Teaching Activities 2012

Teaching the Freedom Struggle
A collection of classroom resources created by the spring 2012 class of “All Power to the People!”

The following “teaching modules” are designed to promote specific learning outcomes while using topics related to 20th century movements for racial justice. Each is geared toward a high school classroom and comes complete with sources and suggested activities.


The National Indian Youth Council’s Concepts of Community Within the Red Power Movement (Annie Stoller-Patterson)
In this 9th grade history lesson, students will learn, analyze and critically discuss the idea of community identities within the Red Power Movement and why they were important to the National Indian Youth Council (NIYC).

The Foundations of the Black Panther Party (by Laura River)
These learning activities will provide students with knowledge of the origins of the Black Panther Party through analysis of important documents of the era. Students will emerge with an understanding of the BPP’s departure from the reformist movement (e.g. SNCC).

Relations Between Jews and Blacks During the Civil Rights Movement (by Abbie Wang)
After the lesson, students should have a better understanding of the complexity of the Jewish-black relationship. The students should become aware of the tension driven by the two minorities’ different societal standings and the difference of attitudes between the northern and southern Jews towards blacks and their fight for equal rights.

Justice in the Fields (by Emily Linehan)
The overall goals for this lesson are to have students explore the significance of the justice movement within the farmworker community of Delano, California that began in the 1960s. Students will understand the origin of the movement, main themes, and the various roles people played throughout the struggle for justice and equity in the fields.

School integration: A critical analysis of Mendez v. Westminster (by Roxana Garcia)
To broaden 11-12th grade students’ understanding of history and school desegregation, and encourage students to go beyond the history presented in school textbooks by introducing the little-known yet important Mendez v. Westminster case. To help students sharpen analytical skills by understanding, discussing and questioning the rationale behind the Mendez verdict.

The Failures of Civil Rights Legislation (by Carolyn Robbins)
Students will understand the context for the Civil Rights Act of 1964: what led to the acts creation, what the act guaranteed, and how the act traveled through the government.  They will then observe and analyze the effectiveness of this act.

Women During the Chicano Movement (by Ariadna Garcia)
The purpose of this activity is to allow student to see how women were being excluded during the Chicano Movement. They will be able to see the sexism that existed during the Chicano Movement by analyzing the language used in El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán and in other pieces of literature.

Brown v. Board: Assumptions, Results, and the Little Rock Nine (by Brittnee Rhynes)
In this lesson, students will engage in critical analysis of the assumptions and results of the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.  Students will question the traditional “progress narrative” to determine how effective the ruling and its implementation actually were.

Fight in the Fields, Through the Role of Women (Jessica Vargas)
The objective of the lesson is to teach students about the struggle of farm workers specifically through the lens of women, and analyze the roles they took in the movement.

The Legacy of Malcolm X – Life in His Eyes: Violence, Race and Movements (by Bryan Phan)
I want students to recognize that before Malcolm X was a national icon or villain, he was a local, national and international political activist, a community organizer, and an architect of movements. Malcolm’s message was composed of more than just awe-inspiring speeches, angry tirades or his remarkable rags to righteous story told in The Autobiography by Alex Haley. Malcolm sought more than anything else to prove and display the American paradox: a democracy with unequal citizens. Malcolm was not a racist, preacher of hate or instigator of violence but a civil rights frontrunner and revolutionary who used his thoughts and words to emphasize the necessity for having self-respect for one’s race and heritage.

The Controversy of the Watts Riots (by Luis Díaz)
Students will examine the Watts Riots through a series of primary and secondary sources, and craft their own interpretation of the Watts Riots, while analyzing both its causes and the effects it had on the Watts community.

Churches in the Farm Worker Movement: Organization and Faith (by Erica Reiss)
Students will understand the many ways in which churches as formal institutions and spiritual communities worked in the farm workers’ movement in California, especially in the 1960s.

Perspectives: Teaching Historical Empathy (By Sam Kaplan)
This one-to-two-day teaching activity (assuming approx. 50 minute classes) is designed with two major goals in mind. The direct goal of this activity is to educate a class as to the different opinions and perspectives surrounding the SNCC and the civil rights movement in general; primarily those held by white America, black moderates, and the SNCC membership themselves. The secondary goal of this activity is to teach the class historical empathy, and how to better appreciate historical events from the perspective of those who experienced it.

Mendez v. Westminster, A Pioneer Movement of Chicano Education (by Lupe Avila)
Students will understand that the Mendez v. Westminster case was a movement that set a basis for the permission of fair education for minority students. It was one of the first times minorities stood up for themselves, in particular Mexican Americans, well before the Brown v. Board of Education case.

ICSA’s Fight to Make Education Relevant to Chinese Communities (by Albert Liu)
In this high school history lesson, students will discuss and analyze the impetus for the formation of the Third World Liberation Front (TWLF) and the subsequent struggle for Ethnic Studies from the perspective of the Intercollegiate Chinese for Social Action (ICSA).

Tactics of the United Farm Workers and Their Predecessors (by Sarah Blumenthal)
The goal of this lesson is to teach students about the United Farm Workers and have them analyze different techniques and tactics that the UFW (and the groups preceding the UFW) used to gain certain privileges or publicize certain points. The students should be able to discuss a variety of methods used by the UFW and why they used each one by the end of class.

Women and the Civil Rights Movement (by Emily Yang)
In this lesson, students will learn about how gender played a role in the perceptions of freedom within the Civil Rights Movement, analyzing and understanding how different groups were affected by these perceptions.

The March from Selma to Montgomery: A Movement within a Movement (by Caroline Zaia)

In this lesson, students will learn about the role of the march from Selma to Montgomery as an important event in the Civil Rights Movement, consider the array of people who were involved in the march, and assess how that diversity affected the movement as a whole.

Student Activism in the Black Civil Rights Movement: An Examination of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) (by Daniela Hernández)

Through an analysis of the Student Coordinating Committee (SNCC) from 1960-1966, this two-part lesson will focus on the role of student organizing within the Black Civil Rights Movement, analyzing the tactics and ideologies SNCC students employed.

The Black Panthers: An Analysis of Black Power and Nationalism( by Fernando Ortega)
By completing the following activities students will learn about the multitude of ideologies and approaches surrounding the Black Power Movement of the late 1960’s. Specifically, students will learn how the Black Panthers fit into the Black Power Movement.

SEIZE THE POWER! An Evaluation of the Black Radicalist Approach to the Civil Rights Movement (Altricia Wilson)
The goal is to examine, evaluate, and understand the ideologies of black radicalism and determine how these ideologies have shaped and changed black politics.

Identity’s role in the Chicano Movement Through Art (by Stephanie Ramirez)
This short lesson plan is intended to show students how identity was key to the Chicano Movement. After they have completed this lesson they should be able to realize that many people involved in the movements in the 1960’s were students, both in high school and in college. It should allow students to see how injustices and oppression set up by our government were institutionalized to keep many minorities silent. Hopefully this lesson should open their eyes to the fact the inequalities continue to exist and that they as students have the power to make a difference. It should also allow the students to see how art played a major role in connecting everyone and allowed for the expression of their feelings of that time.

Policy and Politicization: How the End of the Indian Termination Policy Shaped the Red Power Movement (by Rachel Jackson)
This lesson plan will investigate how federal policy, stretching as far back as 1887, shaped the Indian experience in the United States.  Focusing on termination policy, this lesson will also explore how the relationship between tribes and the federal government changed as a result of Indian liberation movements and the consequences of those changes.

Chicano Cultural Nationalism: A Quest for an Identity and its Limitations (by Adriana Esquivel)
This lesson is designed for three days to engage students in critical thinking about the use of cultural nationalism in the Chicano Movement and explore its benefits and limitations. Students will analyze a primary resource collaboratively to explore cultural nationalism and its masculine overtones.

Anti-Miscegenation Laws, Racial Difference, and Multiracial Activism (by Hans Chaumont)
The goal of this lesson plan is to have students critically analyze the motivations and effects of anti-miscegenation laws and how these laws acted to shape societal understandings of race and racial difference.