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Title: Integration of Education and American Society

Subject: ESOL (A-3)
Grade Level(s): High
Author(s): Chris Harper and Don Spooner
School: Bryant Alternative High School
Lesson Time: Four or Five clas periods (1.5 to 3.0 hours)

Topics Covered:
African Americans
Radicalism and Reform
Time Periods Covered:
Postwar US, 1945-Early 1970s

Part 1

Essential Learning Description

Students will explore the history of Civil Rights. How did the struggle for Civil Rights, “the “Second Reconstruction” transform society and politics in the United States in the 1950s? Specifically, why are American Schools integrated today? How did Virginia respond to the Supreme Court decision concerning Civil Rights?

National History Standards (Historical Thinking Standards):
1. Chronological Thinking
2. Historical Comprehension
3. Historical Analysis & Interpretation

Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs):

Fairfax County Program of Studies (POS):
Grade 4
Grade 6
Grade 7
Grade 11

Learning Strategy Objectives:
1. Tell What You Know (Activate Prior Knowledge)
2. Make Predictions
3. Make Inferences
4. Use Selective Attention
5. Use Resources
6. Summarize
8. Use/Create Graphic Organizers
9. Take notes
10. Cooperate
11. Use Imagery

Part 2


If applicable, include student self-assessment.

  1. Create a map of the United States (highlight the South)
  2. Summarize main ideas of the text
  3. Practice structured note-taking
  4. Complete graphic organizers
  5. Read newspaper articles and answer questions related to their content
  6. Reciprocal Teaching activity
  7. Watch internet content and answer questions about its content
  8. Forming RAFT papers, creating timelines, creating a collage as suggested culminating activities

Instructional Strategies


1) Introduce Jim Crow laws to the class. Explain that these laws were enforced throughout the Southern States from the 1890s until the 1960s. The laws were designed to prevent African Americans from achieving an equal status with white people in American society.

Activity: Outline map of United States, Atlas – color Southern States in red

Activity: Ask students which image was the most powerful for them. Discuss the reasons why. They should include details such as time, place, reason, and expression in their answers. As a follow-up activity, ask students to write a short summary of their impression of an image which includes details of the image, dates, and reactions.

Activity: Jigsaw

Divide students into 5 groups and each group is assigned 2 sections each. Assign each group a different section (education, entertainment, freedom of speech, health care, housing, libraries, marriage, services, transportation, and work), and ask students to discuss and identify the overall theme/intention of the group of laws. They can write the observation/response in the margin of the paper. All students must agree on the theme/intention of the law. For example, Jim Crow laws regarding education were designed to prevent black and white people from attending school together. When the students are finished, the students can present their conclusions and ideas to the rest of the class.

Activity:Pass out “Listening and Taking Notes” handout. While students are listening to each interview, then should complete as many parts of the outline as possible. Allow students to listen to the interviews again, if necessary. Pass out transcript and the end, so they can check their answers.

2) Hand out copies of a concept map graphic organizer (see handout). For the concept in the center, write “What laws are fair and unfair in a democracy?”

Activity: Students should brainstorm alone or in pairs about unfair and fair laws for different categories (employment, voting, and education) and also define the concepts equal rights, segregation, and desegregation.

3) Read pages 111 – 114 in America’s Story: Book II

Activity: While reading, selectively underline laws and practices that supported segregation.
Complete the “Read and Remember” section of the chapter, page 116.


1) Read pages 111 – 114 in America’s Story: Book II

Activity: While reading, selectively underline laws and practices that supported segregation.
Complete the “Read and Remember” section of the chapter, page 116.

2) Read Washington Post article, “Reflecting on Lost Chances – Closed Schools Limited Black Virginian’s Lives”.

Activity: Before handing out the reading response worksheet, ask students what they think the article will be about, based on the title and prior knowledge gained from the course material. Write students ideas and answers on the board for the duration of the activity.
Hand out the reading response worksheet. Students should use the article to help them answer the questions. Take time for discussion after reading and completing the activity. To differentiate, you can assign one question to each student and they can share answers at the end of the class period or you can group students in teams of 2 or 3.

3) Ask students to write a prediction about what they think will happen in American society with regard to civil rights and segregation/desegregation issues. Students should write a thoughtful response using prior knowledge based on the class material, as well as from their own experiences they have gained outside the classroom setting.

Activity: Complete the Prediction Organizer.


1) Pass out copies of Montgomery City Code, Section 10, Separation of races – Required.

Activity: Elicit student reactions. Is this code fair? Why or why not? How do you feel when you read this? What are the implicit and explicit reasons for having this law? Who benefits from this law? How life different today?

2) Log on to Academy of Achievement: A Museum of Living History; Interview with Rosa Parks at
. The interview is divided into four parts. The topic of the first part is her childhood, the second part is about her work since the bus boycott, the third part is about the details of the day she sat in the front of the bus, and the fourth part is about her thoughts on current day issues and Dr. Martin Luther King. Also, portions of the interview can be watched on video, as well as an interview with Maya Angelou, and Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream Speech”.

Activity: Students will engage in a Reciprocal Teaching exercise (go to for more information). Divide the class into groups of four. Each group will get a different section of the interview with Rosa Parks. Each student in the group will employ one reading strategy: summarizer, questioner, clarifier, or predictor. After they read the text, each student will jot down notes about the information they read. Students should discuss and compile their notes and ideas together and then make a brief presentation to the rest of the class about the content of their section of the interview. At the end of the activity, it would be a good idea of the teacher collected their work and prepared a type written version of students’ notes to help clarify information the students may have missed in the presentation or for studying.

1) Hand out the prepared Story Mapping History Frame downloaded from The following components of the story map should be completed prior to handing it out:
Title of Event: Montgomery Bus Boycott

Activity: Students should complete the story map of the Montgomery Bus Boycott using the reading passages from America’s Story and The History of US by Joy Hakim, in addition to the other handouts students have been given throughout the unit.


1) Handout the flyer announcing the “March on Washington” and the copy of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. You can access photos and more information documenting the March at
. You can also access the audio version on the internet at

Activity: Ask students to reflect on and answer the following questions about Dr. King and his legacy. Students should be thoughtful when answering the questions. Discuss their responses.

  1. Do you think the Civil Rights Act of 1964 fulfilled the desires of the marchers?
  2. In what ways did the Civil Rights Act of 1964 fulfill Dr. King’s dream?
  3. In what ways was his dream unfulfilled?
  4. What do you think Dr. King would say if he visited your school today? Would his dream be a reality? Give specific reasons for your ideas. Use Dr. King’s speech, as well as factual observations from your school, to support your response.
    1. 2) Hand out the prepared Story Mapping History Frame downloaded from The following components of the story map should be completed prior to handing it out:
      Title of Event: March on Washington

      Activity: Students should complete the story map of the March on Washington using the reading passages from America’s Story and The History of US by Joy Hakim, in addition to the other handouts students have been given throughout the unit.

      DAY FIVE

      1) Hand out the synopsis of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

      Activity: Restate the phrasing of each Title, as needed in the synopsis of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and encourage students to write the rephrasing down on the synopsis. For example, Title III states, “Ensured equal entry into and behavior toward whites and minorities in all public owned and operated facilities.” This could be restated as, “All people, no matter what color, are allowed into all public buildings.” Spend time talking about examples. One way to approach instruction is the following:
      Before the Civil Rights Act, black people could not enter some restaurants because they were for “White People Only”. Do you remember that photograph from the beginning of this unit (show appropriate photos from the PowerPoint). What changed after the Civil Rights Act of 1964? (Responses). Now black people can go into all buildings. They can not be discriminated against.

      2) Pass out USA Today article: 40 years after Civil Rights Act, we haven't crossed finish line.

      Activity: Ask students what they think the article is about before reading. What does the title suggest about the information in the article? What does “we haven’t crossed the finish line” mean? How long has it been since the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
      Read the article with the students. Ask them to underline words or phrases they don’t understand or that are unfamiliar to them. After reading each paragraph, discuss the unfamiliar words and write their meaning on the board. In addition, discuss what the main idea of the passage is. Either circle/underline or rephrase the main idea next to the passage. Pay special attention to the statistical information in the article, found under the “Decades of Progress” and “Views on discrimination” headings. What do the statistics suggest about the progress made regarding black people’s status in the United States? What are some problems that still exist? Write responses next to the information on the article for easy reference for the culminating activity.

      3) Revisit the Prediction Organizer completed on Day Two.

      Activity: Ask students to revise ideas, if necessary, based on the new information they have learned. Students should not erase previously written predictions, but write new comments next to old ones, perhaps in a different color ink.


      There are many approaches you can take to tie the information together. The following are some suggestions that can demonstrate the synthesis of student knowledge throughout this unit:

      1. Students can write a piece using the RAFT Paper format. The student is asked to consider 4 main aspects to his or her writing: the Role of the writer, who the Audience is, what the Format is, and what the Topic is. The assignment can follow many different formats, as an example:
        • ROLE: an African American in Montgomery, Alabama in 1960
        • AUDIENCE: a friend or family member
        • FORMAT: a letter
        • TOPIC: to discuss what kind of discrimination you are experiencing
      2. Students can write prepare a timeline that denotes the major events before, during, and after the Civil Rights Movement. Using photos, excepts of speeches, statistics, essential information, excerpts of interviews from people in their lives that lived through the Civil Rights Movement, dates, etc, the student can creatively demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of an entire era. Students can then present their project.
      3. Prepare a report or collage of the major figures during the Civil Rights era, discussing their contributions, failures, and personal histories. A variety of people or institutions can be selected for this project: Rosa Parks, Dr. King, Dr. King’s wife, the KKK, President Kennedy or President Johnson, the protesters, the police, etc. Students may have to do more research to gain a broader understanding of the person, people, or institution they are presenting. The focus, however, should remain on how the person, people, or institution affected the events of the Movement.


      • Equal rights
      • Segregation
      • Desegregation
      • Jim Crow
      • Separate but equal
      • Sharecropper
      • Boycott
      • Discrimination
      • An act

      Materials and Resources


      Extended/Advanced Adjustments:

      Consider the problem with separate but equal.
      What are the differences between public and private schooling?
      How does Brown v. the Board of Education affect other non-whites/immigrants/minorities?

      Remedial/ESOL/Special Education Adjustments:

      Our lessons have been developed with the A3 or higher ESOL student in mind. While some material may be challenging for such students, we have included:

      1. audio/visual information (photos from PowerPoint presentation, photos and audio from the March on Washington, photos and audio from the Rosa Parks interview)
      2. graphic organizers to help students organize and classify information presented to them
      3. careful selection of text material in order to limit the amount of complicated or dense text not appropriate for ESOL or LD students
      4. taking notes as a structured activity either in groups or individually; this activity helps students keep track of information they have learned or considered, yet limits the ideas to short sentences or ideas

      Attachment(s) (html documents)

      Images of Jim Crow PowerPoint
      Listening and Taking Notes handout
      Jim Crow Laws
      Washington Post article, “Reflecting on Lost Chances – Closed Schools Limited Black Virginian’s Lives”
      Prediction Organizer
      Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
      USA Today article, “40 Years after the Civil Rights Act: We Haven’t Crossed the Finish Line”
      The Civil Rights Movement: Chronology of the Civil Rights Movement, 1954 – 1968
      Reading Response for Washington Post article
      Reading Response for Washington Post article with answers.

      Download/Print (Word .doc format)