The Civil Rights Movement was a pivotal and important time in our country. What better time to explore its happenings and outcomes than during black history month?
Schools and teachers easily fit this vital time into academic lessons. The weighty issues and activities changed our country forever for the better, but many struggles took place to gain the way of life we have today. Do students of today truly grasp the agony and hardships endured for freedom?
How can teachers and schools explore this movement more fully? Below are a few tips:
- Invite a guest speaker in who was an activist for the civil rights movement. The time will soon arrive when those who lived through this movement and walked the path of a civil rights activist will not be here anymore. Any chance to hear directly from a source is of great value in the classroom.
- Use technology. Skype with an activist – past or present. Research using a search engine.
- Watch films about the movement, particularly documentaries. Watch short sections of the material at a time – 10 minutes or so. This keeps the students engaged more than sitting for an hour doing nothing interactive.
- Check YouTube. Yes, this is usually a banned site in schools (for good reason). However, you would be amazed at the material that is available to view online – for free. There is a huge amount of student/school appropriate material that would enhance a lesson.
- Interdisciplinary. When studying this in social studies, read from an author of the time in language arts.
- Create group research project – written and a 3D board of some kind. Then, have students present to the class their findings.