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Selma Lesson Plans & Classroom Activities

Selma to Montgomery March

March 1965

Edmund Pettus Bridge

When you pray, move your feet.

                  African Proverb


The Selma to Montgomery March was a significant event that took place during the Civil Rights Movement during March 1965.  The event had profound effects that can be felt today.


You are a group of journalists who have been sent to Selma, Alabama to record the events that would be taking place during March 1965 as African Americans struggled for Civil Rights.

At the end of your assignment you will develop a special issue on these events for your hometown paper.


  • Develop and assign the needed roles for each member of your group in order to publish the edition of the newspaper. For example: editor, news reporter, photographer, and writers.
  • Write the articles.
  • Edit the articles.
  • Publish the newspaper; the newspaper can be in paper, video, or multimedia format.

This special edition of your newspaper should contain the following content

  • timeline of the major events with brief explanations/pictures.
  • maps that illustrate the March from Selma to Montgomery
  • stories for each important event that occurred during this significant period during the Civil Rights Movement.
  • editorials and letters to the editor for the editorial page.

Web resources

View the Newsreel footage:

High Speed Internet Connection
Low Speed Internet Connection


Required components:   

      Minimum of 5 articles 

10 points each


10 points


5 points


5 points

      Editorial Page

10 points

      Quality of writing 

10 points

      Peer evaluation

10 points

Total Possible  

100 points 

Learning Advice

When writing your articles, incorporate the conditions of the time. Here are samples of the kinds of questions you may want to ask as you are researching:

  • Who were the leaders in the march? Who were the supporters? Who opposed them? 
  • Who were the important political figures? What were their views?
  • What political events took place prior to these events?
  • What was life for a demonstrator like? (living conditions, emotional condition, safety)
  • What was the geography like, and did geography play any role or have any influence in the march?
  • What was the media of the time saying about the events?

Work together to develop your newspaper. Divide your tasks fairly, but share ideas and suggestions. 


After researching and creating your own newspaper for the Selma to Montgomery march, discuss in class what influence you think the media had on these events.


What effect did the research you did to publish your newspaper have on your knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement and the March from Selma to Montgomery?


The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed shortly after the March.  What role did the March play in this? Cite sources to support your response. What were the effects of the Voting Rights Act?

Additional Resources:

For the Teacher

What is a Webquest?

A webquest is an inquiry-oriented activity in which most or all of the information used by learners is drawn from the Web

Designed to :

  • use learners' time well
  • focus on using information rather than looking for it
  • support learners' thinking at the levels of analysis, synthesis and evaluation

Model was developed in early 1995 at San Diego State University by Bernie Dodge with Tom March

Outcomes of this activity

Students will demonstrate cognitive and/or skill knowledge of telecommunications, including locating information related to the Selma to Montgomery March.

Standards Correlated

  • Time, Continuity and Change (National Council for the Social Studies, Strand II)
  • People, Places and Environments (National Council for the Social Studies, Strand III)
  • Individuals, Groups and Institutions (National Council for the Social Studies, Strand V)
  • Power, Authority and Governance (National Council for the Social Studies, Strand VI)
  • How does the government established by the constitution embody purposes, values, and principles of American democracy? (National Standards for Civics and Government, Standard III)
  • Explain the resistance to civil rights in the South between 1954 and 1965. [Identify issues and problems in the past]  National History Standards, 4A

Developed by: Alabama: Focus on Civil Rights Educators







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This project has been supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent Federal Agency. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

© 2003 The University of Alabama



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