Questions About Change: The Civil Rights Movement

Contributor: Danielle Childers. Lesson ID: 10129

How would you feel if you couldn't use the same bathroom, eat in the same restaurant or sit in the same seat as a person of another color? Many people took dangerous stands for your rights. Learn how.


United States

learning style
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


There is a famous saying that well-behaved individuals seldom make history.

  • What does that mean?
  • Do you agree with the quotation?

Those who have broken the mold and broken the mold to implement social change, have made history.

Taking a look back to the time period of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s will provide examples of the progressive change.

  • Do you know of any important figures from this time period?
  • Have you heard of Martin Luther King, Jr., or Rosa Parks?

Though they were both peaceful, they did not let people treat them badly because they were African American.

Early in U.S. history, white men used African Americans as slaves to work the large farms called plantations. Through the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation signed in 1863, all the slaves were freed.

Even though the slaves were free, they were still not treated the same as white men and women. They were not allowed to go to the same schools and theaters and even had different public restrooms from white men and women.

Almost 100 years later, a few brave men and women, both white and African American, started the Civil Rights Movement to make sure all men are treated as equals, meaning they receive all the same rights. We call those brave men and women activists.

Learn more about the Civil Rights Movement in this Kids Academy video, Civil Rights Act of 1964 | Montgomery Bus Boycott for Kids | Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King:

While the official end of segregation created a society where everyone is meant to have the same rights, you can still see inequality today. Some people still discriminate based on race, gender, religion, and many other qualities.

To discriminate means we judge people by what group they are in rather than their individual worth.

  • For example, what do you think about a man working in a daycare or a woman being a truck driver?

We have ideas about what jobs men and women should have, and when they don't fit the ideas we have, we make a judgment.

Continue on to the Got It? section to prepare to research important American civil rights leaders.

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We help prepare learners for a future that cannot yet be defined. They must be ready for change, willing to learn and able to think critically. Elephango is designed to create lifelong learners who are ready for that rapidly changing future.