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The curriculum unit "Justice in Action: Reactions to Brown v. Board of Education" is designed to be implemented in a fifth grade classroom as part of their social studies curriculum. The overall objective for this unit will be to have students understand the significance of a particular event, such as a Supreme Court ruling or an act of civil disobedience, in the broader context of an overall movement or series of events that ultimately change our society. The unit consists of four elements that will enable the student to be able to define the purpose of the Constitution and the impact of the Bill of Rights and its amendments on their present day lives. The overarching theme of the unit is justice. The students will investigate and analyze the concept of justice. The main activity for the unit is an independent research project whereby the students will investigate events that transpired in the South in aftermath of the Brown v. Board of Education decision that led to school desegregation. A final written assessment will determine the student's understanding of the complex nature of justice in action as the South struggled to desegregate their schools.
(Recommended for Social Studies, Government and Civics, grade 5.)
Number 16 of the periodical On Common Ground
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