Teaching About the 1963 March on Washington, Grades 6-8
Lessons, Activities, and Resources Explore the Events Leading up to the August 28 Event, and Help Place It in Historical Context
August 28, 2014 is the 51st anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom. Examine the March with these lessons, background resources, audios, and videos Grades 9-12.
Bayard Rustin ( PDF, 724 KB, 12 pgs.)
Students in grades 6-8 explain Rustin’s philosophy of non-violent direct action, and provide a reasoned opinion on whether or not they would have practiced it in the cause of civil rights.
March on Washington Economics ( PDF, 358 KB, 6 pgs.)
Students in grades 6-8 use data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on unemployment rates in the United States to generalize about African-American unemployment from the end of World War II to the 1963 March.
The 1963 March on Washington: A Montage of the Civil Rights Movement ( PDF, 138 KB, 4 pgs.)
Students in grades 7-8 learn about the leaders of and organizations that participated in the 1963 March on Washington and understand that there was diversity within the civil rights movement.
50th Anniversary of the March on Washington
This resource has lesson plans for middle school and high school and other resources and documents related to the March on Washington.
Proposed March on Washington (1941)
During WWII, A. Philip Randolph, head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, called for a massive demonstration of blacks to demand jobs in the defense industry. This proposed demonstration was a blueprint for the 1963 March on Washington.
The Call to Negro America to March on Washington (1941), A. Philip Randolph
The text of Randolph’s call for support.
An Oral History of the March on Washington
Text, photographs, videos, and interviews with the leaders who were there.
Never-Before-Seen Photographs of the March on Washington
Stanley Tretick’s photographs have never been published before.
Eyes on the Prize: March on Washington
This section of the PBS series covers the March and includes text, music, video, and photographs.
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963
Articles on the March by Freedom Movement Veterans.
The March on Washington, August 1963: Power to the People
Life magazine’s coverage of the March in text and photos.
The March on Washington
The March from planning to aftermath, including JFK’s stance and public opinion.
JFK, A. Philip Randolph and the March on Washington
This reading has a lesson plan for grades 9-12 attached.
Behind the March on Washington
This 40th anniversary (2003) program examines the struggles to stage the event. It links to many related resources.
- Document for August 28th: Official Program for the March on Washington
- March on Washington Fast Facts
- John Lewis, "Speech At The March On Washington" (28 August, 1963) ( PDF, 195 KB, 19 pgs.)
Biographical and historical background and the text of Lewis’s speech.
- Walter Reuther’s Remarks at the March on Washington
Excerpts from Reuther’s remarks
- James Farmer’s Remarks about the March on Washington
Excerpts from Farmer’s remarks
Audio & Video
March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
Audio of five speeches given by A. Philip Randolph, John Lewis, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, Jr., and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The March on Washington (1963)
Archival Video (20:26)
John Lewis Marches On (56:54)
Bill Moyers and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) discuss the March.
March on Washington Playlist (YouTube)
last updated: January 7, 2014