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Grades 6-8 Brown vs. Board of Education and School Desegregation Teaching Resources

Lesson Plans, Activities, Background Information and Other Curriculum Resources

Found In: language arts, social studies, 6-8

Commemorate the 60th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown vs. Board of Education on May 17th, 2014. Use these curriculum resources to supplement your American History, Social Studies and English Language Arts teaching plans.

Lesson Plans

Brown v. Board of Education Resources for K-6
Students analyze photographs from the Dorothy E. Davis case, which was one of the cases that made up Brown v. Board of Education brought to the Supreme Court. The lesson includes related pages for grades 2-3 and 4-6. Lists Standards.

The Promise of Brown
This is a group of three lesson plans for grade 3-12 students to reflect on segregation, organize ideas with Venn diagrams, and write an essay comparing Brown v Board of Education (1954) and Parents Involved In Community Schools V. Seattle School District No. 1 (2007).

Brown v. Board of Education: Separate and Unequal Education Lesson
Students in grades 4-12 identify the purpose and goals of education and explain why African Americans challenged segregated schools. Lists National Standards.

Brown v. Board of Education: A Landmark in American Justice Lesson
Students in grades 4-12 examine integrationist and segregationist arguments with role-play and explore the impact of the Supreme Court's decision by analyzing primary source photographs. Lists National Standards.

Brown v. Board of Education: Achieving Equality Lesson
Students in grades 4-12 analyze political cartoons and letters to the editor to identify and analyze reactions to the Brown v. Board Supreme Court decision. Lists National Standards.

The Power of One Decision: Brown v. Board of Education ( PDF, 1.5 MB, 91 pgs.)
Students in grades 5-12 describe the impact of Brown v. Board of Education. Includes National Standards. (Use with the video: A Conversation on the Constitution: Brown v. Board of Education)

Brown v. Board of Education: Achieving Equality
Students in grades 6-12 learn about struggles to bring equal opportunities to all Americans inspired by the Brown v. Board decision. Lists National Standards.

A Record Of School Desegregation: Conduct Your Own Oral History Project
Students in grade 8 listen to oral histories of North Carolinians who lived through desegregation and then record and reflect on the experiences of relatives or community members. Lists North Carolina Standards.

School Desegregation Pioneers
Students in grades 8-10 listen to oral histories of desegregation pioneers from Alabama and North Carolina and analyze images of school desegregation. Lists North Carolina Standards.

Additional Lessons

Curriculum Materials: Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site
Lesson plans and units for PreK-12.

Teaching Tolerance: Classroom Resources
A source of printer-friendly K-12 lesson plans about diversity, equal opportunity and respect for differences.

For Educators: Beyond Brown
Lesson plans, interactives, quizzes, and charts for grades 6-12.

Background Resources

Separate Is Not Equal
A Smithsonian special exhibition. Includes history, annotated bibliography, timeline, project essay, teacher’s guide with six grade 4-12 units, and two electronic field trips (middle and high school).

Brown v. Board of Education: Case Brief Summary
Provides a summary and links to related case summaries.

Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
Information and compete text of the Supreme Court decision. A high resolution PDF can be downloaded.

History of Brown v. Board of Education
This resource puts the 1954 Supreme Court decision in context and includes an activity package with a re-enactment.

Brown v. Board at Fifty: “With an Even Hand”
This exhibit examines court cases that laid the groundwork for the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, explores the Court’s argument and the public response, and concludes with an overview of the decision's aftermath.

Landmark: Brown v. Board of Education
Brown v Board of Education, desegregation, and the continuing struggle for civil rights.

Public School Desegregation ( PDF, 321 KB, 12 pgs.)
Covers Brown I (1954), Brown II (1955), and The Southern Declaration on Integration.

Still Looking to the Future: Voluntary K-12 School Integration ( PDF, 3 MB, 100 pgs.)
Includes a brief history of court-ordered desegregation and examines the benefits of racially and ethnically diverse schools and the harms of racially isolated schools.

Timelines

Brown v. Board of Education Timeline ( PDF, 522 KB, 2 pgs.)

Timeline of School Integration
Covers 1849-2007. Grades 3-12.

Brown v. Board of Education Timeline
An overview of events related to the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court Case, from 1849 to 2003. Available as a PDF. Grades 4-12.

Infographics

Infographics of the Day: How Segregated Is Your City?

A Portrait of Segregation in New York City’s Schools

New Infographic Shows Who School Closings Affect

The Real Cost of Segregation—in 1 Big Chart

New Infographic: The Cycle of School Closures

The Color of School Closures

Audio & Video

Brown v Board of Education in PBS' The Supreme Court
Brief video (4:53) describes the circumstances surrounding the Supreme Court decision.

Brown v Board of Ed
An audio interview (8:00) with Dale Cushinberry describing school life before and after Brown v Board of Education.

A Conversation on the Constitution: Brown v. Board of Education
In this video (26:39), Supreme Court Justices Stephen G. Breyer, Sandra Day O’Connor and Anthony M. Kennedy discuss the case that ended racial segregation in schools.

Nine from Little Rock (20:00)
An Academy Award-winning short documentary film about the Little Rock Nine, the first nine African-American students to attend an all-white Arkansas high school in 1957.

History Channel
Features an article, videos, and speeches about Brown v Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement.

Ruby Bridges Full Movie (1:30:43)
The story of the first African-American child to attend an all-white public elementary school in the American South.

last updated: March 18, 2014

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