Engaging Worksheets on the Civil Rights Movement

civil rights movement curriculum & lesson plans for history teachers
Engaging Civil Rights Movement Worksheets Perfect for Any Grade Level

The Civil Rights Movement is a complex and important topic that requires careful consideration and planning.

 

One effective way to engage students with this topic is through the use of well-crafted worksheets. In this article, we'll explore the key elements of effective Civil Rights Movement worksheets and provide you with tips and strategies on creating your own engaging and impactful lessons and worksheets, or using those created by a teacher-author!

 

The way I've broken this article out is by be highlighting the most important historical figures, organizations, events, and government institutions that played a key role during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s and how they can be easily incorporated into effective worksheets for your students.

 

 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I'll begin with the most significant figure of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King was a civil rights activist who played a key role in many of the major events of the movement. Some of these events included the Montgomery bus boycott, the Birmingham campaign, the March on Washington, and the Voting Rights Act. By using Civil Rights Movement worksheets that focus on King's life and work, students can gain a deeper understanding of this key player in American history.

 

First page of a Reading Comprehension Activity that's included as part of my 5th Grade Social Studies Curriculum!

 

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks was an African American civil rights activist who is best known for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus to a white passenger in 1955. This act of defiance sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which played a significant role in the Civil Rights Movement. Parks became an icon of the movement and worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the fight for racial equality.

 

Matching Worksheet from my 5th Grade Social Studies Curriculum!

 

Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball, breaking the color barrier in 1947. He faced intense discrimination and racism, but he persevered and became one of the most influential athletes of all time. Robinson used his platform to advocate for civil rights, and he remained an activist and an inspiration to many until his death in 1972.

 

U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court played a crucial role in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1954, the Court issued a landmark decision in the case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, which declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional. This decision paved the way for the integration of public schools and served as a catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement.

 

Fill-in-the-Blank Worksheet from my incredible and user-friendly 5th Grade Social Studies Curriculum!

 

Montgomery Bus Boycott

The Montgomery bus boycott was a pivotal event in the Civil Rights Movement. In 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus to a white passenger. Her arrest sparked a boycott of the city's buses by African Americans, led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The boycott lasted for more than a year and brought national attention to the issue of racial segregation. The Montgomery bus boycott can be used to teach students about the power of nonviolent protest and the importance of standing up for one's beliefs.

 

Slide from one of my presentations about the Civil Rights Movement - included as part of my easy-to-use and proven 5th Grade Social Studies Curriculum Bundle!

 

Freedom Riders

A group of civil rights activists who made a series of bus trips that were organized to challenge racial segregation in interstate transportation in the South in 1961. Despite facing violent opposition from white supremacists, including beatings, tear gas, and arrests, the Freedom Riders continued to push for social justice and helped bring national attention to the issue of civil rights. The Freedom Riders can be used to teach students about the risks and sacrifices made by those who fought for civil rights.

 

 

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Civil Rights Legislation

Throughout the 1960s, a series of civil rights laws were passed by Congress, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. These laws helped to dismantle Jim Crow laws and establish legal protections for African Americans. Civil rights legislation can be used to teach students about the role of the government in promoting social justice and protecting human rights.

 

Little Rock Nine

One example of this was the Little Rock Nine, a group of black students who faced intense opposition when they tried to attend a previously all-white high school in Little Rock, Arkansas. By using Civil Rights Movement worksheets that focus on these historical events, students can gain a deeper understanding of the complex social and political landscape that characterized the Civil Rights Movement.

 

John Lewis

John Lewis was a prominent civil rights leader who played a key role in the American Civil Rights Movement. He was one of the "Big Six" leaders who organized the March on Washington and was the youngest person to speak at the event. Lewis was also a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and played a significant role in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He served in the United States House of Representatives from 1987 until his death in 2020.

 

Ruby Bridges

Ruby Bridges was the first African American child to attend an all-white school in the South. In 1960, at the age of six, Ruby Bridges was one of six African American students to integrate the schools in New Orleans. She had to be escorted to school by federal marshals because of violent protests by white parents. Ruby Bridges' story is an important part of Civil Rights Movement history and can be used to teach students about the bravery and perseverance of those who fought for equal rights.

 

Cause and Effect worksheet from my 5th Grade Social Studies Curriculum Bundle!

 

 

By using Civil Rights Movement worksheets that focus on these individuals, students can gain a more nuanced understanding of the different ways in which people worked for equal rights during this time period.

 

One of the major challenges that the Civil Rights Movement faced was the Jim Crow Laws, which enforced racial segregation in many areas of American life. Civil Rights Movement worksheets can help students understand the impact that these laws had on black people and how they worked to challenge them.

 

In addition to using Civil Rights Movement worksheets, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND social studies teachers can also incorporate engaging, interactive, and immersive lesson plans into their teaching. Such resources help guide students and ensure that they are getting the most out of their education. Furthermore, incorporating various interesting and important Civil Rights Movement facts into the curriculum helps your students garner a deeper understanding of the time period and its impact on American history.

 

Role of Primary Sources

Another important tool for teaching about the Civil Rights Movement is primary sources. Using primary sources such as photographs, newspaper articles, and speeches can help students to gain a deeper understanding of the Civil Rights Movement. By analyzing primary sources, students can learn about the experiences and various perspectives of those who lived through it and fought for civil rights and provide them with a better appreciation for the historical context of the time period.

 

It is important to note to your students that the Civil Rights Movement is an ongoing struggle

 

While significant progress has been made, there is still much work to be done to ensure that all people are treated with dignity and respect. By teaching students about the Civil Rights Movement, teachers can help inspire the next generation of social justice activists and human rights advocates.

 

 

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Thanks so much for reading!

-Jillian (a.k.a. the "Lesson Plan Guru")  

 

 

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