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HistoryFix: Civil Rights Warriors...Exploring the Civil Rights Movement

A Writing Across the Curriculum Lesson from HistoryFix
Historical Topic: Civil Rights Movement Students Write: trading cards

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Civil Rights Warriors

This writing across the curriculum lesson was created by Nevada teacher Denise Boswell.

Denise considers this history lesson to be appropriate for students in grades 3-12.

Lesson Overview:

Objectives/Overview: Civil Rights Warriors is a fun way to incorporate the teaching of research and biographies. Students will research a person connected to the civil rights movement and create a trading card on their researched person. Students will identify through research the qualities of a person from history and their connection to the Civil Rights Movement.

Time Needed: three 45-minute class sessions.

Writing skills (traits) to stress while teaching this lesson:

  • Idea Development (writing with a clear, central idea or theme in mind; and putting researched ideas into one’s own words)
  • Word Choice (using precise nouns to assist the reader’s understanding; incorporating interesting adjectives into the writing; and using strong verbs to keep the sentences interesting)
  • Conventions (spelling skills; and capitalizations skills)

Materials List:

Setting the Stage:

Read the story The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson to the class. Discuss with the class what the fence symbolizes.

Review the Preamble of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights with the class. Discuss the dates that the documents were written and the time period of the story.

Teacher Instructions:

  • Read The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles to the class.
  • Have students fill out the story map.
  • Pass out biographies of important historical figures that are connected to the fight for Civil Rights.
  • Pass out the graphic organizer wheel. Students will use the biographical research to complete the wheel.
  • Pass out the Civil Rights Biogrpahy Trading Card graphic organizer. Students will use their wheel organizer to complete the trading card information.
  • Pass out large white construction paper and example worksheet. Students will use their organizer to complete their trading card.


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