- Video or short summary of Brown v. Board of Education
- Teacher-generated worksheet
- Colored pencils
- Provide historical background on the1896 Supreme Court decision Plessy v. Ferguson, which declared that separate but equal facilities were the law of the land. Students should be familiar with the case and understand the impact of the court decision on American society.
- View a video or read a summary of the 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education, in which the court unanimously declared that state-sanctioned segregation of public schools was a violation of the 14th Amendment and was therefore unconstitutional. This historic decision marked the end of the “separate but equal” policy approved by the Supreme Court nearly 60 years earlier, and it served as a catalyst for the expanding Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s. A summary and lesson plan called “Teaching with Documents Lesson Plan: Documents Related to Brown v. Board of Education” is available at <http://www.archives.gov/digital_classroom/lessons/brown_v_board_documents/>. Explain to students that the issue of school desegregation was very controversial; the southern states did not readily agree to integrate public schools.
- Review with students the characteristics of historical markers they have seen, reminding them that historical markers contain some general information about the event and a tribute to the individuals involved. Direct students to create a historical marker commemorating the Supreme Court case. Encourage students to be creative and to use color and pictures, if possible. Direct them to the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration Web site at <http://www.archives.gov/digital_classroom/lessons/brown_w_board_documents/> and other appropriate sites.