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NCSS Theme #4 Lesson Plan: Individual Development and Identity

Lesson Title: Identity and the Civil Rights Movement

Lesson Author: Robert Atkinson, Ansis Nudiens

Key Curriculum Words: Civil Rights, Identity, Equality

Grade Level: 8
Grade Virginia/US History

Time Allotted: 90 minutes

The purpose of this lesson is to teach students how the Civil rights movement impacted
America as a whole and helped shape the role and identity of African Americans
throughout the country. It is intended to teach students the SOL standards in VUS.14.b
and blend this information with NCSS theme 4.
This lesson will be aimed to address the SOL requirement for VUS.14.b. It was designed
for an eighth grade Virginia/US history class and is intended to help students understand
how the Civil Rights movement helped African Americans not only gain equality in
America, but also shape their identities as well.

Key Concepts:
Personal Identity
African American Community
Civil Rights

SOL Objective (Essential Knowledge and Skills)
. VUS.14 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the Civil Rights movement of the
1950s and 1960s by
. b) Describing the importance of the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People (NAACP), the 1963 March on Washington, the Civil Rights Act
of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

NCSS Theme
The lesson will be focused on NCSS Standard number 4, which is Individual
Development and Identity. This theme will be used to help students understand the
African American sense of identity within the greater American landscape during the
1950s and 1960s.

NCSS Indicators
Assist learners in articulating personal connections to time, place, and
social/cultural systems
Assist learners to describe the ways family, religion, gender, ethnicity, nationality,
socioeconomic status, and other group and cultural influences contribute to the
development of a sense of self;
Guide learners as they examine the interactions of ethnic, national, or cultural
influences in specific situations or events;
Enable learners to analyze the role of perceptions, attitudes, values, and beliefs in
the development of personal identity
Assist learners as they work independently and cooperatively within groups and
institutions to accomplish goals;

Guiding Questions
How did the African American community try to gain civil rights?
What were some of the landmark events and individuals in their quest for equality?
How did African Americans identify themselves over the course of the movement?

The Days Big Question
How did the African American civil rights movement help shape their identity as a group,
and as individuals?

Lesson Objectives:
1. Students will be able to evaluate how the NAACP, the Voting Rights Act, and the
March on Washington impacted the civil rights movement
2. Students will be able to analyze how the civil rights movement impacted the identities
of African Americans, both as individuals, and as they saw themselves within American
society as a whole.
3. 3. Students will be able to analyze the ways in which their own personal identity is
affected by the context in which they live.

Lesson Materials
Internet Access
Pencil or Pen
Just Do It! (15minutes)
Students will take time to do a 3,2,1 exercise. Their answers will stem from how they feel
about themselves and their own personal opinions. They will answer the following
questions on a sheet of paper that they will provide themselves. The questions will also
be written on the white board, so they can see them.
Write down 3 ways in which you identify yourself
Write down 2 things that have shaped this perception of yourself
Summarize yourself and how you identify yourself in 1 sentence.
After they have completed this, I will lead a class discussion, where we will talk about
the 3,2,1 exercise. We will discuss how the students identify themselves and why they
identify themselves that way.

Activity (60 minutes)

Civil Rights Discovery Group Activity: (60 minutes): Students will be split up into
three groups initially and asked to go to the computer lab. Each of the three groups will
be given a topic to research. One group will research the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one
group will research the March on Washington, and the final group will research the
NAACP. The groups will go to their assigned websites (designated below) and research
their topic individually. They will then meet in their groups to discuss their findings.
After they have discussed their research, they will prepare a skit, where they demonstrate
their research topic. Preceding the skits however, the groups will give brief oral
presentations regarding their findings to the other two groups.
1. I will explain the assignment and break the students into three groups. Each
group member will individually research either The March on Washington, the
NAACP, or the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as designated by me, the teacher. We
will all then walk down to the computer lab. (5 minutes)

2. Students will go to the computer lab and do individual research. They will use the
following sites. (20 minutes)
NAACP Group: http://www.naacp.org/pages/naacp-history
March On Washington Group: http://50thanniversarymarchonwashington.com
Voting Rights Act Group: http://www.civilrights.org/voting-rights/vra/

3. Once they have done individual research, the groups will convene to discuss their
findings. (5 minutes)

4. The Groups will then collectively give brief presentation of their findings to the
other group two groups. (5 minutes).

5. Each group will then prepare a brief 5-minute skit for the other two groups to
observe, based on what they researched. This is done to put them in the shoes of
African Americans at the time of the Civil Rights movement. I will give the
students free reign on their skits in that they can present their findings in any way
they want to, as long as the information is accurate and clearly demonstrated. I
will also make it clear that their skits must be school appropriate, meaning no
obscene language, gestures, or themes. (25 minutes)
Total: 60 minutes

Closure (15 minutes)
On a half sheet of paper that they provide themselves, the students will fill out an exit
slip, where they will answer the days big question How did the African American civil
rights movement help shape their identity as a group, and as individuals? They will also
answer the following questions:

Using what you have learned, what does it mean to be American?
Has the way in which you view yourself changed after your research into the Civil
Rights Movement?
These questions will be written on the white board, so everyone can see them, as they are
responding. (10 minutes)

I will then direct a brief discussion among the class, where they converse with each other
about their answers to the closer. (5 minutes)

The students will then hand me their exit slips as they leave the classroom.

This will be a formative assessment and is intended to gauge what students have learned
from todays lesson on the Civil Rights movement and its impact on individual discovery
and identity. It is intended to give the students insight on how people identify
themselves. The people they studied in this activity identified themselves as black and as
part of the black community, but ultimately they fought because they identified
themselves as American above anything else, and wanted the same rights as white
Americans. The lesson is intended to assess knowledge pertaining to SOL standard
VUS.14.b and is designed to answer the days big question, which is also based on this

Diverse Learner Accommodations
Students will start by learning the basic information on their own and it will build
toward more complex thinking and understanding. This will help slow learners
We will be discussing everything the individual students do as a group, so
everybody is on the same page
Both audial and visual learners will be helped, because there are charts that help
put things into context for visual learners, and discussion to help visual learners
IEPs that require students to get extra time on assignments will not be necessary,
as these assignments are not for grades, and it is expected that some students will
not finish. The discussion at the end of each section will allow for these students
to learn the required information, regardless of whether or not they have finished.