Building Constituencies

This lesson introduces students to the importance of building a constituency to support or oppose public policies using the case study of the Montgomery Bus Boycott as an example. First, students read primary documents from the boycott and discuss how the documents show how leaders tried to build support. Then in small groups, students brainstorm how they can get support for their Civic Action Project issue. Registration is required.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Primary Sources
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

The Power of Nonviolence: Rosa Parks: A Quest for Equal Protection Under the Law

This lesson asks students to revisit the well-known story of a figure in the civil rights movement–Rosa Parks–through the primary source documents associated with her arrest in 1955. The arrest occurred in the shadow of the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954) and had a powerful impact on the public policy of segregation and the application of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8

Created Equal

The Created Equal project uses the power of documentary films to teach about the changing meanings of freedom and equality in America. The five films that are part of this project – “The Abolitionists,” “Slavery By Another Name,” “Freedom Riders”, “Freedom Summer” and “The Loving Story” – tell the remarkable stories of individuals who challenged the social and legal status quo, from slavery to segregation.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Video
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12