Middle School Lesson Plans

These lesson plans have been developed specifically for the middle grades.

Lesson Plans by SC Educators
(recently added are listed first)


Youth Voice in the Modern Civil Rights Era

This lesson focuses on the role of young people in Georgia, including John Lewis, organizations like SNCC, and events like the Albany Movement, but goes beyond the standards to introduce alumni of our school like Lonnie King, who was instrumental in forming SNCC, and to provide context for and challenge students to examine how the people and events of the past can shape their lives in the present.


Political Cartoons vs./ Photographs During Reconstruction in South Carolina

The teachers will use a “zoom in” questioning technique to scaffold student’s analysis of a political cartoon and a photo collage from the same time period of reconstruction and then compare the two  images.  Students will then be asked to analyze any bias that may be present  in the images.


Changemakers: Methods and Barriers to Activism

Students will utilize primary and secondary sources to research three instrumental leaders in the Women’s Suffrage and Civil Rights movements and investigate the effects of race and methodology on their success.


Traveling During Jim Crow

In the era of Jim Crow, Black Americans faced discriminatory policies, segregation in their communities, and political violence at the hands of white supremacists. What we consider “normal” activities today, like traveling, going to a restaurant, visiting hotels, were not easily accessible and many were not inviting to Black Americans during this period. In this lesson, students will utilize a variety of sources to learn about the obstacles that Black Americans faced when traveling during the era of Jim Crow, as well as the resources they created to overcome the.


Understanding the African American Experience in the Post-Civil War South

After lessons on the Civil War, students will be introduced to the experiences of African Americans following the demise of the Confederacy and rise of the Reconstruction Era. Using a variety of primary sources, students will engage in a facilitated inquiry into what life was like for African Americans in the post-Civil War South.


Jim Crow and the Movement Behind the Scenes

The South is marred by its past as it relates to racial discrimination, and no more is true than during the time of Jim Crow. Jim Crow reign began with Black Codes in the 1860s and would evolve to be called Jim Crow Laws until the 1960s. While this time period is dominated by the story line that there was no fighting these laws, this could not be further from the truth. This lesson plans examines the movement and organizing that was not always depicted in mass media. 


Civil Rights Youth Councils

This lesson plan examines the key role Youth Councils played in the civil rights movement. From children to college students; these individuals helped pave the way for nonviolent demonstrations and eventually equal rights. These young people participated in marches, protests, sit-ins, and more, in order to get the same rights as anyone else. The youth fought for their right to a quality education; their right to vote; and their right to sit, eat, drink, walk, and ride in the same places as white people. 


Onset of the Civil Rights Movement

Students will analyze primary sources from the Library of Congress to determine the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement. Using 21st Century skills, students will use technology to examine primary sources, provide perspective, provide effective feedback, and use technology as a tool to inform and communicate with peers


Larry Doby, Jackie Robinson, Baseball, and Civil Rights

After completing the instructional activity on this website, students will be able to determine the difference between primary and secondary sources as well as explain the importance of desegregation in baseball.


Youth in the Civil Rights Movement

This website looks at the African American Civil Rights Movement, including initial strategies, landmark court cases and legislation, the roles of key civil rights advocates and the media, and the influence of the Civil Rights Movement on other groups seeking equality.


Silent Resistance – The Silent Fight for Civil Rights While Enslaved

This website looks at one of the most common and important acts of resisting the institution of slavery: maintaining cultural identify.  By keeping the cultural traditions of their homeland alive, they silently resisted the psychological breakdown during the process of enslavement and continued their fight for their civil rights while creating a new and unique culture.


Youth in the Civil Rights Movement

As part of a Civil Rights unit, students will participate in a novel study of “The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963,” learning about the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.

Jackie Robinson, Baseball & Civil Rights

This lesson will introduce the concept of Civil Rights in baseball and teach students to identify the differences between primary and secondary sources. 

Understanding the Civil Rights Movement with Primary Sources

Students will analyze primary sources of the Jim Crow Era and the Civil Rights Movement, make historical and current event connections, and write a letter and/or give a speech to the leadership of the NAACP in the 1950’s and 60’s with ideas for how to implement today’s technology to help their cause with their analysis of the situation and their ideas for improvement.


Journey Through the Civil Rights Movement

This lesson should fall in a unit that highlights the importance of South Carolina within the modern Civil Rights Movement. This should be an introductory lesson for the unit that looks at the many different issues the country has faced, before jumping into civil rights specifically. This should be followed by and in-depth look into Modjeska Simpkins and Septima Poinsette Clark, as well as the involvement of the NAACP in South Carolina with Briggs v. Elliot. This lesson serves to introduce students to the issues people are fighting to fix before spending more time on them individually.

Library of Congress Civil Rights Lesson Plans

Segregation: From Jim Crow to Linda Brown

Students identify problems and issues facing African-Americans immediately after Reconstruction using text based sources.

Baseball, Race Relations and Jackie Robinson

Students explore racism in the United States, both in and out of sports. The lesson focuses primarily on race relations in the 1950s.

To Kill a Mockingbird: A Historical Perspective

Students gain a sense of the living history that surrounds the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Students of all backgrounds may better grasp how historical events and human forces have shaped relationships between black and white, and rich and poor cultures of our country.

Note:  If you find errors or broken links, please reach out to Jenna Spiering at spiering@mailbox.sc.edu, Karen Gavigan at kgavigan@mailbox.sc.edu, or Daniella Cook at daniella.cook@sc.edu.