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Step Two: The “What” of Teaching the Movement


Civil Rights Done Right: A Tool for Teaching the Movement
Step Two: The "What" of Teaching the Movement

One key to effective civil rights education is coverage of essential content. The 2011 and 2014 Teaching the Movement reports evaluated states on the degree to which their standards included essential civil rights content. In this step, you’ll evaluate and improve upon the content you include in your civil rights instruction.

With your makeover lesson in mind, complete the Essential Content Coverage worksheet. Write the topic and an essential question (or questions) at the top of the worksheet. Then list the content you currently teach in the “What I do now” column. You may find it helpful to first refer to the descriptions on the Essential Content Areas handout. Before completing the “What else I could/should I be doing” column, ask yourself the following questions: 

  1. Does this lesson call for me to include content in all areas? If not, explain.
  2. Which areas will be emphasized or will be most central to this lesson?
  3. In which area(s) am I least knowledgeable?
  4. In which area(s) do I have the fewest resources?
  5. In which area(s) do I most need to improve my coverage?

Use the Essential Content Checklist handout to think about content that would help improve your makeover lesson. Use the Essential Content Suggestions handout to generate specific content ideas. Now fully complete the other sections of the Essential Content Coverage worksheet.