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Tuscaloosa Lesson Plans & Classroom Activities

Stand in the Schoolhouse Door

Documents-Based Analysis Learning Activity

Stand in the Schoolhouse Door
This photo is courtesy of the Tuscaloosa News.

Students

This activity can be used with U.S. History or Government students, grades 9-12.

Objectives

The students will:

  • Analyze documents to identify different perceptions of governmental authority
  • Research historical events that followed the documents analyzed to determine outcomes

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

Introduction

If the students have not participated in primary documents activities before, the following activity on the National Archives website is an excellent way to start this area of inquiry.

http://www.archives.gov/digital_classroom/introductory_activity.html

The Stand in the Schoolhouse Door at The University of Alabama was an important event in the Civil Rights Movement. It also played a significant role in the way the rights of states and the federal governments are interpreted.

Activity

For this activity you will examine the speeches of President John F. Kennedy

http://www.jfklibrary.org/j061163.htm and Alabama Governor George C. Wallace http://www.archives.state.al.us/govs_list/schooldoor.html, and the U.S. Constitution http://www.archives.gov/exhibit_hall/charters_of_freedom/constitution
/constitution_transcription.html
.

Click here to complete the Document Analysis Worksheet

Conclusion

The class should discuss their responses.  The social, political, and cultural aspects of this event should be explored in a class discussion.

Additional Resources:

http://www.archives.gov/digital_classroom/lessons/analysis_worksheets/document.html

http://www.archives.gov/digital_classroom/teaching_with_documents.html

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.

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