Civil Rights and Civic Action

African American woman being carried to police patrol wagon during demonstration in Brooklyn, New York


Students deepen their understanding and personal integration of the concept of commitment to civic service by examining the historic contribution of young people in shaping positive changes in America using primary sources from the Library of Congress. Students explore the civic service accomplishments of young people to help bring about social change and identify the potential of young people in creating positive change through civic service. Students then identify characteristics of civic activists as well as current problems or causes about which they are passionate and draft an action plan to affect change.

Related Resources


Student Impact on Future Civic Issues

Rated 4 out of 5
May 21, 2019

This lesson offers students an opportunity to look back at civic action taken by youth in the past and see the impact it has had on their lives today. Students are given articles to further their knowledge and begin the process of connecting civic action and their lives today. They look at current topics and think about ways they can begin changes that will impact others. The concept and implementation of the lesson is well thought out; however, it lacks a complete follow through at the end. Students are not expected to spend enough time researching and reading up on current issues to create their action plan. It feels a bit rushed at the end.

Dawn Brunschon

Civil Rights Get Personal

Rated 4 out of 5
May 16, 2019

This lesson offers teachers a variety of learning and teaching strategies, as well as offering the students lots of opportunities to express themselves on various civil rights related issues in several ways. Students have individual, partner and group work, and there is plenty of movement around the classroom, as well. Students are given real-life comparisons from the 1950’s into their present in a relatable way.



High School


Civics, Social Studies


60-80 minutes


civic action, civic activists, civic service, civil conversation, civil rights, protest, youth


Citizen U DePaul


Rated 4 out of 5
4 out of 5 stars (based on 2 reviews)