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Junior Scholastic Teaching Kits

Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets, courtesy of Junior Scholastic, the middle school Social Studies classroom magazine.

The Civil Rights Movement

Get to know Martin Luther King Jr., Barbara Johns, the Little Rock Nine, and other pioneers of the civil rights movement.

Featured Teaching Kits

Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets for teaching about the civil rights movement in your classroom, courtesy of Junior Scholastic, the middle school Social Studies classroom magazine

The Legacy of MLK

The 1968 assassination of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. stunned the nation, but his work continues to inspire the pursuit of racial equality in America.

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“Why We Can't Wait”
An excerpt from Dr. King’s letter from a Birmingham jail
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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How Barbara Johns Helped End Segregation

In 1951, there were 21 American states that required black students and white students to attend separate schools. A young African American girl named Barbara Johns knew this wasn't right—and that she had to do something about it. Her bravery led to a landmark Supreme Court ruling that changed the nation forever. 

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Mixed Reactions
Primary source excerpts about Brown v. Board of Education
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Know the News
Answer multiple-choice questions about the article.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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The Fight for Equal Rights

The civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s defined a generation. Watch this video to learn about the movement, its leaders, and the sacrifices made in the fight for equal rights.

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Mixed Reactions
Primary sources about Brown v. Board of Education
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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The Little Rock Nine

In 1957, nine black students walked into Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas—and into history. Relive their experience with this American History play.

What's the Story?
Determine the key ideas and details of the play.
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What's the Story?
Determine the key ideas and details of the play.
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Three Voices From Little Rock
Answer questions using primary sources.
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Three Voices From Little Rock
Answer questions using primary sources.
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide to teaching this article in your classroom
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Quotes
 

Famous quotes from civil rights leaders throughout history

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can't ride you unless your back is bent.”

— Martin Luther King Jr.

“People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. . . . No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”

— Rosa Parks

“By the force of our demands, our determination, and our numbers, we shall splinter the segregated South into a thousand pieces and put them back together in the image of God and democracy.”

— John Lewis

“You are not judged by the height you have risen but from the depths you have climbed.”

— Frederick Douglass

Key Figures
 

Four civil rights figures who made an impact

Martin Luther King Jr.

This Baptist minister become the most important leader of the civil rights movement. His “I Have a Dream” speech at the 1963 March on Washington encapsulated the historic vision behind the movement for African American equality.

Thurgood Marshall

A prominent black attorney, he represented the plaintiffs in Brown v. Board of Education—the case that struck down “separate but equal” in U.S. schools—before the U.S. Supreme Court. Marshall later became the first African American justice on the Court.

Barbara Johns

Barbara was just 16 years old in 1951 when she led a courageous protest to integrate the schools of her Virginia town. The lawsuit Johns started would become one of the cases folded into the historic Brown v. Board of Education ruling.

Jackie Robinson

When Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, he became the first African American to play in baseball’s major leagues. In doing so, Robinson also helped open up all professional sports in the U.S. to black players.

Glossary

Terms and definitions that pertain to the civil rights movement

anthem

noun

a religious or national song, or a song that expresses the ideas of a particular group

boycott

verb

to refuse, as an act of protest, to participate in a certain event or to buy particular products

civil rights

noun

the rights of a country’s citizens, including social and political freedom and equality

Jim Crow

adjective

describing laws and practices that discriminated against African Americans after the Civil War

segregation

noun

the separation of people by race, ethnic group, gender, class, or personal orientation

sit-in

noun

a protest in which people seat themselves somewhere and refuse to move until their demands are met

Explore Other Topics

Discover other free social studies topics and middle school teaching resources

The Roles of the Presidency

From Commander in Chief to chief of state, the president has many critical roles.

The Roles of the Presidency

From Commander in Chief to chief of state, the president has many critical roles.

Ancient Civilizations

An overview of humanity’s first large societies: how they formed, who ruled them, and how they influenced the world today.

Ancient Civilizations

An overview of humanity’s first large societies: how they formed, who ruled them, and how they influenced the world today.

The United States Constitution

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It established our federal government and defined our government’s relationship with the states and citizens.

The United States Constitution

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It established our federal government and defined our government’s relationship with the states and citizens.

Women’s History: The Struggle for Equality

Learn about important women throughout history—including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth—and the progress that’s been made in the fight for gender equality.  

Women’s History: The Struggle for Equality

Learn about important women throughout history—including Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth—and the progress that’s been made in the fight for gender equality.  

The History and Heroes of World War II

An overview of World War II: why the U.S. got involved, what citizens did to fight back, and how people worldwide were affected

The History and Heroes of World War II

An overview of World War II: why the U.S. got involved, what citizens did to fight back, and how people worldwide were affected

Real Teens of History

These inspiring teens fought for what they believed in—and made history in the process.

Real Teens of History

These inspiring teens fought for what they believed in—and made history in the process.

Social Studies Debate Kit

Teaching the art of debating—and how to write an effective argument essay—can help students master critical-thinking and communication skills.

Social Studies Debate Kit

Teaching the art of debating—and how to write an effective argument essay—can help students master critical-thinking and communication skills.

Mastering Media Literacy and Digital Literacy

In an increasingly digital world, being able to navigate technology skillfully and evaluate online resources for accuracy and trustworthiness is crucial.

Mastering Media Literacy and Digital Literacy

In an increasingly digital world, being able to navigate technology skillfully and evaluate online resources for accuracy and trustworthiness is crucial.

Map Skills

Teaching map skills can build students’ geography knowledge—and enhance their understanding of the world in which they live.

Map Skills

Teaching map skills can build students’ geography knowledge—and enhance their understanding of the world in which they live.

Middle School Civics

An overview of civics: what it means to be a good citizen, how democracy works, and why staying informed and engaged matters—even as kids.

Middle School Civics

An overview of civics: what it means to be a good citizen, how democracy works, and why staying informed and engaged matters—even as kids.

The Civil War and Reconstruction

Use these features and supporting resources to give students deeper as well as broader knowledge of these key periods in U.S. history.

The Civil War and Reconstruction

Use these features and supporting resources to give students deeper as well as broader knowledge of these key periods in U.S. history.

Immigration

The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, built by people who left their homes to seek new lives and opportunities. However, Americans' feelings about immigrants are mixed.

Immigration

The U.S. is a nation of immigrants, built by people who left their homes to seek new lives and opportunities. However, Americans' feelings about immigrants are mixed.

@historyhd On Unsplash (Civil Rights March); Bettmann/Getty Images (MLK); Gluekit (Photo Colorization), Rudolph Faircloth/AP Images (classroom); Bettmann / Contributor (woman and girl on Supreme Court steps); Bettmann/Getty Images (Little Rock Nine); CNP/Hulton Archive/Getty images (MLK); Stock Montage/Getty Images (Thurgood Marshall); Courtesy Of Joan Johns Cobbs (Barbara Johns); Mark Kauffman/Getty Images (Jackie Robinson)