Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Civil Rights for All

Civil Rights Movement

Susan McHale | Published: June 24th, 2022 by K20 Center

  • Grade Level Grade Level 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th
  • Subject Subject Social Studies
  • Course Course U.S. History
  • Time Frame Time Frame 4 class period(s)
  • Duration More 180 minutes


This lesson looks at the effects and impact of the Civil Rights movement on other social issues such as the Women's Liberation Movement, the United Farmer Workers coalition, and the American Indian Movement.

Essential Question(s)

What should be done when something seems unfair?  Can a social movement impact our lives?  Does it change things? Can we learn lessons from the past to help us with today's social problems?



Students will examine photos and try to identify them as current social issues. Students will be placed into groups and determine 3 important social issues.


Students will watch video clips of previous protests and movements from NOW, AIM, and the United Farm Workers. As they view the video clips, they will take notes using a video chart.


Student groups will research one movement randomly chosen for them and present their in-depth knowledge in a power point or chart.


After their research, students will apply their gained knowledge to the current social issue(s) they discussed in the Engage activity with an exit ticket.


The group presentation/product will serve as the assessment. Other products--the video chart, the exit ticket--can also be assessed.


  • Teacher Access to Youtube videos

  • Student internet access and devices for research

  • Student Video Chart for note-taking

  • Student Project Rubric

  • Teacher power point slides


Show power point slide 2 from the teacher slides. Ask students in today's world, what should be done when a social problem seems unfair? Allow students to think for a few minutes and ask for responses. Next, show power point slide 3 of various social issues (that are current at the time of this published lesson). Ask students to identify what they know about each picture

  1. Black Lives Matter protests- BLM members protest racial profiling and violence targeting Black Americans.

  2. Illegal immigration sign- This is a sign in Arizona near the US/Mexico border which alerts US citizens to illegal immigrants entering country.

  3. LGBT rights - social issues revolve around equal rights including the right to marry,

  4. Putin and Russian interests- social issues include Russia's aggression and violence in Syria, Russian hacking of 2016 election.

  5. Muslim Americans- social issues are that Muslim Americans are being regarded as all members of ISIS, issues of Sharia law, and women wearing traditional dress.

Assign students to groups of three. Ask students to discuss what are the MOST important social issues facing the US today? Tell students they are to choose 3 issues that they feel are most important. They can choose from the pictures on the slides AND/OR determine other social issues that are not represented.

Ask students to choose a representative from their group and share their group list. As students share their three most important issues, the teacher creates a master list on the board. Identify issues that are repeated by more than one group with an additional check mark or tally mark beside that issue.

Once the master list is compiled, the teacher should ask for a few volunteers to discuss with the class what they believe to be the most important social issue listed and their own reasoning.


The teacher is to keep the master list and tell the students that they will return to these social issues later in the lesson. The teacher poses the question: "Can we learn lessons from the past to help us with today's social problems? Show power point slide 4 and ask students to share responses to the question on the slide, What did the Civil Rights movement teach us about solving social problems?

The teacher passes out the video chart to each student. The teacher goes over questions on the chart and presents the questions students are to look for by watching several video clips. Show power point slide 5. The teacher shows video clips of different social movements that fought injustice or prejudice in the past -- Women's Liberation Movement, American Indian Movement, and the United Farm Workers movement.

As the video clips are presented, students are to answer the guiding questions on the chart to the best of their ability.

After the video clips are shown, students may not have in-depth answers to all of the video chart questions so they will need to investigate further through the research project.


Allow students to return to their earlier groups of three. Have them first share answers from the video chart activity so that they have compiled their knowledge from the videos. The video chart responses can be the basis of their product. Assign groups ONE of the movements-- the United Farm Workers, American Indian Movement, and the National Organization of Women's movement. Tell groups that they will research this movement more in-depth.

Pass out the Student Research rubric. Read aloud the expectations on the rubric, the points for each section, and ask students to create a power point or a poster based on their assigned rubric. You may wish to choose which product all the groups complete--either all the groups create a power point or all groups create a poster.

This rubric also provides websites for the students to research.

Student groups will present their completed power point or chart to the class. Each group member should be responsible for presenting part of their product.


Revisit the list of social issues from the Engage activity. Show power point slide 6. Students individually should reflect upon what they learned from researching the social movement and suggest at least one way a current social issue specifically could be improved in society from what they learned about past movements. Students write their ideas in the form of an Exit Ticket or simple paragraph.


The power point or poster/chart will serve as the assessment. The video chart notes can also be assessed. The exit ticket in the Extend section can be assessed for understanding.