Though the Civil Rights era is nearly a half century in the past, it is a relevant topic for Black History Month. A number of online resources make it easy to incorporate language arts and history into a celebration of African American contribution to the Civil Rights movement.
Reader's theater, like Civil Rights in America, brings a here and now feel to history while giving students an authentic reason to read and reread. Memorizing dates and names fails to engage higher level thinking skills but these seven scripts of actual civil rights cases will.
The historically accurate scripts in this 34 page packet can be used individually or together to make history come alive while honing reading fluency and comprehension. Students can feel the tension and become emotionally and intellectually involved in these events as historical figures become real people with real problems.
Included are Brown vs. The Board of Education, Plessy vs. Ferguson, The Dredd Scott Case, The Kentucky Trolley Car Case, Elkison vs. the Negro Sailors Act, and the trials of Margaret Douglas and Captain Jonathan Walker. Flesch-Kincaid reading level averages 6.6.
Check out these other resources:
- Uncle Jed’s Barbershop is inspiring historical fiction. A thematic unit plan from TeachersPayTeachers makes leading a discussion on facing economic and social inequality with dignity, honor and perseverance easy. Also includes writing prompts.
- Civil Rights challenge board
- Discover how early leaders like W.E. B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington helped change public opinion in the wake of the Civil War with this nine script reader’s theater about Post Civil War America.