Lesson Plans

Making a Mark: Marching & Leaping Towards Reform

Students make connections between protest, reform, and legacy through investigation of the 1963 March on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech, the poem “Crossing” by Jericho Brown, and an excerpt of a conversation about leaving a legacy to your country with poet, teacher, and activist Sonia Sanchez. After, students consider civic…


Civic Actions to Impact the Future

Students make connections between the past, present, and future of the environment through their own imaginings, analysis of a primary source image, and the poem “Letter to Someone Living Fifty Years from Now” by Matthew Olzmann. After, students might assess waste or pollution in their school or local community, then consider actions they could take…


Dangerous Jane

Pair the picture book, Dangerous Jane, with primary sources to have students investigate the peace work of Jane Addams while building vocabulary and examining how perspectives change with time and circumstance. After, students could investigate the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, and/or share in words or pictures how they contribute to a more…


Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909

Pair the picture book, Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909, with primary sources to have students practice close reading, build vocabulary, and investigate labor activism and one group’s fight for shorter hours, increased wages, and more sanitary working conditions. After, students may share, in words or pictures, an example of something…


A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women’s Rights

Pair the picture book, A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women’s Rights, with primary sources to have students investigate historical and contemporary depictions of women in the media, especially those running for national office.  


Predicting & Inferring About Woman Suffrage

Link non-fiction literature with primary sources to build background knowledge of what it was like to be a suffragist and discover how women persistently fought for over 100 years until they were granted the right to vote. After, ask students to share a time when they showed persistence.


Around America to Win the Vote

Pair the picture book, Around America to Win the Vote, with primary sources to have students practice research skills, evaluate sources, and deepen understanding of voting rights, in general, and woman suffrage, in particular. After, students can consider the pros/cons of lowering the voting age to 16.


Bonus Veterans

Students analyze primary sources to learn about the Bonus Army and to consider the question, How does informing ourselves about the past guide us in the future?


Why We Can’t . . .

Students investigate how a powerful slogan was used by civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and consider how it might be applicable to a contemporary issue.


Civil Rights and Civic Action

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…