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OBJECTIVE: Students learn to formulate and investigate their own questions about the civil rights movement.

Ask your students what they know about the civil rights movement and they’ll probably fire back a volley of marquee names, milestone events and bumper-sticker quotes: “I Have a Dream!” “Martin Luther King Jr.!” “The March on Washington!” “Rosa Parks!”

Ask your students what they don’t know about the civil rights movement, and you’ll probably get an awkward silence punctuated by the odd “Huh?” or “What?” How can you help your students move beyond the checklist of civil rights facts and figures toward a deeper understanding of the factors that shaped the civil rights movement and an appreciation for its continuing impact in their own communities and around the world? How can you help them step away from their instinct for easy answers to instead begin formulating and investigating their own questions?

Download the PDF to read the full article with strategies for approaching the subject and suggested activities.  

Civil Rights Timeline teaser

Civil Rights Timeline of Significant Dates, People and Events

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