Sunday, April 24, 2011

Bringing the Experiences of the Freedom Riders into the Classroom

Title: Bringing the Experiences of the Freedom Riders into the Classroom   
New York State Standards:
Common Core Standards: 
Students will demonstrate the ability to:
·         Understand the impact the Freedom Rides had on the Civil Rights Movement.
·         Understand the different tactics individuals used in the Civil Rights Movement.
·         Understand that the Freedom Riders were protests the south and its ignoring of the Supreme Court decision to desegregate interstate busses and waiting rooms.
·         Understand how the Freedom Riders were able to successfully integrate bus stations in the South through training in non- violent tactics
·         Understand the violence and opposition the Freedom Riders faced throughout the south.
·         Map of the South

·         PBS Video: Why get on the Bus?

·         Democracy in Action Study Guide which can be downloaded here: Democracy in Action
·         Pictures of the Freedom Riders 

·         Identity Chart  

·         Webquest Handout: Create questions based off this website
Instructional Phase:
1.      Review Civil Rights Movement Vocabulary:
a.      Civil Disobedience: idea based on non-violence that people have a right to disobey a law they consider unjust.
b.      Civil Rights Movement: Political movement for equality under the law.
2.      Pass out Freedom Riders Identity Chart. Read the Pre-Viewing Guide from the Democracy in Action Study Guide as a class. Break students into small groups of three or four. Based on the information from the reading, have each group complete an identity chart on one Freedom Rides participant.  Bring class back together and write these questions on the board: Why do you think James Farmer wanted to make sure that the Freedom Riders who were selected were a diverse group? How do you think he and other leaders hoped this would influence the Freedom Rides and perceptions of the cause?
3.      Show PBS Video “Why get on the Bus?”
4.      PowerPoint: Use the Power Point to provide students with an overview of the Freedom Rides. The PowerPoint can be found here:
5.      Webquest: The Freedom Rides (1947-1961) This activity requires students to read information on a variety of Civil Rights topics centered around the Freedom Rides.  Students should answer all questions to consider found on website.
6.      Closing Activity. Have students hand in webquest questions. Bring class back together for closing circle discussion on the following questions.
·         Why did people join the Freedom Rides?
·         When prejudice and racism are supported by both custom and law, what can be done to create a more inclusive society? How do you explain why there is often so much resistance to change?
·         How does nonviolent direct action expose injustice? Why was it such an effective strategy for bringing about change during the civil rights movement?
·         What role did the media play in the Freedom Rides? How do media shape our understanding of the issues of our time?
·         What does the story of the Freedom Riders suggest about the role of citizens in shaping democracy?
·         Who were the Freedom Riders?

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