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Grades 9-12 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, 9-12

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

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 icon 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.

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.

Challenging Segregation in Public Education
Students in grades 9-12 examine primary documents to analyze the struggle to end segregation in public education. Free registration is required for K-12 teachers and students.

The Little Rock Battle for School Integration
A group of four lessons for grades 9-12 that commemorate the integration of Little Rock Central High School.

Brown versus Board of Education: Rhetoric and realities
Students in grades 11-12 listen to three oral histories that shed light on political and personal reactions toward the 1954 Supreme Court ruling Brown versus Board of Education. Includes a teacher's guide as well as the oral history audio excerpts and transcripts. 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 icon PDF, 321 KB, 12 pgs.)
Covers Brown I (1954), Brown II (1955), and The Southern Declaration on Integration.

Teaching With Documents: Documents Related to Brown v. Board of Education
Documents, activities, document analysis worksheet, and timeline. Grades 9-12.

From Plessy v. Ferguson to Brown v. Board of Education: The Supreme Court Rules on School Desegregation
A history of school desegregation legislation for grades 11-12. Includes sample lesson plans.

Still Looking to the Future: Voluntary K-12 School Integration (PDF icon 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

Infographics

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.

Brown v. Board of Education, Part 1 (52:12) and Part 2 (1:02:26)
Four men who clerked for four Supreme Court Justices reminisce about the Brown v. Board of Education.

All Deliberate Speed
In this video interview (58:28), Charles J. Ogletree, Jr, Harvard Law School professor and author of All Deliberate Speed, discusses the ambivalence of the judicial system, the increasing legal challenges to affirmative action, and the issue of reparations. A transcript can be downloaded.

Eyes on the Prize - 02 - Fighting Back, 1957-1962 (54:50)
Follows the struggle for equality from the schoolroom to the courtroom.

last updated: March 18, 2014

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