Curriculum

Teaching & Learning

April 28, 2004 3 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Teaching Tools Plentiful Online

Brown at Fifty

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s May 17, 1954, decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka striking down segregated public schools, many organizations have prepared activities and resources for educators. Following are some of the tools that can be found online to teach students about the landmark case.

Examining Desegregation:Teaching Tolerance, a magazine and Web site published by the Montgomery, Ala.-based Southern Poverty Law Center, has put together classroom resources including a timeline of important events related to integration, activities for students, and questions teachers can use to spark discussion. The resources available at www.tolerance.org/teach include:

  • An assignment in which students are asked to research their school district’s history to find out when it became desegregated and whether its schools are now becoming resegregated;
  • An activity that asks students to brainstorm a list of benefits that come with having integrated schools;
  • Interviews with prominent Americans—including U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige and CBS News anchorman Dan Rather—about their experiences with the case; and

A snapshot of state policies regarding segregation in 1954.

  • A snapshot of state policies regarding segregation in 1954.

The organization also recommends the documentary “With All Deliberate Speed: The Legacy of Brown v. Board,” available for $24.95 from www.brownvboard.info. The film addresses topics related to the case, such as the role of race in schools and the relevance of affirmative action today.

Junior Rangers: Students can become “junior rangers” of the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site by completing five of seven activities in a booklet provided by the National Park Service at www.nps.gov/brvb/. When students are finished with their activities, they can mail their books to the official historic site in Topeka, Kan. The parks department will then mail the students “junior ranger” badges. More information on the program can be found at www.nps.gov/brvb/pphtml/fork ids.html.

Elementary Activities: The Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence, and Research, based in Topeka, has posted an activity book about the case that can be printed out from its Web site, www.brownvboard.org/actvty bk/cover.htm. Designed for younger children, the booklet includes mazes, a word search, and a brief overview of the significance of the ruling.

Legal Lessons: The Supreme Court Historical Society and Street Law, a law education group based in Silver Spring, Md., jointly host the “Landmark Supreme Court Cases” Web site at www.landmarkcases.org.

Teachers can download the complete Brown case in .pdf format from the Web site. Lessons featured on the site include background summaries and questions on the Brown ruling and the 14th Amendment for students in grades 4-5, 6-8, and 9-12.

Other activities on the site include:

  • “Does Treating People Equally Mean Treating Them the Same?” Students are asked to think about several different situations, such as a man and a woman applying for the same job, and determine what it means to be treated equally.
  • “Classifying Arguments for Each Side of the Case.” Students are given a list of arguments presented in the Brown case and asked to decide if they support segregation, desegregation, or both.
  • “Immediate Reaction to the Decision: Comparing Regional Media Coverage.” Students are asked to examine excerpts from editorials published in seven newspapers on May 18, 1954, and determine which side of the case the authors supported.
  • “Political Cartoon Analysis.” Given four political cartoons that were published shortly after the historic ruling, students are asked to scrutinize the symbolic meanings behind the illustrations and determine the artists’ viewpoints.

In Her Shoes: Teachers can download a lesson for K-6 students called “A Famous Kansas Child” at www.abanet.org/publiced/lawday/schools/lessons/k6kansas.html.

The workbook about Linda Brown, the Kansas student whose father was the lead plaintiff in the Brown lawsuit, is provided by the American Bar Association. Divided into four chapters, it includes vocabulary words and discussion questions.

A handout designed for pupils in grades K-3 is available at www.abanet.org/publiced/lawday/schools/lessons/handout_fair.html . It asks the students to analyze what is fair and unfair in five situations that children can relate to, such as: “Girls are not allowed to join the Boys Club. Boys can’t join the Brownies.”

—Michelle Galley

Events

Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Chronic Teacher Shortage: Where Do We Go From Here?  
Join Peter DeWitt, Michael Fullan, and guests for expert insights into finding solutions for the teacher shortage.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Science Webinar
Close the Gender Gap: Getting Girls Excited about STEM
Join female STEM leaders as they discuss the importance of early cheerleaders, real life role models, and female networks of support.
Content provided by Logitech
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
Mission Possible: Saving Time While Improving Student Outcomes
Learn how district leaders are maximizing instructional time and finding the best resources for student success through their MTSS framework.
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Curriculum What the Research Says The State of Driver's Education, in 4 Charts
Training requirements vary from state to state.
2 min read
Virtual driving simulation screen.
A screen from a driving simulation.
Jackie Niam/iStock/Getty
Curriculum How Florida's New School Librarian Training Defines Off-Limits Materials
School librarians will soon have to seek parent approval to order new books, and have to avoid books considered "indoctrination."
3 min read
Books line shelves in a high school library Monday, October 1, 2018, in Brownsville, Texas. The Brownsville Independent School District announced having been awarded a multi-million-dollar grant to revitalize libraries to encourage reading by school-aged children to improve literacy skills. It was stated in the meeting that money could also be used to replace aging furniture in some of the district's libraries.
Books line shelves in a high school library in Brownsville, Texas in 2018. In Florida, school librarians will be required to complete training this year that will include how to seek parent approval before they can purchase new books for school libraries and classrooms.
Jason Hoekema/The Brownsville Herald via AP
Curriculum What the Research Says How an Attention-Training Program Can Make Teens Better Drivers
A driving simulation created to tune up attention skills in young drivers with ADD could have wider benefits.
6 min read
Driver Training Simulator
A student uses a driving trainer simulator to sharpen attention skills.
Cincinnati Children's Hospital
Curriculum Q&A You Can Teach About Climate Change in Every Subject and Grade Level. Here's How
Math, foreign language, even art classes offer opportunities to build students' knowledge.
8 min read
Tree growing from a book with education icons floating above, focusing on climate change and curriculum
Chinnapong/iStock/Getty