The Civil Rights Movement: The Montgomery
Bus Boycott and March on Washington
America has change dramatically because of the outcome of the Civil
Rights Movement. The struggles that took place not only effected laws, but also
influenced a variety of disciplines. In this week unit, English, Math, and
History have come together to exemplify the effects the Civil Rights Movement
had in all of these areas. Even though this collaboration has great potential to
be a greater unit, in the essence of time this group has decided to focus on the
Montgomery Bus Boycott and The March on Washington for one week. In math, the
students will learn the economical impact of the boycott. Students will also
learn how to discover the population of the March by using mass approximations
with minimal information. In history, students will be exposed to various
documents and will be asked to analyze and interpret the significance of each
event. In English, the students will be expected to actually relive the events
of the boycott and the march in the classroom each week. Accommodations have
been made in all of the lesson plans so that 'no child is left behind'.
Names and Majors of the Team Members
- Greg Baker: History Education
- Shani Hawkins: English Education
Starsha Johnson: Math Education
- Jennifer King: Math Education
- Toya Murray:
- Kimberly Redd: History Education
- Math: The Bus Boycott's economic impact on the American
economy; determining population in mass area approximation
- History: Interpreting
and analyzing various document crucial to the boycott and march
Re-living the Civil Rights Movement in the classroom
- Students will analyze graphs and charts of the demographic makeup of
demonstrators. This will contribute to the understanding that not all protesters
were adult black Americans.
- Students will analyze the financing of the bus companies of The Montgomery
- Students will compare and contrast the outcomes of the March on Washington
and the bus boycott.
- Students will know the significance of the civil rights
movement to present day America.
- Students will know the events leading up to the Montgomery bus boycott as
well as analyze why it was effective. (The Montgomery bus boycott took more than
a year before it had a positive outcome).
- Students will compare and contrast the outcomes of the March on Washington
and the bus boycott.
- Students will relive the Civil Rights era. They will prepare for the
upcoming events such as the march and the boycott.
- Students will re-enact the scenes from the boycott and the march.
- Students will reflect and communicate orally and on paper the role playing
that they did in class.
- "Joey" will be aloud to work in groups to accommodate his
willingness to work with others as well as help student stay on task.
- "Joey" Student will be given an outline of the lessons presented in
class to help his organization and focus in class.
- "Joey" will be given materials that will be read in class the night
before to accommodate his slow reading and comprehension.
- All students will be given questions before each reading to engage their
active reading and make their readings more meaningful and focused.
- The students will listen to the "I Have A Dream" speech on tape
while following along with the written word. (This will accommodate
"Joey's" slow reading and low level of comprehension.
The purpose of this project is to show students that value of the
Civil Rights Movement and why it is so monumental to American development. By
all the disciplines coming together, students will come to an understanding of
the impact that this era had on all Americans. The Civil Rights Movement was
about unity. There is no better way to exemplify to our students what true unity
is then by combining our disciplines and proving that there is unity in all
subject areas. The intent of this lesson is to have students not only appreciate
the struggles and triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement, but also an
appreciation of all subject matters and to answer the repetitive question,
"Why do we have to learn this?" or "What does this have to do
Each subgroup (ex: English, History, and Math)
is responsible for including this in their unit description.
Day one and two:
- Objective: Lesson covering ratios in units of measurements.
Description: Use miles-per-gallon, and dollars-per-gallon. Compare the two and
compute those of cars of 1960s and those of today. Compute those of running a
bus, and how much it would require to make a profit. Then research the number of
people who rode the bus in 1955 and how many of them participated in the
Montgomery bus boycott. Since people had utilized other ways of transportation
such as walking, using cabs, and getting rides in private cars and some even
rode mules to work, students will compute how much money the bus company lost
during the boycott.
- Objective: Lesson covering population in mass area approximations
with minimal information.
- Description: Use a square with a given number of
pennies on it, then approximate the number of pennies that would fit on 25 of
those squares. Lesson will use l * w to compute area, and units are in terms of
the items, for example: 3 pennies by 4 pennies would give an area of 12 pennies.
That is a population. Then apply it to the march on Washington. Have students
research the number of people within a given space, and have them approximate
how many people overall were there. Then have them research more to find out how
close they actually were.
Day four and five:
- Objective: Have students study the relationship of units
- Description: Have students create a time line that has appropriate
measurements for lengths of time for the Civil Rights Movement. The mathematical
concepts that would also be addressed would be that of portioning (where there
is one time-line that covers perhaps from slavery to present day, with a
sub-time-line that covers only from 1950-1965, during the bulk of the Civil
Illinois State Standards met by the proposed lesson:
- 1) Goal 6.D.1:
"Compare the numbers of objects in groups."
- 2) Goal 7.B.5:
"Estimate volume and capacity of shapes, regions, solids and explain the
reasoning supporting the estimate."
- 3) Goal 8.B.2: "Analyze a
geometric pattern and express the result numerically."
English Students will be doing some hands on learning. They will be asked to
re-enact what they research. The English class will turn into a micro-theater
production. In the interest of time, facilitators should have a list of Internet
sites that the students can choose from. Other resources that the facilitator
should have available are poster boards, markers, and a few dress up clothes
from the 60's. The key to this lesson is to let the students discover this era
mostly by themselves. It will be their responsibility to make sure that the
re-enactment events replicate the actual events (this is a means to enforce some
kind of evaluation).
Day 1: Research day
- Students will go to different Internet sites and find
out about The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington. Students
should be looking for what kinds of posters were made, how the people dressed,
and what were the main issues that were being protested.
Day 2: Preparation for re-enactment
- Students will use class time to make
posters for the March and boycott. Students will also come up with a plan on how
to transform the classroom into scenes from the bus boycott and the march.
Students may need to take this further as a homework assignment.
Day 3: The role playing begins
- Students will re-enact the scene where Rosa
Parks refuses to get off the bus. Students will have assigned roles to play.
They will also be asked to hold a conference meeting between the bus companies
and the African American community.
Day 4: Role playing continues
- All of the desks will be out of the way and
students will not be able to sit down. They are to hold up their posters, march
around the room, sing songs, and wait for the "I Have a Dream" speech
by guest speaker, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. A student will be assigned
to read to speech in its entirety, while every marcher listens.
Day 5: Assessment and Evaluation
- Students will use half of the time
discussing what has happened in the classroom this past week. The second half of
the class period will be dedicated to students writing a paper justifying the
actions that they took this week when they participated in the boycott and the
march (Please allow the discussion to take precedence over the in class writing
assignment, students can always be asked to do the write up as a homework
Students will engage in a variety of learning activities that will allow
students to not only learn what happened during the Modern Civil Rights
Movement, but to question the motives of all players involved (i.e. the
activists, state governments, businesses, key historical figures, etc.).
Furthermore, students will have several opportunities to express their thoughts
about this important era in ?our? ? every citizen's ? history by examining these
events from: reading primary sources from the era, writing poems about the
movement, organizing a mock demonstration, and examining the relationship
between the protestors. Finally, the students will be asked and expected to list
the various strengths and weaknesses of the movement and the strengths
influenced the United States government to adopt the Civil Rights Acts of 1964
Day 1 and part of Day 2:
- Students will come into the classroom and find two
signs (one sign will read 'White' and the other will read 'Colored'. The students
will be randomly assigned to a certain group, where they as a group ? will
generate a list of social norms Americans of European and African descent held.
Thereafter, the students will share these list in class and as a class highlight
the Jim Crow laws that faced African-Americans since Reconstruction.
- Students will finish the discussion about the Jim Crow laws and begin
discussing the 'Birth' of the Modern Civil Rights Movement ? the Montgomery Bus
Boycott. The class will begin this section by watching a short excerpt from the
Eyes On the Prize series, which will highlight the major players from the
boycott & discuss its origins. Towards the end of this lesson students will
then be asked to interview an older American who remembers the Montgomery Bus
The students will be required to ask their interviewees:
- 1) how did the media
react to the demonstration that went on over a year? and
- 2) which person or
group of people were focused on in the news stories from 1955-56?
- In the beginning of class students would be given a list of 'Quick Facts' about the bus boycott (i.e. the
NAACP's involvement, Rosa Parks, the
Southern Christian Leadership Council's role, etc.). After students receive this
packet/'Quick Facts' sheet, they will then be asked to brainstorm as a class an
issue, within the school, they would like to address.
- The aim of this exercise is to have students realize the extensive amount of
work demonstrators had to do for the boycott to be effective.
- Day 3's activity would be continued
- Students would attempt to present their strategy or actually hold a
demonstration for the issue they decided to address. Then, they will discuss
their grievance in contrast to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s IHave Dream
speech; time ? if permitted ? will be spent by the history teacher to discuss
the speech ? if not, the teachers will simply omit this information from the
Over the weekend
- Students will come into class the following week with information on the
Civil Rights Acts of 1964 (no discrimination in public facilities &
accommodations) and 1965 (Voting Rights; no discrimination towards voters). The
following week would lead students into a discussion about the significance of
the Modern Civil Rights Movement, and how this movement has brought about
Affirmative Action, Title IX, and other civil rights public policies that have
attempted to end discrimination in the U.S.