Grade Level(s) identified 10-12 Purpose, Background, and Context

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  1. Grade Level(s) identified


  1. Purpose, Background, and Context

The purpose of this lesson is to position students to critically analyze images from the civil right movement including: violence, protests, and political outcomes. This lesson could be used in an tenth or twelfth grade classroom where students are studying the progression of the civil rights movement from its beginnings reacting to isolated violent incidents and growing into a unified focused struggle. This lesson is flexible to variation based on the level of student’s background knowledge of the subject.

  1. Goals/Objectives/Student Outcomes/Performance Expectations

  • Students will analyze different pictures taken from the civil rights movement for the purpose of investigating the growth of the movement and its causes.

  • Students will gain an understanding and appreciation for the forms of civil protest.

  • Students will recognize the political outcomes of civil protest.

  1. Materials

  • Lynching image, found at:

  • March across Edmund-Pettus Bridge 1965 image, found at:,r:5,s:29

  1. Procedures

  1. Have image of lynching up on screen as students walk into the classroom with the following questions. (3-5 minutes)

  • Who is this? What is happening in this picture? Where and when is this taking place? Why did this event happen?

  1. Have students share ideas that they have written down with a small group of four to five students. (3-5minutes)

  • Introduce the Emmitt Till protest within the small group and explain that a correlation exists between the images and have them brainstorm what the correlation is.

  1. Have each group present their findings and discuss what they believe the correlation is between the images. (3-5 minutes)

  • Teacher shall facilitate the student’s findings into a common understanding of what the images are and what they represent.

  1. Repeat this exercise for the next image (3-5 minutes)

  2. Students will analyze the final photo using the analyzing photographs and print sheet from the Library of Congress.

  3. Students will explain what they see in the image based on the photographs and print sheet and discuss their findings and participate in a whole class discussion about the image and its relationship to the previous images.

  • Teacher shall provide probing questions to build upon the information that the students provide during full class discussion based of the teacher’s guide for analyzing Photographs and prints from the Library of Congress.

  1. Assign Students “Civil Rights Impact Essay”

  • Each student is given two days to take a person they identified in one of the images shown in class and write a one page essay describing that figures importance in the civil rights movement.

  • Students shall answer the following questions in their essay: Who have you identified? What was that person doing in the image? What was their role in the civil rights movement? What is the long term impact of that individual in the civil rights movement?

  1. Assessment of Outcomes

  • The essay is the primary assessment for this lesson. There will also be lecture notes about the civil rights movements leader and outcome later in the unit.

  1. Extensions and Adaptations

  • Further Investigation Activity (taken from “Analyzing Photographs and Prints” sheet)

  • Help students to identify questions appropriate for further investigation of specific images (either ones used in this particular lesson or other images), and to develop a research strategy for findings answers.

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