Lesson plans and classroom resources aligned with the 8th grade curriculum (1st & 2nd Semester)
Last Updated: May 16, 2011
- Frontline: A Class Divided
A Class Divided is an encore presentation of the classic documentary on third-grade teacher Jane Elliott's "blue eyes/brown eyes" exercise, originally conducted in the days following the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. This guide is designed to help you use the film to engage students in reflection and dialogue about the historical role of racism in the United States, as well as the role of prejudice and stereotyping in students' lives today.
- Historical Thinking Matters: Rosa Parks
Welcome to Historical Thinking Matters, a website focused on key topics in U.S. history, that is designed to teach students how to critically read primary sources and how to critique and construct historical narratives.
- Martin Luther King, Jr Printables
- National Archives: Postwar United States (1945 to early 1970s)
- National Geographic Kids: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Remembered (Video)
- Scholastic: Breaking Barriers with Melba Pattillo
Introduce students to individuals who made the civil rights movement a success and help them to understand that single events had a significant and stirring impact on the course of history. Through news stories, interviews, and interactive features, students will meet Melba Pattillo. The lesson ideas provide suggestions for using the online activity as a way to have students think critically about the issues and circumstances surrounding Melba Pattillo's attempt to attend an all-white school.
- Scholastic: Using African American Literature to Explore Courage
Students will read a biography about Matthew Henson, co-discoverer of the North Pole and an informative article titled “Separate But Never Equal,” an article about the injustice of segregation. Students brainstorm some types of problems and obstacles that young people face daily. They then create an essay, poem, song/rap, or poster/collage describing those challenges and resolutions for those problems. Students should present and their information with the class.
- Smithsonian Source: Civil Rights
This section is intended to supplement the curricula, textbooks, and materials you currently use for lessons on the civil rights struggle. The teacher-developed resources in the section will enhance the classroom experience for both you and your students.
Explore the variety of teaching strategies and guidelines, lesson plans and document-based questions (DBQs), and information about museum objects and other primary sources.
- Smithsonian Source: Transportation
This section is intended to supplement the curricula, textbooks, and materials you currently use for lessons that demonstrate the importance of travel and transportation in American life. The teacher-developed resources will enhance the classroom experience for both you and your students. You might start by viewing the short video, in which curators at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum discuss the achievements and legacy of Amelia Earhart.
- Thoreau, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr.
This lesson can enhance a discussion of the civil rights movement in the United States, and can be used as a start of a student research-based project on other instances of civil disobedience and non-violent protest.