Lesson Plan for Black History Month

Learning Objective:

At the end of the program students should be able to explain the three key events of the African-American Civil Rights Movement discussed in class, along with important individuals associated with them. Students should also be able to identify the significance of these people and events in regards to the movement as a whole.

Grade Level:

6th – 8th grade, Special Education Students


Teacher to Class: “One of the greatest aspects of living in the United States is our freedom. In America we are free to go wherever we want to go, eat wherever we want, vote for whoever we want and socialize with whomever we choose, along with many other freedoms that we take for granted each day. America has become the great country it is today because of the contributions of so many different people from so many different backgrounds. Women, men, blacks, whites, young, old, and disabled have all made significant contributions to our society that shape the way we live today.”

“What all that being said, what if I told you that only 60 years ago African-Americans in the United States were not given the same rights that you and I have today? As a matter of fact, what if I told you that they were not allowed to attend the same schools as whites, were not allowed to eat in the same restaurants, swim in the same pools, sit next to whites on the bus, or marry outside of their race? “During this era, known as segregation, if black people violated any of these laws, they would face criminal punishment, and often times become subject to violence by racist.”

Racism is the idea that differences in race determine individual achievement. This idea of racism toward blacks was popular in the United States, particularly in the South, after the Civil War, lasting all the way through the 1950’s. Prior to the American Civil War, blacks were transported, against their will, to the United States from Africa to be used as slaves on American plantations. One of...