Student View

KEY STANDARDS

RH.6-8.1, RH.6-8.10, RI.6-8.2, RI.6-8.6, WHST.6-8.4, WHST.6-8.7, WHST.6-8.9, SL.6-8.1, SL.6-8.2, SL.6-8.6

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

 • Incorporate this play into a unit on civil rights.

 • Use this play to discuss how the actions of ordinary people can lead to important societal change.

Before Reading

STUDENT ENGAGEMENT
(5 MINUTES)

Ask students: Was there a time when black students and white students couldn’t go to the same schools? When did that change, and how? Then tell them they’re about to read a play about a key incident in the integration of American schools.

Like What You See?

Then you'll love our social studies magazine for grades 6-8! Click the button to start your free trial.

Read & Analyze

FULL-CLASS READING
(20 MINUTES)

Discuss what students know about the time period in which the play takes place. Then assign students roles in the play and read it aloud as a class.

FULL-CLASS DISCUSSION
(20 MINUTES)

Use these questions to guide a text-based discussion. Answers will vary.

• What does the play show about the time period?

• How are narrators used in the play?

• How might your reaction to the play have been different if you had been watching a performance of it instead of reading it?

• If you were directing the play, what actions or stage settings might you incorporate and why?

• How might each of the characters be dressed?

• Identify a message of the play and describe how that message is developed.

• How might the key conflict in the play be different if it were taking place today?

• What mood is created by the play? Explain.

• What connection can you make between people or events in the play and a current world situation?

Extend & Assess

KEY IDEAS
Have students complete the skills sheet Determining Key Ideas and Details: What’s the Story? Go over the answers as a class.

HISTORICAL CHARACTER ANALYSIS
Ask students to research one of the key figures in the event: Elizabeth Eckford, Orval Faubus, or Daisy Bates. Have students write a one-page report about that person, in which they include at least five facts from their research.

READING PRIMARY SOURCES: THE LITTLE ROCK NINE
Help students understand what it was like to integrate Little Rock’s Central High School by assigning the skills sheet Analyzing Primary Sources:Three Voices From Little Rock. This skills sheet features firsthand accounts from teens who experienced the integration of Little Rock Central High School.

STEP BACK IN TIME
Have students conduct further research on the time period of the play, then summarize what life was like during that time. Students should consider daily life, world affairs, political movements, fashion, the economy, technology, and so on.

CREATE SCENERY
Explain that staged plays have scenery and set designs. Then ask students to work in small groups to plan and create props, backgrounds, and costumes that could be used during the read-aloud of the play.

PERFORM THE PLAY
Have students act out the play using the details they know about the time period, the characters, and the setting. Then discuss as a class how the meaning of the play is enhanced through performance.

CREATE A PAMPHLET, PLAYBILL, OR POSTER
Ask students to make a pamphlet, playbill, or poster based on the play. They should write a paragraph summarizing its plot, and draw a picture that clearly represents the time period.

DIFFERENTIATING

Lower Level Allow students to sign up for roles in the play prior to the read-aloud. That way, students can practice their lines before they have to read in front of the class.

Higher Level Have students read the sidebar “Power in Your Pocket.” Then have them write a one-act play about how the situation facing the Little Rock Nine might have been different if they had been able to use social media.

Print This Lesson Plan

PHOTO CREDITS TK