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Monday Morning Ready01.25.2019
Jumpstart Your Week!

As Atlanta prepares to host the Super Bowl, artists there are painting murals that highlight the city's civil rights and social justice legacy. The artwork adorning neighborhoods near the downtown stadium where the game will be played is part of an initiative called "Off The Wall: Atlanta's Civil Rights and Social Justice Journey."... < read more >
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
Grade 3-4

Why do you think Atlanta chose murals as a way to highlight the city's civil rights legacy? Why do you think city leaders timed the murals' premier with the Super Bowl?

Grade 5-6

Why do you think the artists who painted Atlanta's murals attended "community conversations" to get ideas for their designs instead of just basing their artwork on what they already knew about the Civil Rights Movement?

Grade 7-8

In the article, Muhammad Yungai, the Atlanta-area artist chosen for the mural project said, "I believe education is the biggest thing that we can do as a culture to ensure that everyone can achieve the life they want." Do you agree with him? Why or why not? And how is this opinion connected to civil rights?

Grade 9-10

According to the article, the term "beloved community" was made popular by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. It describes a society centered on equal opportunity and justice and rooted in the philosophy of nonviolence. Do you think modern society is moving closer to or further away from being a "beloved community?" Why?

LESSON PLAN
Create a Civil Rights Mural

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.
SMITHSONIAN RESOURCES
To March or Not to March?
In this National Museum of American History activity, students pretend to be an American living in 1963 who decides whether or not to join the March on Washington. Students base their choice on information gathered through guided observation from a handbill from the march.

Comic Book Hero
In this lesson from the National Museum of American History, students look at pages from a comic book about the Civil Rights Movement and make a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” of nonviolence into a handy “pocket card.”

The Constitution Lives! How It Protects Your Rights Today
This online issue of From Art to Zoo, provided by the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, and originally published in 1987, the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, helps students and teachers bridge the seeming gaps between the document and their own world.

The Struggle for Justice
This National Portrait Gallery online exhibit documents the struggle for rights including civil rights, labor rights, women’s rights, American Indian rights, disabled rights and gay/lesbian rights. The exhibit highlights important figures in each movement and includes lesson plans for students in grades 7-12 along with video clips that guide visitors through the exhibition.

Civil Issues and Design
In this teacher-created lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, students use the design process to identify civil issues at their school (rights, responsibilities) and to propose solutions to problems.

From Segregation to Sit-ins: The Greensboro Woolworth Lunch Counter
The object-based lessons on this National Museum of American History site examine the Greensboro Woolworth’s lunch counter and its importance to the Civil Rights Movement. The site includes an introduction to teaching history with objects, three lesson plans focused on segregation and the Civil Rights Movement and annotated links.

A More Perfect Union
This National Museum of American History site, which focuses on the experiences of Japanese Americans who were placed in detention camps during World War II, explores a period of U.S. history when racial prejudice and fear upset the delicate balance between the right of a citizen versus the power of the state. Students will experience the story through interactive galleries that combine images, music, text and first-person accounts.

South Africa, Free At Last: Freedom Songs of South Africa & the Civil Rights Movement in America
In these lessons from the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, high school choral students take part in musical activities while learning the history of South African “freedom songs.” They look at correlations, both musical and historical, to the African American Civil Rights Movement.
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