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Create a Civil Rights Mural

Students will investigate civil rights as a whole or focus on the history of civil rights in the area where they live. They will draw inspiration from what they learned to create a mural that highlights that history or reflects how it relates to the continuing struggle for civil rights today.

PROCESS:

  1. Have students brainstorm a list of key words associated with the civil rights struggle of the 1950s and 1960s. Encourage students to share what they know about several words. Challenge them to explain how those words are connected to the continuing struggles for justice and equality today.
  2. Have students conduct research to learn more about the struggle for civil rights. They can either investigate civil rights in general or find a connection between the Civil Rights Movement and the town or state where they live and focus on that.
  3. Encourage students to use what they learned to brainstorm ideas for a mural about civil rights.
  4. Then have students sketch an outline for a civil rights mural and share their idea with others. Encourage classmates to provide helpful feedback. Instruct students to revise their sketches based on classmates' suggestions.
  5. Provide paper and art supplies. Give students time to create a mural that highlights the history of or continuing struggle for civil rights.

ASSESSMENT:

Have students share their murals with the class. Encourage them to describe what their mural shows and explain why they chose that particular subject matter to tell about civil rights.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3-4:
Brainstorm ideas about the history of civil rights as a class. Then have students identify several topics they think are most important in the history of civil rights. Divide the class into small groups. Assign each group one topic. Provide assistance as groups conduct research to learn more about their topic. Then have each group create a mural.
Grades 5-6:
Brainstorm ideas about the history of civil rights as a class. Then divide the class into small groups. Have each group select the one topic they think is most important to the town or state where you live. Encourage groups to conduct research to learn more about their topics. Then have each group create a mural.
Grades 7-8:
Brainstorm ideas about the history of and the ongoing struggle for civil rights as a class. Then divide the class into small groups. Have each group select the one topic they think is most important to the town or state where you live. Encourage groups to conduct research to learn more about their topics. Then have each group create a mural that highlights a clear connection between the history of civil rights and the ongoing struggle for civil rights today.
Grades 9-10:
Divide the class into small groups. Have groups brainstorm ideas about the history of and the ongoing struggle for civil rights. Encourage groups to choose one aspect of each topic that has a strong connection to the town or state where you live. Encourage students to conduct research, including interviews with local residents, to learn more about their topics. Have groups create two murals: one that highlights the civil rights history of your area and one that shows how that history is reflected in the state of justice and equality where you live.