerpts from the Kentucky’s Black Heritage publication to accompany watching the documentary Living the Story: The Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky.

The class will listen to music from the civil rights era and examine visual art produced during the movement. Students can research books, poems, narratives, debates, and newspaper articles.

The teacher will lead class discussions to facilitate the students’ understanding of the issues of the time.

Teacher Contact

Don Offutt, Division of Equity, Kentucky Department of Education

Living the Story > For Teachers > Civil Rights Lesson Plan (Middle School)