Synopsis

Lesson Snapshot

1. Engage: Students will watch a video of lynching set to the infamous song “Strange Fruit,” which describes lynched African Americans as fruit hanging from the tree. (The teacher may opt to not show the video and only read the song lyrics OR another poem about civil rights (not lynching)). The students will then discuss the video and what circumstances made lynching so common during the early 20th century.

2. Explore: Students will “jigsaw” secondary and primary sources on Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and Marcus Garvey. Students will read critically using K20 Tools like “whylighting,” Stop N Jot,” “C.U.S.,” or “Thinking Notes,” and then share their observations in small group discussion.

3. Explain: Using textual evidence, students will compose a “three voice poem,” comparing and contrasting the three civil rights leaders.

4. Extend/Expand: The students will analyze the words of 1950s-60s civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X and compare them with the three early 20th century activists.

5. Evaluate: Students will assume the role of President of the United States and, using textual evidence and key academic  vocabulary, compose a speech to Congress explaining why they have chosen one of three civil rights leaders to sit on their cabinet as their “Civil Rights Secretary.”