Author:
Shannon Davenport
Subject:
Educational Technology, U.S. History, Cultural Geography, Ethnic Studies
Material Type:
Lesson
Level:
Upper Primary, Middle School, High School
Tags:
  • Civilrights
  • Library of Congress
  • OER Commons Black History Month
  • Primary Sources
  • Social Justice
  • oer-commons-black-history-month
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Language:
    English

    Black Americans as Activists in Tennessee

    Black Americans as Activists in Tennessee

    Overview

    This activity was produced in conjunction with The Library of Congress and the TPS at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. This activity allows learners to examine and listen to first-hand accounts and primary sources images of history during the Civil Right time period.  

    This activity will allow learners to develop empathy and understanding of:

    • why someone might feel they should protest or stand up for their beliefs.
    • how we can interact and respect others who may be different or have experiences we cannot fully understand.

    Activity Plan for Elementary/Middle School Grades 3-8

    Crossroads of History  

    Activity Plan Template 

    Non-classroom setting or this could be used in the classroom as well

    Activity Title 

    Black Americans as Activists in Tennessee 

    Instructional Level 

    Elementary/Middle 3-8 

    Target Audience  

    Youth Grades  

    3-8 

    TPS Western Region Location 

    Tennessee 

    (Participant is outside the western region) 

    Duration of Time or Lesson 

    This could be one lesson or broken up into multiple days. 

     

     

    Overarching question:  

    Why do Black Americans choose to be Activists?

    Social Justice Standards     
       

    Social Justice Standard: 

    9. Learners will respond to diversity by building empathy, respect, understanding, and connection. 

     

    • Diversity 9 DI.3-5.9 I feel connected to other people and know how to talk, work and play with others even when we are different or when we disagree. 

     

    • Diversity 9DI.6-8.9I know I am connected to other people and can relate to them even when we are different or when we disagree.  

     

    • Diversity 10DI.6-8.10 I can explain how the way groups of people are treated today, and the way they have been treated in the past, shape their group identity and culture. (focus group: African/Black Americans) 

     

    Facing History and Ourselves 

     

    The four corners debate strategy will be used to examine a primary source image 1:Civil rights march on Washington, D.C. / [MST]. | Library of Congress (loc.gov) 

     

    Label the room with four corner signs Corner 1: strongly agree, Corner 2 agree, Corner 3 disagree, Corner 4 strongly disagree 

     

    This activity will allow youth of all ethnicities to respond privately and in a group setting about the Black American activist community. 

     

    The final step in the activity will allow learners to respond with their choice of writing, drawing, or composing a song or poem about the image and what it allows us to observe about the Black American activist community. 

     

     

    Library of Congress Teacher Resources  

     

     

     

     

    C3 Teachers: Inquiry Design Model 

    Video: Martha Prescod Norman Noonan oral history interview conducted by John Dittmer in Cockeysville, Maryland, 2013 March 18. | Library of Congress (loc.gov)

    Image 1: Civil rights march on Washington, D.C. / [MST]. | Library of Congress (loc.gov)

    Image 2: ANTI-WAR DEMONSTRATION. 14th St. March to Justice Dept. - digital file from original item | Library of Congress (loc.gov)

    Image 3: [Women marching in national suffrage demonstration in Washington, D.C., May 9, 1914.] | Library of Congress (loc.gov)

     

     

     

    Constructing Compelling Questions

    Processes, Rules, and Laws

     

    Introductory Text/ Program justification 

    (Describe the marginalized people whose stories and history within your community you will be teaching about through these activities, and why their stories must be shared at this point in history.) 

    Often, we see groups of people protesting or standing up for what they believe in and often we can wonder why they would do this and wish they were not inconveniencing others by sharing their beliefs. In my area, we often see groups of African American or black community leaders standing up for what they believe in such as the Black Lives Matter movement. This activity will allow learners to understand why someone might feel they should protest or stand up for their beliefs. Learners will learn how we can interact and respect others who may be different or have experiences we cannot fully understand. 

     

    The African American or black population is the largest marginalized community in Tennessee. These activities focus on learning why this community becomes activists for change.  

     

     

    Key Vocabulary:  

    Activist-someone that calls or takes action for change 

    Non-violent march or protest- when a group of people gathers to show their beliefs to others 

     

     

     

     

    Materials needed: 

    (What supplies do you need to do this activity with your learners?) 

     

    Primary Source Images are large on a screen or a printed paper to learners to observe individually or in small groups. 

     

    Feeling Chart displayed on a Project for everyone to see or print out for each table to see. 

     

    Chart Paper with Markers or pens to Post questions throughout for discussions. 

     

    Sign labels for each of the four corners of the room. Corner 1: strongly agree, Corner 2 agree, Corner 3 disagree, Corner 4 strongly disagree 

    Technology: 

    (What technology will you need to complete this activity?) 

     

     

    Projector with the large primary source image displayed for learners.  

     

    A computer and speakers to play the video recording in the entry task. 

    Consumables & Copies: 

    (What materials do you need to provide for learners to use during this activity that can not be reused during another cohort?) 

    If a projector is not available, print multiple copies of the primary source image on paper. 

     

    Learners will need to divide a paper into four equal squares labeled just as the room is labeled. Corner (Square) 1: strongly agree, Corner 2 (Square) agree, Corner 3 (Square) disagree, Corner 4 (Square) strongly disagree 

     

    Library of Congress Primary Source links 

    (Attach links here to documents, videos, any materials from research that you will be sharing with learners during this program.) 

    Video or Audio Recording: Martha Prescod Norman Noonan oral history interview conducted by John Dittmer in Cockeysville, Maryland, 2013 March 18. | Library of Congress (loc.gov) 

    Listen to the video from 4:34 until 10:43 

    Citations: 

    Noonan, Martha P., Interviewee, John Dittmer, and U.S Civil Rights History Project. Martha Prescod Norman Noonan oral history interview conducted by John Dittmer in Cockeysville, Maryland. 2013. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2015669179/>. 

     

    Image 1: Trikosko, Marion S, photographer. Civil rights march on Washington, D.C. / MST. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2003673960/>. 

     

    Image 2: Leffler, Warren K, and Warren K Leffler, photographer. ANTI-WAR DEMONSTRATION. 14th St. March to Justice Dept. May 4. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/2017646302/>. 

     

    Image 3:  Harris & Ewing, Washington, D.C. Women marching in national suffrage demonstration in Washington, D.C., May 9. May 9. Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/mnwp000268/>.

     

    Entry Activity/Task 

     

    20 minutes 

     Listen and respond to Martha’s Early Childhood Experiences 

     

    The group leader will play the video allowing learners to listen the first time starting at 4:34 and listening until 10:43 

     

    The group leader will then pass out a paper and allow learners to write or draw any key details or items they hear as the recording is played for a second time to capture key details of Martha’s early childhood experiences. 

     

    Group leader then asks learners how the video recording made them feel and find the image that best represents Their feeling on this feelings chart (displayed for all to see on a project or a printout at each table) after watching to the video. Learners will write the face of the feeling they feel after watching the video. If learners would like to share their feelings and why to encourage them to do so with a partner. *it is expected learners will feel angry, sad, surprised, and scared about the experiences Martha shares. 

     

    The group leader then allows learners to find connections or non-connection to what they heard on the recording such as questions in an open discussion. 

     

    • Has there been a time when you were different from the rest of the group? 

    • Have you ever had rocks thrown at you for being different? 

    • Do you think the treatment of Martha and her family was respectful? Why or Why not? 

     

    The group leader shares that sometimes it is hard for us to understand how different groups of people feel because we have had different experiences. Even though we might not understand what it feels like to be that person or that group of people like Martha we can all practice respect when others are sharing their opinions and beliefs by listening and being respectful.  

     

    Key Learning- Often a person’s actions or beliefs are formed by previous experiences or family values. Such as Martha’s parents were Activists and stood up for what they believed in and Martha experienced hatred firsthand as a child. 

     

    Post the definition of an Activist- someone that calls or takes action for change. The group leader reads this definition aloud for learners and shows the next few images to learners. (give learners time to process images without talking for one minute each) 

     

    These people are protesting war in this image 2: ANTI-WAR DEMONSTRATION. 14th St. March to Justice Dept. - digital file from original item | Library of Congress (loc.gov) 

     

    These women are celebrating suffrage (right to vote for women) in Washington, DC in image 3: [Women marching in national suffrage demonstration in Washington, D.C., May 9, 1914.] | Library of Congress (loc.gov) 

    The group leader explains that as you can see any group of people can protest or be activists showing their beliefs.  

     

    Let learners break up into a pair of two learners to discuss this question:  

     

    Why would Martha have been an Activist in her life?  

     

     

     

     

    Focused Activity/Task 

     

    30 minutes 

    Observe and Understand 

    Now we are going to look at some primary source images and see if we disagree or agree with statements about them and think about what might be happening in each one.  

     

    Group leader displays Image one: Civil rights march on Washington, D.C. / [MST]. - digital file from original | Library of Congress (loc.gov) 

    • Learners examine the image for one minute silently 

    • The group leader displays the statements below and gives learners time to record them on their private square chart

     

    1. The woman in the image is being treated with respect.  Learners choose the square of their response and record the statement in the correct square for Corner (Square) 1: strongly agree, Corner 2 (Square) agree, Corner 3 (Square) disagree, Corner 4 (Square) strongly disagree 

    1. The crowd should stop watching and leave. 

    Learners choose the square of their response and record the statement in the correct square for Corner (Square) 1: strongly agree, Corner 2 (Square) agree, Corner 3 (Square) disagree, Corner 4 (Square) strongly disagree 

    1. The crowd should continue to stand up for equal voting rights. 

    Learners choose the square of their response and record the statement in the correct square for Corner (Square) 1: strongly agree, Corner 2 (Square) agree, Corner 3 (Square) disagree, Corner 4 (Square) strongly disagree 

    1. The police are keeping the crowd safe by doing their job. 

    Learners choose the square of their response and record the statement in the correct square for Corner (Square) 1: strongly agree, Corner 2 (Square) agree, Corner 3 (Square) disagree, Corner 4 (Square) strongly disagree 

    1. The woman on the audio recording would join in this protest if she were there. Learners choose the square of their response and record the statement in the correct square for Corner (Square) 1: strongly agree, Corner 2 (Square) agree, Corner 3 (Square) disagree, Corner 4 (Square) strongly disagree 

     

    After learners have recorded private answers now allow them to go to the classroom corner that has been labeled as you continue to have the image displayed on the projector or paper in each corner.  

     

    Once learners go to the corner allow them to discuss with other group members and why they chose to agree or disagree and allow learners to share out if they like with the group. Learners may also change their minds and choose a different corner.  

     

    Group leader explains the history behind the image of the primary source that this image comes from a 1963 Civil Rights march in Washington, DC when black Americans were speaking up for fair hiring practices and fair voting rights for black Americans. This event was concluded by Martin Luther King Jr. giving his well-known “I have a Dream” speech. 

     

    Conclusion Activity/Task 

     

    30-50 minutes 

     

    (Descriptions and details of what activities you will provide for your learners to present to them the primary source materials from the LOC.) 

    Sharing Learning about Activists  

    Group Leader: Today we have learned about how groups of people have different experiences which cause them to stand up for something they believe in becoming Activists.  

     

    When you see a group of people gather at a protest or for a rally think about what may have caused them to feel strong enough to share their beliefs with others.  

     

    Learners will now choose to create a poem, song, or drawing sharing their learning about groups of people with different experiences becoming activists. 

     

    The group leader goes back to the video recording of Martha and plays the video starting at 28:50 to see what Martha did when she was older in college and how she planned to help the Black Americans in a Southern community, Albany, Georgia, and Greenwood Mississippi. Note tread with care*  

     

    Some leaders may choose to restart the video at 38:02 to skip some sensitive topics. Listen to the video to learn how Martha worked with Black Americans to work for equal voting rights for Black Americans. Stop the recording at 46:34. 

     

    After learners finish the activity allow learners to go back to the feelings chart and identify how they feel now about Martha from the video and her becoming an activist. 

     

     

     

    Assessment of Student Learning (How will you determine if your learners have completed the activity?  How will you determine if your learners have used the primary sources from LOC to understand the history of the marginalized people that are your activity focus?)  

    Youth learning will be assessed by observing how learners indicate on the feelings chart they feel about learning about a black American Activist. Learners should mark one feeling at the beginning of the lesson and progress to a positive feeling toward the end of the lesson and feel a sense of empowerment to be an activist for beliefs. 

     

    Youth learning will also be assessed by the final product the student expresses in the form of a narrative story, poem, song, or drawing. Learners will demonstrate learning about those that choose to be activists in their community. The expression will show how one’s past experiences lead to the role of an activist.  

     

    Student Learning Accommodations & Modifications (How will you adapt your activity plans for learners who are differently abled? Will you provide alternate paths to activity completion? Aid or peer support?) 

    Group Leader will read all statements aloud to accommodate for student reading levels.  

    Learners will express themselves privately and through peer and group discussions. Learners should not be expected to share publicly as this could be better for learners to internalize and they may want to keep thoughts private. 

    When viewing the video transcript (found below the video) may be provided for learners that may find it easier to follow a transcript. The leader could highlight parts used in the video for learners. 

    Learners have the choice to produce the product of their choice depending on their strengths. 

     

    Multicultural Considerations 

    (What specific considerations should be made for any other community program leader who might teach this activity in the future?  Are there specific facts that should be noted while researching? Specific books that should be included? Please note your recommendations here.) 

    *Caution:  

    Note during the video at 31:24 Martha describes the conditions and how a girl had been raped and died by white Americans depending on the age group and leader’s discretion. 

    If you would like to tread with care start the video at 38:02 depending on the age range and experiences of your youth. 

     

    Group leaders should listen to the full video recording before using this lesson to be aware of the background and vocabulary used.