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Headlines of History
Lesson plan has students examine a historical newspaper, a piece of historical fiction, and their social studies textbooks for accounts of the civil rights movement, and then define the words equality and discrimination. They will use these definitions to look for instances of equality and discrimination in modern society. Part of the resource “Students Sit for Civil Rights,” this activity will help students develop their research and analysis skills. Targets grades K-4.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): PreK–3
Overall Rating:  

Join the Student Sit-Ins Classroom Videos
Five short videos of a museum theater presentation in which a fictional composite character from 1960 is conducting a training session for people interested in joining student sit-ins to protest racial segregation. The student speaks about the recent protests in Greensboro, North Carolina, and coaches members of the audience in the philosophy and tactics of non-violent direct action.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Join the Student Sit-Ins Teacher Guide for the Classroom Videos
Teacher's guide for a 22-minute video of a theatrical presentation created by the National Museum of American History. During the presentation, a fictional composite character from 1960 is conducting a training session for people interested in joining sit-ins to protest racial segregation. The character speaks about the recent protests in Greensboro, North Carolina, and coaches members of the audience in the philosophy and tactics of non-violent direct action. Guide includes instruction for an in-class simulation, extension activities, and lyrics for a sing-along performance of a freedom song.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits
Lesson examines portraits of famous African American human rights advocates and public figures. Students practice comparing and contrasting photographs, analyzing images, and making personal connections.
Provider: National Museum of African American History and Culture
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3
Overall Rating:  

Lives on the Railroad
Online exhibit examining the central role railroads played in American life during the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. Trains carried people, agricultural products, manufactured goods, and the daily mail to all parts of the country. Although railroad travel made long-distance travel possible for anyone who could afford a ticket or catch a “free ride,” Jim Crow laws forced African Americans to ride in segregated train cars while traveling through the South. This is the ninth section of the online exhibition America on the Move.
Provider: National Museum of American History
Overall Rating:  

My People, Our People
Teacher resource combining activity and discussion exercises with sculpture, painting, poetry, and music of African American artists.
Provider: Smithsonian American Art Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3, 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Oh Freedom! Teaching African American Civil Rights through American Art at the Smithsonian
Interactive website that offers fresh ways of teaching about the Civil Rights Movement by making connections between history and art. It includes nearly 40 artworks, from a 1908 portrait of Booker T. Washington to the “Hope” portrait of President Obama. Web 2.0 tools bring teachers together to discuss the materials and to share lesson plans and activities.
Provider: Smithsonian American Art Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Protest Signs
Lesson asks children to compare two protest signs from the civil rights movement then create their own expressive chalk art or poster. Part of the resource “Sit for Civil Rights.”
Provider: National Museum of American History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3
Overall Rating:  

Protest Songs: A Musical Introduction
Lesson on the music, significance, and social/historical context of famous protest songs. Students will sing, listen, and discuss famous protest songs. Targets grades 6-8.
Provider: Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8
Overall Rating:  

Putting the Movement Back Into Civil Rights Teaching
Book with lessons and articles on how to go beyond a heroes approach to teaching the civil rights movement. Includes interactive, interdisciplinary lessons, readings, writings, photographs, graphics and interviews. Requires purchase.
Provider: Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

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