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The Freedom Riders and the Popular Music of the Civil Rights Movement - EDSITEment!

Grades
8 to 12
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This fascinating lesson plan includes six teaching activities that focus on how civil rights activists used the power of song to share their message of equal justice under the law ...more
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This fascinating lesson plan includes six teaching activities that focus on how civil rights activists used the power of song to share their message of equal justice under the law for all. The lesson begins with guiding questions and stated learning objectives aligned to Social Studies and Common Core literacy standards. Then, students listen to several songs from the 1960s and analyze the lyrics to understand the civil rights messages during their study of the materials. This lesson includes links to all media and music referenced within the activities.

tag(s): 1960s (27), black history (123), civil rights (194), martin luther king (43), oral history (14)

In the Classroom

Integrate this lesson into your teaching about civil rights, Freedom Fighters, or the 1960s to engage students in learning about this period through music. Enhance learning by dividing students into groups to analyze different songs, then ask them to share their findings with the class by sharing a presentation created using one of the tools found at Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here. After viewing the presentations, encourage students to look for similarities within each message. Use Answer Garden, reviewed here, to post a question and ask students to post responses to create a word cloud. For example, ask each group to share important words or concepts from their song, then view the word cloud to understand overlapping content. As a final activity, extend learning by asking students to create interactive timelines that include important civil rights events, 1960s music, and highlights of civil rights leaders' activities. Use a timeline creation tool such as Time Graphics Timeline Maker, reviewed here, or the timeline feature found in Padlet, reviewed here. Using either option, ask students to include links to videos, recordings, and discussions of the civil rights events.
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