The Nashville Civil Rights Movement

Length: Two 55-minute class periods.

To commemorate Nashville's role in the historic Civil Rights Movement, the Metro Arts Commission approved the selection of artist Walter Hood to create new public art.  His design for Witness Walls utilizes iconic photos of the Civil Rights movement in Nashville to honor the events and the people who created the blueprint for nonviolent protest.  The installation will be located on the west side of the historic Metro Nashville Courthouse, steps away from the historic April 19, 1960 student-led protest.

In this English Language Arts lesson, students will:

  • as a whole group, read and discuss the article, “Area Students Lead the Way.”  Teacher will model how to pull and cite textual evidence to support claims.  
  • review the YouTube video of Walter Hood’s Witness Wall project in Nashville.
  • be assigned a prominent member of Nashville’s Civil Rights Movement to research.
  • create a timeline of events for their assigned civil rights movement member.
  • select a prominent quote to epitomize their character’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.
  • select a photograph to copy or sketch.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.7.3
Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.7.6
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.1
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.5
Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.8
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.9
Compare and contrast one author's presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.8
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.9
Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.7
Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.9
Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.3
Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.3
Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.4
Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.7.6
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 7 Language...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.6.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.10
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two)...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.3
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.6
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.7
Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.8
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each...
GLE 0601.5.2
Analyze text for fact-opinion, cause-effect, inferences, evidence, and conclusions.
GLE 0601.8.3
Recognize the conventions of various literary genres.
GLE 0701.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with an introduction, developing paragraphs, conclusion, and appropriate transitions.
GLE 0701.4.1
Define and narrow a problem or research topic.
GLE 0701.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
GLE 0701.4.4
Write a research paper, using primary and secondary sources and technology and graphics, as appropriate.
SPI 0601.5.7
Make inferences and draw conclusions based on evidence in text.
SPI 0701.1.20
Recognize and use grade appropriate and/or content specific vocabulary within context.
SPI 0701.3.8
Select an appropriate concluding sentence for a well-developed paragraph.
SPI 0701.4.1
Select the most focused research topic.
SPI 0701.4.3
Determine the most appropriate research source for a given research topic.
TSS.ELA.6.RI.KID.1
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw logical inferences; cite textual evidence to support conclusions.
TSS.ELA.6.RL.KID.1
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw logical inferences; cite textual evidence to support conclusions.
TSS.ELA.6.W.RBPK.9
Support interpretations, analyses, reflections, or research with evidence found in literature or informational texts, applying grade 6 standards for reading.
TSS.ELA.7.W.RBPK.7
Conduct research to answer a question, drawing on multiple sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.
TSS.ELA.7.W.TTP.1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
TSS.ELA.7.W.TTP.2
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of...
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Essential and guiding questions: 

Assessing questions:

Day 1:

  • Refer to key notes in “Area Students Lead the Way” article to find both assessing and advancing questions, which guide students through thinking throughout the duration of the lesson.  Students will respond to questions on paper to allow teacher to circulate and check for understanding, respond with table partners (and/or through stand up, hand up, pair-ups), and share a few with the class.  
  • What is a revolution?
  • According to the article, “When the revolutionaries were ready, they attacked.”  How did the revolutionaries attack?  How is this different than our normal interpretation of the word “attack”?
  • What can you infer this quote means?  Cite textual evidence to support your answer.  

Day 2:

  • What is this person’s involvement in Nashville’s Civil Rights Movement?
  • What conflict(s) did this person face?
  • What was this person’s motive in becoming involved?
  • List a specific quote from the article that sums up this character’s involvement in the Nashville’s Civil Rights Movement.

Advancing questions:

Day 1:

  • What are the similarities and differences between the protests of desegregation in the 1960s to the protests today surrounding police brutality?

Day 2:

  • What can you infer would be the impact of this person choosing not to become involved in Nashville’s Civil Rights Movement?

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Analyzing
Extension suggestions: 
  • Students can create a witness wall on the Civil Rights Movement for the entire south.  Students may create witness walls to highlight other parts of history as well.
  • To adapt the lesson, making it more rigorous for grades 9-12, students may conduct research using multiple sources on their assigned Civil Rights participant.

Helpful Hints

  • Teacher should place students in groups strategically based on level.  
  • Each group should contain a designated peer leader, middle level learners, and lower level learners OR lower level learners should be placed together to allow direct instruction with the teacher while other groups have a designated peer leader whose job is to lead the group and report to the teacher with any questions or help.
  • Students will be given a rubric to follow, including specific questions to answer when exploring their designated Civil Rights activist.