Grade level:


Approximate Lesson Duration:

1-2 blocks

Unit/Lesson New Jersey Student Learning Standards (NJSLS):

SOC.6.1.12.A.13.b – Analyze the effectiveness of national legislation, policies and Supreme Court decisions in promoting civil liberties and equal opportunities.

SOC.6.1.12.D.13.c – Analyze the successes and failures of women’s rights organizations, the American Indian Movement, and La Raza in their pursuit of civil rights and equal opportunities.

SOC.6.2.12.A.5.e – Assess the progress of human and civil rights around the world since the 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights.

LA.RH.11-12.7 – Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media in order to address a question or solve a problem.

LA.RH.11-12.9 – Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.

TECH.8.1.12.B.CS1 – Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.

TECH.8.1.12.B.CS2 – Create original work as a means of personal or group expression.

TECH.8.1.12.C.CS1 – Interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others by employing a variety of digital environments and media.

TECH.8.1.12.C.CS2 – Communicate information and ideas to multiple audiences using a variety of media and formats

Brief Summary of Cultural Competencies Related to the Unit/Lesson:

What makes this lesson culturally relevant?

While the 1960s are considered a pivotal point in the fight for equality by various minority American groups, including Black Americans indigenous Americans, Latino Americans, and LGBTQ Americans, many within these communities continue to face oppression and discrimination. 

Lesson Overview:

Essential Question(s)
  • Did the political and social movements of the 1960s effectively change the nation?
  • Do the ideas generated by these movements still have resonance today?
  • Why have the prominent leaders of the Civil Rights movement garnered more notoriety than leaders of other identity-based movements in this era?
Enduring Understanding(s)
  • Technological change, modernization, and changing demographics led to increased political and cultural conflict.
  • Stirred by a growing awareness of inequalities in American society and by the African American civil rights movement, activists also addressed issues of identity and social justice, such as gender, sexuality and ethnicity.
Potential Misconceptions
  • Many believe that the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s was only about black Americans.  However, many minority groups agitated for equity and equality at this time.

Learning plan, experiences, intstruction and learning activities:

What is Expected?
  • List the intentional learning objectives on the board.

Students will be able to:


  • explain how civil rights activism in the twentieth century affected the growth of African American and other identity-based political and social movements.

Today we will be working on…understanding how the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s inspired activists in other communities facing oppression and discrimination to fight for greater equity, inclusion and equality.

What is expected?
How will we hook (Introduce this to) the students?
  • Activate thinking
  • Consider the language you will use to introduce the lesson (See example in the table)

Link to Engagement

Recently, we…discussed how and why the 1960s became a period of activism, turmoil and change.

Turn and talk to a partner about…which groups – other than Black Americans – sought greater rights and access during the 1960, and what motivated them to do so.

You are really beginning to understand the importance of activism, demonstration and protest.  Today, we’re going to dig deeper with a new focus.  This focus is…how Black Americans inspired other minority groups during the Civil Rights era.

What equipment, resources, or materials are needed?

We’re Not in This By Ourselves

How will we rethink or revise our thinking throughout the lesson?
  • What learning is confirmed?
  • What misconceptions are uncovered?
  • What is your new thinking?
  • Students will come to understand that Black and African Americans were not the only people seeking greater rights and enfranchisement in the 1960s.
  • The importance of the Civil Rights movements, and its leaders and methods will be reinforced.
  • Students will learn that a number of other groups were inspired by the Civil Rights movement and also fought against oppression and discrimination.
  • Students will recognize the key role played by other Americans – Latinos, indigenous people, LGBTQ – in agitating for and gaining greater rights and access during this time period.
How will students self-evaluate and reflect on their learning?
  • Revisiting a theme/lesson from USI, students should reflect on their learning by writing or journaling on the following:
    • Why do you think there exists such a strong correlation between the abolitionist movement – and, later, the Civil Rights movement – and gay rights?
How will we tailor learning to varied needs, interests, and learning styles?
  • Follow all IEP/504 plan modifications.
  • Introduce key vocabulary before the lesson.
  • Work in small groups.
  • Level texts according to ability.
  • Provided guided notes, written instructions and/or scaffold outline.
  • Use visual aids.
How will we organize the sequence of learning during the lesson?

Scaffold the Instruction

  1. Model
    1. Through class discussion and teacher-guided question and answer, review how, when and why US involvement in global conflict often leads to domestic social change.
  2. Guided Practice
    1. Working in desk clusters, students will focus on the Vietnam War to assess how and why the war led to the rise of sizable, passionate and sometimes violent antiwar protests that became more numerous as the war escalated.
    2. Utilizing Project-Based Learning (PBL), students will work in small groups in order to focus on one specific movement during the 1960s – women, Native Americans, Latinos or homosexuals.  They will create a timeline of the movement, identify key leaders and figures, investigate social, political and/or economic outcomes, and draw connections to the Civil Rights movement. (Resources will be provided via Google Classroom to aid students with their research and ensure certain events, people, etc. are included in their work.)
  3. Independent Practice
    1. Upon completion and presentation of projects, students will be asked to compare, in writing, the various movements, highlighting similarities and differences in leadership, methodology and overall impact.

Check for understanding:

(Formative evidence such as conferencing, group Q/A, teacher observation, exit-slip, etc.)
Quiz/Test (optional):
(attach copy of assessment)

Upon completion and presentation of projects, students will be asked to compare, in writing, the various movements, highlighting similarities and differences in leadership, methodology and overall impact.

Performance Task/Project:
(attach rubric)

The guided practice portion of this lesson is based on a PBL model and should be evaluated using a PBL rubric, such as the one found here.


Students who want to extend their learning can analyze the impact of current government practices and laws affecting civil rights, establishing connections between the 1960s and today. (SOC.6.3.12.D.1)

Supplemental Resources: 

Download Lesson Plan PDF: